Delegate count from the PA primary:
Total delegates for each so far:
And it’s not just the delegate count that clearly spells Hillary’s fate. The popular vote tells the exact same story. It is to be expected that regardless of the margin, the Clinton camp will trumpet tonights win of Hillary’s home state as a devastating defeat. The cable news outlets will play along because the continuation of the Democratic Party candidate selection process affords them a few more weeks of lazy horse-race narration. But at what cost?
Mrs. Clinton did not get the big win in Pennsylvania that she needed to challenge the calculus of the Democratic race. It is true that Senator Barack Obama outspent her 2-to-1. But Mrs. Clinton and her advisers should mainly blame themselves, because, as the political operatives say, they went heavily negative and ended up squandering a good part of what was once a 20-point lead.
On the eve of this crucial primary, Mrs. Clinton became the first Democratic candidate to wave the bloody shirt of 9/11. A Clinton television ad â€” torn right from Karl Roveâ€™s playbook â€” evoked the 1929 stock market crash, Pearl Harbor, the Cuban missile crisis, the cold war and the 9/11 attacks, complete with video of Osama bin Laden. â€œIf you canâ€™t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,â€ the narrator intoned.
The pattern has become all too familiar. Clinton is the presumed winner in the upcoming caucus/primary because of wide early margins amongst all demographics. The Obama campaign moves in, organizes, and the gap rapidly narrows leading to either a win or a close second despite the Clinton campaigns repeated willingness to immediately go negative. In contest after contest, Clinton has blown huge margins yet we’re supposed to believe that come November she will not repeat the same performance when facing John McCain? And after putting up with months of the type of abuse from his Democratic rival (the nature of which my eight-year-old niece would be ashamed of) we’re supposed to believe that a knock-kneed Obama, when facing a Republican slime-machine that the Clinton campaign has shown no hesitation in aping, will be too overcome by Rovian shock-and-awe to mount an effective campaign? We already know how the Republican Party is going to attack Obama because we’ve seen it from the Clinton campaign. Obama’s performance in handling Clinton’s slash-and-burn tactics should be more than enough evidence that he’s got what it takes to face a light-weight like John McCain head-on.
I do not want to see Hillary Clinton on television after the November elections explaining that regardless of the fact that she lost the delegate count and the popular vote she is still the best candidate (just like she is doing right now). I would much rather place my bets on a battle-hardened Obama candidacy with a track-record of effective campaigning and driven by a fierce work-ethic.