Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Finish Her!

The writing certainly seems to be on the wall for the Hillary Clinton campaign. The Associated Press is reporting that in order for Clinton to clinch the nomination, she would need to win 57 percent of the remaining delegates. That would require Obama-like blowout victories in Texas and Ohio next Tuesday and huge victories in Mississippi and Pennsylvania beyond that. This is seeming increasingly unlikely as Real Clear Politics averages show Clinton at under 50 percent in those states with Obama right behind her. The writing is on the wall that the campaign is done, but Clinton persists, leaving the press and other Obama supporters wondering why.

The best analogy I can come up with comes from my days playing the Mortal Kombat video game. If I did well, there would come a point where a voice from the screen would shout out "FINISH HIM!!!!" At this point, if you entered exactly the right combination of buttons your guy would do something pretty awesome to "finish" your opponent. However, I was never able to get those combinations right and so my opponent, after wobbling around a bit while I flailed away at the buttons, would just fall down, presumably from exhaustion and boredom.

Not to oversimplify, but right now the Obama campaign is like me trying to play video games. The opponent is wobbling, waiting for the slightest breeze to blow her down and he's just not doing it. And it certainly isn't for lack of opportunities.

After the surprise win in Iowa, all Obama had to do in order to become president was win New Hampshire. Victory was in his grasp, the polls were in his favor, and the momentum was palpable.

But he didn't win.

Okay, South Carolina got the campaign back on track along with some other small wins. Now it was Super Tuesday, do or die day in the Clinton campaign. Obama was expected to win most of the smaller, interior states. All he had to do was win one or two of the delegate-rich coastal states and he'd be cruising to victory.

But he didn't.

And so the campaign has kept on. He's run off a string of victories with big margins and once again the press is clamoring for the final blow. The Clintons have even served it up, declaring that if Hillary doesn't win Ohio and Texas she almost certainly won't be the nominee. As Obama closes the gap in the polls in both states Hillary stands wobbling before him. Here's hoping that he can find the right combination of buttons to get the job done this time. Otherwise, it's a long wait for the next chance in Pennsylvania and I don't see her allowing herself to fall of her own accord in the meantime.

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