Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Song Remains the Same

Another Tuesday has come and gone and the situation stands pretty much as it did on Monday. Clinton won the big states (and a small one) to keep her campaign alive through the next two months until Pennsylvania. (See CNN delegate counts here.) Clinton showed yet again what a fighter she is and Obama maintained the delegate lead, but yet again missed the opportunity to end the campaign in one swoop. So things grind on as they have been without any real change.

Of course, that's just the Democratic side. On the other end of things, John McCain just became the presumptive Republican nominee having won the requisite number of delegates to clinch the nomination. Not that that will come as a surprise to too many people (other than those who thought he already had won the nomination). However, the contrast between the two parties is interesting to note here. In some senses, I think it's the real story about what's happening right now.

Once McCain took a commanding delegate lead, most of the rest of the Republican candidates dropped out and voters united behind the front runner. Sure Huckabee stayed in, but that shows his own tolerance for electoral humiliation more than any true divide in the Republican party.

On the Democratic side, though, Obama has a virtually insurmountable lead in the delegates. This isn't a secret as it's been written about in pretty much every publication in the country. By rights, he's the front runner and you'd think that Democrats would start to unite behind him the way that Republicans united behind McCain. But it's not happening. That majorities in Texas in Ohio would vote for someone who doesn't really have a realistic chance of clinching the nomination is a sign of major trouble for Obama and for the Democratic party. It reflects a deep split and raises questions about Obama's ability to unite all sorts of people when he can't quite seem to get his own party in line.

This situation now leaves both Democrats fighting a two-front war. They have to scrape with each other plus respond to whatever fire John McCain sends their way. As anyone who's read about the world wars or played Risk can tell you, they're not in a good place right now.

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