Tuesday, February 12, 2008
The results are in: Sen. Barack Obama has won decisive victories in all three of the Maryland, Virgiania and DC "Potomac Primaries" Tuesday. His momentum is tremendous. Something's happening here that's hard to ignore. His campaign is alive and brimming with excitement. This gives him an impressive string of eight consecutive victories in the last 4 days in addition to the thirteen states he won on Super Tuesday. With each passing day, with each new speech, Barack Obama is starting to not only look like his party's clear nominee but, compared to the stiff, aging, conservative Republican relic John ("My Friends") McCain, he's also looking like our next president. It's very hard to watch all this and not get goosebumps; a strong sense that history's in the making.
The contrast between Obama and McCain is startling. Just watch their speeches. Behind the junior Senator from Illinois is a crowd of young, old, white, black, male, female. On stage with Arizona's McCain are old rich white men like Sen. John Warner and Rep Tom Davis. The 72-year-old McCain represents the past. A generation of conservative war-mongers and tax cut whores. The same-old-same-old standard GOP rhetoric. The 46-year-old Obama represents the future. He embodies the change for which Americans are desperate. He's inspiring a legion of young people to get involved in their future. He's arousing voters across the land with his thrilling speeches about a new world. About a new America. About the need to end the war, end the recession and create jobs, educate our young, provide universal heathcare for our children. To win back America's respect on the global stage. To bridge the divide between red and blue, between black and white. Wow. It's really hard not to get swept up in his passion and bask under his shining light.
What about Sen. Hillary Clinton, the once "sure thing?" For the former First Lady, the picture is getting bleaker and bleaker with each primary and caucus. Obama's raging momentum threatens to put a serious crimp in her fundraising efforts, which are already struggling. In politics, the money tends to follow the winner. Donors don't like toss money on a perceived loser. As the losses pile up, the delegates go to Obama and the financial pipeline narrows, Clinton is going to feel Obama's dust in her eyes. Her campaign will start to appear desperate, the consultants (if they don't get fired) will constantly change her message, and there will be missteps. She will look like a loser, and that's already starting.
Of note Tuesday are the critical inroads Obama made with certain voter groups. He picked up the union vote, white catholics, white males and came almost even with Clinton on whites overall. She still holds onto white females. Another potential wrench for Hillary are the so called "committed" Super-Delegates, who are technically not so committed after all. They can change their minds at any time. It's highly possible, and even likely, that they will see the handwriting on the wall like they did in 1984 when they unceremoniously dumped Gary Hart at the last minute to back Walter Mondale.
Obama deserves major kudos. He's running a brilliant, historic campaign. He now seems unstoppable. Change is in the air.