Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Is it over yet?

With a 14 point win in North Carolina and a 2 point loss in Indiana, it might be. While I thought that a sweep was necessary to change the media narrative, the chattering class on MSNBC(whose coverage I watched on the intertubes because Chuck Todd is pretty good) certainly seemed to think that it was just as good, with Russert calling the race. It's a bit interesting that the margins were pretty much what people were predicting three weeks ago, but now it might be the decisive blow that ends the Clinton campaign... obviously a lot of that is due to Reverend Wright and Bittergate and gas tax controversies, and the fact that those 3 weeks of intensely negative coverage did nothing to alter the results. It seems logical to wonder that if, in that wake of all that, she couldn't change the nature of the race then when exactly is she going to do it? There just aren't that many delegates or votes left on the table, and so there isn't a realistic metric where that she could conceivably end up with the lead.

A quick scan of the Washington Post and New York Times seems to show only negative stories about her chances. I don't see her dropping out just yet as she will have a big victory in West Virginia next weekend as well as Kentucky the week after. However, with Oregon the same day as Kentucky, the Obama camp is saying they expect to have nailed down 50+ percent of the elected delegates on the 20th. If she is going to drop out, that would be the most logical time frame... but I'm not sure how likely that is either, as she and her supporters have made a big deal about "counting every vote". However, if the "kitchen sink strategy" is out the window and and the media starts calling Obama the presumptive nominee or whatever, then who really cares whether she takes it to the convention? I really do think the days of negative campaigning are over, since I don't think the Superdelegates are going to have much patience with destructive attacks... so if the spends the next few months attacking McCain and pushing her health care plan then what's the problem?

The one caveat is whether, if she wins West Virginia by 20 points or more, whether the media swoons a bit and changes the storyline... I don't think that will happen, but we will have to see.

Anyway, good news for Obama and Democrats in general, and now it's time to see whether the wounds will heal themselves or whether either Clinton herself or someone from her camp needs to be chosen for VP to help the party move on.

(picture used under a Creative Commons license by flickr user tsevis)

UPDATE: Here is rundown of the pundits saying "It's Over." Not sure how I feel about the media driving the story here, but at least they are confirming the math that has been the case for months now.