Wednesday, March 5, 2008

She's Back!

We are now in no man's land in politics. With victories in Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island, Hillary Clinton has placed herself back in the game. The schema I was running with was that Clinton would win Ohio and Obama would win Texas, each not by much, and the party leadership would begin to urge Clinton to back out of the race in favor of party unity. Not gonna happen! This is now an officially unpredictable race and only Clinton and Obama will decide when it's over.

Obama had been successfully poaching on Clinton's base since the Potomac primary, but last night they returned to Mama. Clinton won blue-collar workers, seniors and women under 50 for the first time since Super Tuesday. Combine that with 70% of the Hispanic vote and a decent showing among white men and we have a winner.

The momentum race, the delegate race and the special interest race is very tight. The rest of this primary will be fought tooth, nail and claw and it seems hard to believe that one candidate could force the other out of the race before the convention, unless one steps aside for the sake of party unity.

How about some history? The last Presidential convention in which the winner was not known going into the convention was Chicago 1968 when Hubert Humphrey grappled the nomination from Eugene McCarthy. Nixon won handily. The primary race in 1972 was just as brutal as George McGovern pulled out a victory over Henry "Scoop" Jackson and George Wallace (among others). Nixon again crushed the Democrats. The primary race in 1980 saw Ted Kennedy force Jimmy Carter into race after race all the way into June when Carter (a sitting President) finally secured the nomination. At the deeply divided convention in New York, Kennedy refused to shake Carter's hand. And you guessed it, Reagan won big.

My point here is that this primary election is not uncommon among Democrats, who seem to go on these suicide missions fairly regularly. The real victor last night and for the weeks to come is John McCain, who can now pick his VP, bring the Republicans back together, raise some money and all with time to spare to set the tone of the general election in his favor.

Stay tuned kids, you are watching one for the history books!

Mason Slidell

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