This was me a lifetime ago, at least in blog time. In actual time it was just two weeks ago, the Monday before Super Tuesday.
For Obama, his task for Tuesday is simply to survive. He needs to finish within 200 delegates of Clinton to keep it close, because the rest of the month is tailor made for Obama.
Obama did better than that, he won Super Tuesday. After Super Tuesday I wrote:
Well, Clinton came nowhere near what she needed to do to build a strong delegate lead (and super delegates can change their mind, they're not locked in). Obama needed to survive, and he did more than that -- he outright won the night.
Now his job is to finish off Clinton. If he can rack up a full month of 20%+ victories the rest of this month, he does just that.
People accused me of not playing the expectations game, and they were right. I wasn't. The thought of closing out the month with 20 point victories seemed pretty silly, but that's what I thought it would take to close the deal. So let's see how February ended up looking, post-Super Tuesday:
Virgin Islands: +82
Look at those numbers. We've got white states, we've got "black" states. We've got southern states. We've got western states. We've got northern states. We've got cheeseheads. We've got caucuses. We've got primaries. We've got rich states. We've got working class states. We've got Blue states. We have Red States. (We've got the start of a Doctor Seuss rhyme here...)
You know what we don't have? A single close contest. Not a one. The rejection of Hillary Clinton has been absolute. Okay, Obama didn't sweep with 20+ victories, but really, he did what he had to do. Hillary only has *
one* two victories above 17 points (Arkansas and Oklahoma). I'm surprised he even won Maine. Clinton's campaign is now effectively dead.
Now I know people will be calling for her to quit the race, but I hope she rides it out through Ohio and Texas. I think Ohio needs a good dose of infrastructure building, and this primary will help make that happen. Same with Texas, where a solid ground operation can pave the way for some serious people-powered action in the Senate race with our man Rick Noriega.
It would be great if this thing went to Pennsylvania for the same reason, but I doubt it'll get that far. I'll call it right now -- baring a major gaffe or disaster, Obama will win both Texas and Ohio and that will be that.
In the end, I don't mind the Clinton campaign's negativeness. It really hasn't been all that bad. If anything, the fact their attempts at negative attacks were so comically bad and easy to mock was a disappointment -- I would really like to see how Obama and his team handle a serious attack, because what we've seen these last couple of weeks is nothing compared to what we'll see from Republicans later this year. We as a party will easily survive the next two weeks.
What would've been hard to survive was the Clinton campaign telling 2/3rds of the country that their states didn't matter, but clearly it was a losing formula. Obama's inclusive message will play much better in the general.
So fret not, and look to the benefits of keeping this thing going just a little bit longer. We've got some great infrastructure building to make happen in two key states. And then we can turn to McCain, who doesn't seem to be learning from the Democratic Primary that arguments over "experience" aren't particularly salient this cycle.
People want change, not more of the same from the crowd that gave us the current mess in D.C.