05 March 2008

Yes she can!

Once again the media and the pundits had written Clinton off, and once again her supporters roared back "Not so fast!"

The internet is awash in analysis, so I'm going to mention just a few points I think are especially important.

(1) Texas is particularly interesting since it holds both a primary and a caucus. Clinton won the primary (in which 2,500,000 people voted), while Obama won the caucus (in which 100,000 people voted). This bolsters the argument that caucuses are not a good measure of broad voter preference.

(2) Realistically, neither candidate can win with elected delegates alone -- the numbers are too close, and they're going to stay close. So the superdelegates will decide in the end. There are all sorts of arguments that can be made about how the superdelegates ought to vote. The main significance of yesterday -- and of the contests to come -- will be in determining which of those arguments carries more force.

(3) Whichever candidate wins, the supporters of the other will be disappointed, even angry. I feel more strongly than ever that the winner must offer the loser the VP position. It's hard to see any other move that could really reunify the party. If Clinton wins, Obama in 2016 will still be younger than she is now, with the experience issue laid to rest by eight years in the Vice Presidency; he should capture that year's nomination easily. If Obama wins, Clinton may find the VP position less appealing, but he could still win over many of her supporters by making the offer.

(4) The night would have been truly perfect if Ron Paul had lost his primary fight and thus his chances of keeping his seat in Congress, thus bolstering the likelihood of his making a Naderesque third-candidate Presidential run and peeling off just enough votes from McCain in November to flip a few close states from red to blue. It didn't happen. But I'm not ready to count him out as a factor yet. Even if he doesn't run, enough of his besotted followers may write in his name to flip a state or two our way.

(5) Take another look at that statistic in (1). Two and a half million Texans -- more than a tenth of the state's total population -- voted in the Democratic primary. I've always said that Texas is not what northerners who have never been there imagine it to be. Don't be surprised if Texas is actually seriously in play in November.

Update: Clinton hints at a joint ticket.

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3 Comments:

Blogger concerned citizen said...

Regarding your 5th point; You sure did call it. :)

05 March, 2008 10:00  
Blogger the chaplain said...

It's looking more and more like this will go to the convention. It's also looking more and more like Howard Dean made a huge error by completely disqualifying the Michigan and Florida primaries. Every vote from everywhere is going to count in this one.

07 March, 2008 09:15  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

People tend to lump Texas in with the South because it was a slave state and part of the Confederacy, but it's actually very different culturally. My impression is that it has a libertarian streak which doesn't mesh well with the dour religious fundamentalism which increasingly dominates the Republican party.

Even our pathetically-late mid-May Oregon primary may count for something this time.

In hindsight it should have been obvious that the Democratic party was going to end up backing down in the case of Florida. There's no way it will really take the risk of antagonizing such a crucial swing state (and Michigan's no chopped liver either).

07 March, 2008 09:36  

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