Dem’s Texas standoff


Victories in the Texas and Ohio primaries shot a cayenne charge into Hillary Clinton’s campaign – flushed cheeks, anxious sweats, a lingering afterburn. But Obama took the Texas caucus and pulled in a not inconsequential number of delegates himself, meaning that in real time she is still losing in the quest to garner 2,024 delegates.

It was enough to keep her in the race, and if you’re one who believes that Clinton wants to wrestle this thing to a draw and take her chances at the Democratic Convention this August in Denver, you might say that everything’s going according to her most recent plan.

But spin it a little in this direction and Obama came out on top last week. He took the Texas caucus and kept the primary close enough to stay within four delegates; he won by a 20 percent margin in Vermont; and he’s still ahead by nearly 100 delegates in the overall race.

Keeping it spinning a bit longer and it seems that Obama is never stronger than when he loses – witness the aftermath of Super Tuesday, when Clinton won the day but Obama’s money machine kicked into high gear in the ensuing weeks.

He’s rolling in cash like he’s printing it in his basement: $55 million raised in February alone.

More problematic is the math regarding the delegate count, and that troublesome number of 2,024: out of Hillary’s reach, and more than just a stretch for the lanky senator from Illinois.

And so it goes to the convention, says the conventional wisdom, where Hillary’s experience in the party should prove quite a formidable asset.

Now, we’re not buying that Hillary’s got more on-the-job experience than Obama, who was an Illinois state senator for eight years before being elected to US Senate in 2004. Hillary herself has only served for eight years, which hardly qualifies her as a veteran office holder.

But… she has been in and around the Democratic Party since 1968, when she campaigned for another anti-war firebrand from the Midwest, Eugene McCarthy, who in hindsight seems decidedly Obama-like; from her days as first lady, she has connections at high levels. And in the last 35 years, the Clintons have only lost two elections: Bill’s 1974 congressional run, and his 1980 reelection bid for governor of Arkansas, a seat which he regained in 1982, it should be noted.

And if the decision is put in the hands of the superdelegates, five gets you three that the nod will go to the junior senator from New York.

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