Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Can we call it Obamentum now?

Chalk up two more wins by Barack Obama. No surprise he won his birth state of Hawai'i: 76-24. Wisconsin was an even bigger win. This is the kind of working class state that should have been Hillary Clinton's. But Obama continued to make inroads into her constituencies: Unskilled workers, the latter baby boom and Generation X, women. Obama took the state by an almost 3-2 margin: 58-41. As late as Monday, Obama was showing just a four point edge; and the fluff about him lifting some phrases from fellow Democrats proved to be just that. Clinton has no right to whine about it: She and virtually every other candidate for office has at one time or another.

Add to that some polls which indicate Obama is slightly in the lead in Texas, and one can understand how some are now saying Clinton has backed herself into a corner. There are still misgivings about her, serious ones, which she unfortunately has not yet addressed. I am not taking away from her legislative record, street smarts and her good nature. I am amazed, though, that a guy (Obama) with far less legislative experience than JFK could be, at this stage of the race, a far more credible candidate than Clinton (or, if you're Kang, Klin-ton).

The way I see it, the only hope for Clinton in Texas is making sure that her supporters show up for both the primary and the caucus on March 4. That's right, due to yet another quirk in Texas law, there's a two stage election -- a secret ballot held earlier in the day (in fact, advance polls start today) followed by a series of caucus meetings. And we've seen how well Obama does in caucus situations.

Realistically, Clinton must win Texas or at least get 45% of the vote. If she fails even there, one could hardly understand why a superdelegate who has pledged to her might be tempted to say enough of her.

"I know what you want," versus "I know what you need." Hobson's choice, really. Against a 100 year war that John McCain wants -- the money is still on hope.

Look at it another way: the BBC World Service broke into regular programming to carry Obama's announcement for his run about a year or so ago. They didn't do that for Clinton. That must mean something in itself.

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RuralSandi said...

I don't agree with the fluff stuff - if any other candidate took someone's words "verbatum" they would be creamed.

Obama portrays himself as someone who plays differently - he should start acting like it.

A rose by any other name is a rose - same stands for using someone else's rhetoric - approved or not.

It's because the Obama hero worshippers can't accept that he's only human that he's getting away with it - what a shame - double-standard anyone?

BlastFurnace said...

Deval Patrick, the Governor of Massachusetts, gave permission to Obama to use those comments. I do agree Obama should have offered attribution right away; but for Clinton to presume they were outright plagarized was overplaying her hand -- and making the complaint on the day or day before the primary was too little, too late.

Could it come back to bite Obama? Maybe. But there are bigger issues at stake than merely words.