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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

US Presidential Campaign: After super Tuesday « Previous | |Next »
February 11, 2008

Obama wins Nebraska. Obama wins Louisiana. Obama wins Washington. And Obama wins the US Virgin Islands. Obama is riding a surging wave, and he is raising more money than Clinton. If the rest of the primary season is to be a long stretch of trench warfare and there is no one better at trench warfare than the Clintons, then it sure looks like the waves are now breaking for Obama's insurgent campaign.

USstate.jpg There is a silence around the issues raised by this Peter Brooks cartoon. The Iraq war has faded, along with CIA torture. Americans are otherwise preoccupied these days.

Obama wins Maine's caucus. It's all Obama. On Tuesday we have the crucial Maryland and Virginia primaries. Will the pattern repeat; namely Obama does well in caucuses whilst Clinton does well in primaries? It is assumed that Obama will own the rest of the month for the most part until he runs up against the contests in early March in Rhode Island, Texas and Ohio.

If, as seems likely, the race goes down to the wire, then an undemocratic elite contingent of superdelegates--the party establishment of unpledged party operatives and elected officials not chosen by primary voters--could play a decisive role. The party establishment's favorite at this stage is Hillary Clinton.

The dynamic of the race is changing and it is beginning to look a matter of whether a hard-won close victory by Obama can be blocked by the Clintons' super-delegates. However, the superdelegates committed to Clinton could well jump ship, and rally around Obama, if he wins enough primaries and establishment support.

Both Clinton and Obama are saying that government is not the problem, unchecked corporate capitalism is, and that the era of big government isn't over. However, there are differences between Clinton and Obama on how they would run the government.

Surprise surprise. On the Republican side John McCain, only days after declaring himself to be the Republican nominee, suffered defeat in Kansas and Louisiana at the hands of Mike Huckabee. Yet another sign of Republican dissatisfaction with McCain? Huckabee trails McCain the overall race for delegates by a long way:---John McCain has a commanding lead in the delegate race with 719. Huckabee had 234. It will take 1,191 delegates to secure the Republican nomination. Will the GOP would rally behind McCain in the end.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:35 AM | | Comments (8)


McCain did poorly in Kansas and Louisiana, which are prime Mike Huckabee territory. So you can understand McCain's losses there. But he also did poorly in Washington state.

McCain will win the Republican nomination, but he looks like a goner in the general election this November, given the reservations and hostility of the Republican base to him, and the Democrats having the stardust factor.

Most people are just waiting for Bush to go away - including many of his supporters. The repugnance of the last few years in torture/ec is going to be equated with Bush entirely. I don't think many believe that a new democratic president will support that abrogation of human rights.

Bush's last state of the union was a complete non-event, the whole nation tuned out. It was weird. The US President is completely irrelevant politically.

I see that Obama continues to sweep all before him. Three more landslides down the Potomac River, from Maryland through the District of Columbia and into Virginia. That gives Obama seven straight victories in the past week and the unquestioned lead in elected convention delegates. He is eating into Clinton's support base---white women and working class households at the bottom of the economic ladder. This base had previously supported John Edwards before his withdrawal from the Democratic race last month.

The recent victories give Obama a substantial advantage in the battle for delegates. Obama has time and money and he's got momentum.

Clinton must score those must-win landslide victories in Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania. It's her last stand as Obama is now the front runner---1,224 to 1,198. Hillary will be in serious trouble if she doesn't win in both Texas and Ohio, as they're her best shots and she must win well.

Clinton is out of money and she had to choose to save her resources for Texas and Ohio.That meant a low presence in Virginia and Maryland and more or less skipping the whole of February. The fear inside the Clinton camp must be that Obama will win Hawaii and Wisconsin next week and head into the March 4 contests for Ohio and Texas with a 10-race winning streak.

Obama has a very powerful image. I saw a recent speech he gave----in Virginia - the seat of the old Confederacy--- and he looked and sounded like Martin Luther King + the Kennedys. Very seductive. He has charisma.

Clinton's strategy is still to pull in the super-delegates---- the party officials, elected officials and others who can vote however they choose at the nominating convention.If the race for pledged delegates based on outcomes in caucuses and primaries across the country remains tight, superdelegates could decide the nomination.

However, with all the big loses the loyalty to the Clintons amongst the super-delegates must be shaky. Hillary Clinton's previous aura of inevitability is definitely gone and her back is against the wall.

A question: Why is Mike Huckabee doing still hanging around a race he can't win? He only draws a certain slice of voters away from McCain -- evangelical Christians.There issn' much of the GOP electorate left for Huckabee to win over.

The Clintons stand for the kind of insider and machine politics that people want to change.

re your comment:

Obama has a very powerful image. I saw a recent speech he gave----in Virginia - the seat of the old Confederacy--- and he looked and sounded like Martin Luther King + the Kennedys. Very seductive. He has charisma.

A lot of media commentary around Obama’s charisma is says that he’s a starry-eyed idealist with warm fuzzy rhetoric full of emotional appeal about uniting, but short on actual specifics and real-world practical plans.

He's a feel-good candidate with no intellectual substance or moral centre. he's got the looks but not the political smarts.

He doesn't look that way to me. He has the charisma and the smarts.

the news reports are saying that Hillary Clinton has cut short a campaign swing through Wisconsin in a further sign of trouble for her attempt to break Barack Obama's winning streak in the race for the Democratic nomination.Wisconsin and Hawaii go to the polls tomorrow.

The early exit is being interpreted as Clinton giving up hope of a win in the state, despite only a narrow lead for Obama in the polls. It also reaffirms the do-or-die nature of the primary contests in Texas and Ohio on March for Clinton. She is definitely on the ropes.