05 March 2008


Anyone here know what a "pyrrhic victory" is? Cuz that's what Hillary Clinton won tonight.

To be sure, she deserves congratulations for bringing her campaign back from the written-off by sheer force of will. I don't think there's any question anymore that she's a fighter. And although this blog and this writer are endorsing Barack Obama for president, we should make it clear that we would be perfectly fine (albeit not, perhaps, dandy) with Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee. ABM. Anyone But McCain.

The funny thing that the "liberal" media (who should be all over this if there were at all liberal) largely missed is that ultimately Clinton's victories in these states -- even Texas -- don't actually matter one whit.

Seriously. I know! You'd think a bit state like Texas and a pivotal state prone to vote-rigging like Ohio would carry more weight. In the general election, that will be true. But tonight, those votes are all but meaningless.


Because the Democratic primary system is hopelessly f-ed up. I mean seriously.

To explain: because Hillary did not get landslide victories anywhere (in fact, it appears she won the Texas primary but lost the Texas caucus -- see what I mean?), she splits most of the delegates with Obama roughly 50-50. An extra one here or there for her, but that's it.

So after millions of dollars and a frankly incredible turnaround push, she wins -- perhaps two delegates more than Obama.

That's the guy who has a 156-delegate lead on her. Okay, make that 154.

There are 12 more states, 640 delegates and two principalities (or whatever the hell Puerto Rico and Guam are, I don't even know anymore) to go. Obama is quite likely to win most of the remaining contests (indeed, some speculate it could be as much as "all but two of them") and none of the remaining states have delegate rules as complicated or as stupid as Texas and Ohio.

Bottom line: It is mathematically impossible for Hillary to win enough delegates to cinch the nomination, and highly improbable that she will be able to even or significantly narrow the gap between her and Obama now. It's almost certain that Obama will arrive at the convention with between 100 and 200 more delegates than her. Possibly even more.

Thus, the Democratic nominee will either be chosen by the superdelegates, or Obama will agree to be Clinton's vice-president, bowing to her superior resume.

My hat is off to Clinton for keeping this race interesting. Some say that a prolonged primary battle is bad for the Democrats. Not at all. The media loves a horse race, and the Republican one is officially over (God's candidate lost, so that makes McCain -- what, Satan's candidate?? But ... but I thought God couldn't lose!? Wait, my faith is in crisis ...). So guess which party gets craploads of free publicity up to and including the normally snoozerific convention? That's right!

DNC Chair Howard Dean will now emerge from the shadows and have to start taking charge of some things. If he's smart, the first thing he'll bring up at the convention is a need to reform this broken delegate system. It's not fair to either of them, really -- though Obama's campaign has been extraordinarily canny in picking their fights in states where they can't really lose (delegates, that is). If this was actually his strategy, the man (or his strategist) is a genius.

I'm reminded of Eddie Izzard in a bit from Dress to Kill where he visually shows why English movies suck compared to American ones by stuffing his face with popcorn during the (US) space-monkey-battle sequence. If he were commenting on the race as it stands today, he'd be NOMing his way to morbid obesity right now. :)

PS. Oh btw more good news for liberals -- the Democratic voter turnouts in these things is more than double the Republican turnout. Sux to be Red!

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