I’m sorry to have been absent today. I’ve had a busy day.
Well, Obama swept the Virginia, DC and Maryland primaries, easily. Not even close. McCain likewise.
This should give Obama a narrow majority of delegates.
I’m watching MSNBC. Tweety just said that Obama’s speech gave him a thrill going up his leg. Gross.
Back channel, in various listservs, I’m seeing Hillary Clinton supporters complaining that Obamaniacs are culties who won’t support the party. But via my good friend Pastor Dan, the real world isn’t reflecting the paranoia. According to the Pew Center for People and the Press:
…Democratic voters remain far more enthusiastic than Republicans about the quality of their candidates, and the favorability ratings for both Clinton and Obama among Democratic voters are virtually unchanged over the past month.
Twice as many Obama supporters have a favorable, rather than an unfavorable, impression of Clinton (62% vs. 31%). By the same two-to-one margin (60%-30%), Clinton supporters express favorable opinions of Obama. This mutual appreciation on the Democratic side stands in contrast to the Republicans; McCain is the only remaining GOP candidate who is viewed favorably by majorities of supporters of his main rivals.
I’ll have more to say tomorrow. For now, I just want to point out some columns in today’s papers.
Bob Herbert writes,
â€œIâ€™m worried,â€ said a major Clinton supporter in New York, who asked not to be identified because he did not want to be seen as undermining a sense of optimism in the campaign. Referring to todayâ€™s contests in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, he said: â€œShe canâ€™t afford to get blown out in all the Potomac races. After awhile, the momentum from all these Obama victories can become so strong itâ€™s unstoppable.â€
He added: â€œThereâ€™s already a lot of pressure being put on the superdelegates to go with his momentum.â€
Well, she got blown out. We’ll see. I don’t think it’s over yet.
The perpetually clueless David Brooks argues that Democrats are more divided than Republicans. Among other things, imagine the uproar if a future President Clinton or President Obama actually tried to withdraw troops from Iraq!
As I said — perpetually clueless.
See also “The Doctor Evil Dilemma” by Eugene Robinson.
Update: John Dickerson writes,
With each previous Obama victory, the Clinton team tried to attach an asterisk. He won because the electorate had too many African-Americans or because the contest was a caucus where party activists dominate. These were attempts not only to explain away Clinton’s losses but also to suggest that Obama could never win in a general election in which broader coalitions are required. As he makes inroads into Clinton’s base, those asterisks fall away. If Obama wins the key general election swing state of Wisconsin, he’ll be in an even stronger position to argue that he can win among working-class whites. These victories give Obama ammunition for future sates because they show he can build a coalition across race, gender, and income for the general election.
After the Obama sweep, one Democratic strategist who backs him speculated (salivated) that a big-name Democratic official would call on Clinton to pack in her campaign. Do it for the sake of the party, such a pooh-bah might argue, so that Democrats can avoid an ugly and protracted primary fight and unite against John McCain. Such a person probably won’t be able to make the case. The party isn’t in perilâ€”Democrats tell pollsters they’ll be happy with either nomineeâ€”and with Huckabee interfering with McCain’s cakewalk, the fear of an organized GOP offensive is diminished.
Update 2: Chuck Todd on MSNBC is saying that after tonight the math is working against Clinton. Even if she gets the Florida and Michigan delegates, even if she gets a majority of superdelegates, she’s going to have to win a majority of votes in the primaries going forward to get the nomination.