Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Empire Strikes Back


As I write, about 55% of the votes have been counted in the New Hampshire primary and it appears quite possible that Hillary Clinton might be about to defeat Barack Obama. I'll leave it to my lefty friends to figure out exactly why that might be, but here are a few guesses:
1) The Iowa caucuses are not a secret ballot. In the main, these caucuses are attended by party activists on both sides. Party activists tend to be further down the ideological spectrum, either to the Left or Right, than the general population. On the D's side of the aisle, such people like Obama.
2) Because you had to publicly declare your allegiance in the Iowa caucus, you had the element of moral vanity involved. There's always been a certain amount of preening that goes on in such a scenario and it leads to a group dynamic that would benefit someone like Obama who is the challenger, the outsider, the one who is poised to epater le bourgeoisie (pardon my French). Those crusty New Hampshireites were in a voting booth and they could do what they wanted. Some of them may not have bought into the dream.
3) A hell of a lot of people in the Democractic Party are beholden to the Clintons. Many of them remain loyal. It's possible they saw what was about to happen and rushed to the barricades.
4) Every four years we hear about the candidate who is going to be the one who brings the youth to the polls. In my first presidential election that particular flavor was Gary Hart. Last time around, it was Howard Dean. Back in 1968, it was all those fresh-scrubbed "Clean for Gene" folks. Notice how many of these folks ended up winning the election. The youth wave has been, in the main, chimerical. Maybe, just maybe it is again.
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Obama may win this yet, even tonight. But the visions that a lot of people had that this would be a rout, that the Clintons would go quietly, always seemed far-fetched. Barack Obama will have to convince many, many more Americans that he is the guy. He might be able to do it. But this thing is just starting.
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Update: now with 70% of the vote in, Clinton has extended her lead over Obama. Are you all ready for the "comeback kid" stuff on the 10 o'clock news?

3 comments:

Right Hook said...

Like Rush said today never believe that the former Wicked Witch of the West Wing is out of it until you see the house on top of her.

Where's the mainstream media's charges of voter fraud? If a Democrat was supposed to win a general election by the margin Obamalamadingdong was and was defeated there would be immediate claims of voter fraud. Funny thing is that in this case such a claim may actually have some validity. Never underestimate the reach and ruthlessness of the Clinton machine.

When it comes right down to it it doesn't matter who ends up as the Democrat nominee - it is imperative that the Republican defeat him or her in the general election. Any one of the Democrats, including the second and third tier candidates, would be a disaster in the White House.

Hopefully the Republicans will field a candidate that not only can beat the Democrat, but also be a real Republican. RINOs like McCain, Huckabee, or Giuliani would be better than a Democrat but would definitely not be "good".

Dan S. said...

Maybe the surprise outcome was a result of her "moment of humanity" from the day before.

Maybe the electorate was saying, "All right, all right, we'll vote for you -- just stop crying!"

Mark said...

Dan, I think you get the "Occam's Razor" award for the day.

Interesting point about the fraud, RH; we've heard ad nauseum about how easy it is to steal elections. I'm guessing that there wasn't, but after watching the antics of Bill and Hill for the past 16 years, a certain measure of skepticism is certainly warranted.

What's interesting is that my Greek chorus of lefties are all pretty much unanimous in not liking the Clintons either. They can speak for themselves of course, but I have a few theories about it. If that house finally does drop on top of Mrs. Clinton, you'll see a lot of Democrats start sharing their stories, a la Patty Hearst in 1976.

Best,
Mark