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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sweet Caroline, Good Times Never Seemed So Good

Neal Diamond reference, anyone? You know you knew it.

After Barack's big win tonight, he's sure to get a few good days of media mojo. All of this week's spin about how he's losing white votes without gaining black ones, how he can't take a punch, and how his being dragged into the mud will sully his "politics of hope," well, that's yesterday's meme. Today's headlines will be: Hillary can't throw a punch, Bill can't shut up, and Obama can't give a speech that's less than "transcendent" even as he's sharpening his elbows. Uh oh. If there's one thing we've learned in this campaign so far, it's that Democratic voters respond with unquenchable anger to oppressive media narratives, no matter who the beneficiary is.

But let's savor the moment. Obama's 28-point win beat the most wildly optimistic polls, which had him winning by 22 (versus a low of +3 in ARG). And yet, despite that overwhelming margin, TMcD suspects that Nana and Pop McD may have thrown their votes away on some well-coiffed white boy, losing their chance to tell their young Boo, years from now, that they had stood for something back when it mattered, that they had voted for hope, for unity, and for the future. Those chances don't come along very often. At least not in South Carolina.


At 8:36 AM, Blogger Scott said...

Quick Questions: Why does Hil have so many delegates: 230 vs 153 for BO? I noticed a heading of superdelegates. Who are these guys? Is there a chance that BO can win in the "delegate" count but lose due to "superdelegates"?

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Scott said...

BTW, that was some speach he gave afterward:

At 9:46 AM, Blogger tenaciousmcd said...

Scott, the "superdelegates" are party officials (state party chairs, congressmen, etc.) who get to vote as delegates alongside those delegates selected by primaries and caucuses. B/c she's the establishment candidate, HRC lined up a lot more of those votes early, although Obama has been catching up and those votes are not pledged, so they could potentially change. Obama is leading among delegates actually voted for in early states.

At 1:00 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Let's just hope the voters aren't as fickle as one of Neil Diamond's lovers and Obama doesn't end up singing:

More delegates were mine till the time that I found them, voting for the NY senator, lovin' her...

At 4:03 PM, Blogger Frances said...

The media mojo would probably be better for Barack if there weren't a State of the Union Address tomorrow night, a Republican primary in Florida (not to mention Hillary's vile attempt to capitalize on the FL Democratic nonrace) on Tuesday, and a Republican debate (in the wake of the big Florida event) on Wednesday night.

If Ted Kennedy goes through with his endorsement of Obama tomorrow, perhaps that will extend the media mojo for a few hours. And it will also mean that Obama will have all the major statewide elected officials in Massachusetts in his column (Kerry, Kennedy, and Patrick) looking to Feb. 5.

I still fully expect to have my hopes dashed on Super Tuesday. But still there is much to be happy about . . . for the moment. Obama did everything he could have POSSIBLY done to take advantage of South Carolina. He HAD to win the state just to avoid being wiped out by Hillary, but he managed with his crushing victory to exceed expectations. And, as we all know, it's always about "expectations."

As another big positive, last night's outcome will help neutralize the "all race all the time" discussion of the Democratic nomination race.

The scale of the victory helps to change the momentum, or at least to cancel out Hillary's momentum. And, bonus! for Obama: all the discussion about "unfair attacks" and Bill Clinton's role MAY make the Clintons a bit more cautious about attacks going forward.

But, of course, the big question is whether Obama's message will reach all those low information voters in time for Super Tuesday. How can Obama do it in 9 days? Somehow I feel that Hillary Clinton the hope killer is about to come roaring back with another reality check.

At 8:51 PM, Blogger tenaciousmcd said...

Frances, I suspect you're probably right: O may have some mo, but the long term advantages still lie with HRC.

One thing I wouldn't worry much about, however, is the SotU. Who's really paying attention anymore? One of the things I've been surprised about this year (but shouldn't have been) is how quickly Georgie Boy has slipped to the media sidelines. His SotU has been irrelevant for at least the last two years, and this year I expect it to be a small, fast-moving blip that never enters the center of the radar screen. Now maybe he pulls out some bombshell. But what could that be? Hydrogen car? Mission to Mars? Inavading some Muslim country? Yawn. BTDT.

Florida? That could be a good story. But the GOP race is still the undercard, and everybody knows it. Plus, all the potential surprises have been drowned in the mud-dle.

My main concern is the 2/5 map. BO needs to pick off a big state currently in the HRC column. But which one? I'd guess California, but that will be a bear of a task.


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