After a long, difficult week in Democratic politics, it would appear that Sen. Barack Obama's momentum is back on track following his universally lauded speech on race and his endorsement by New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. According to Gallup's daily tracking poll, Obama regained his lead over Sen. Hillary Clinton by 48% to 45%over the weekend. The week before, after the Rev. Wright scandal broke but before Obama's speech, Clinton pulled ahead with a 49%-42% lead...her first lead in about 7 weeks. The week before, Obama led 50%-44%. What a roller-coaster.
But kudos to the junior Senator from Illinois. He addressed the Rev. Wright controversy head-on, and it worked. It's another painful reminder of what Sen. John Kerry didn't do in 2004. Maybe if he had been as honest and forthright, he'd be sitting in the White House right now instead of the reckless cowboy we've been saddled with (pun intended).
While I've been saying, and still believe, that it ain't over until it's over, and that the race, and Hillary's quest for the presidency, should be allowed to continue without the divisive bickering back and forth between warring Democrats, it's becoming harder and harder to fathom just how Clinton can pull off a win without some major new Obama scandal surfacing. But I'm not ready yet to call for her exit, which is a bit premature. We need to see the outcome of the April 22nd Pennsylvania (188 delegates) primary and May 6th contests in Indiana (84) and North Carolina (134) before calls for Clinton to quit become truly reasonable and justified. If the facts on the ground at that time point to a clear Obama path to victory, her exit at that time would give Obama over three months before the convention to begin his campaign against the presumptive GOP nominee, Sen. John McCain.
To be sure, should Hillary quit the race in May and throw her full support behind Obama, as her supporters are assured to do, we would have party unity against the Repugs six months before the general election. Let's give both candidates, and the process, time to evolve naturally. It's much better for the party that way.
On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. We're very pleased to announce that one of last year's grant recipients, Cynthia Wade, just won an Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject for "Freeheld." We are proud of Cynthia and to have supported this film. Your generous contribution will go a long way towards helping us continue to achieve our very important mission.