Saturday, March 22, 2008
The Unbelievable Comes True
The most unexpected scenario is about to come true for the Democrats. They have talked it down for months. No one would have predicted it but we are now headed for the most contested nomination in American History; Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama battling for the Democratic nomination in the August Convention in Denver. The pervasive belief among the experts and pundits has been that Hilary Clinton cannot catch Barack Obama in the delegate count (Ergo, Obama gets the nomination). That is about to come unraveled because of Obama’s troubles with his pastor, his church and his defense of an anti-American sentiment that cannot be disguised, misdirected or obfuscated by the sudden appearance of an American flag lapel pin, a God Bless America attached to the end of every speech or tangled prose that compares Geraldine Ferraro to Malcolm X. While he may say he believes none of what his pastor said, or supports any of his church’s affiliation, he never-the-less attended for twenty years and provided monetary support throughout that time for the church’s activities. I won’t make fun of the people that have been saying this was a good week for Obama. I’ll ask instead: What if both candidates end the Primary period without enough delegates to reach the so-called "magic" number? Then what happens? The current view (Obama gets the nomination) is predicated on the idea that he will get the 2,024 delegates he needs during the Primary, but given the proportional system of the Democrat primary Barack needs 71-percent of the remaining delegates to reach the required number. Hilary needs 99-percent of the remaining delegates. If Obama and Hilary split the delegates they each get 283; not enough to win. If Hilary wins 60-40, she gets 339.6, Obama gets 226.4. That is still not enough to win. Even if Obama wins 60-40 he still doesn't get enough. If it goes 55-45 either way, both candidates cannot reach 2,024. The numbers do not lie. Many Democrats are convinced that Obama has the nomination locked up, but with only 566 delegates left its hard how to see how the Illinois senator wins before the convention. The only way for Barack to win is for Hilary to concede. Some people have been trying to sell that car, but there a no takers, and only a few window-shopping wishful thinkers. But if she is who I think she is, Hilary, Bill, and the rest of the team did the math too, and there is no way they lay down before the convention unless through some as-yet unforeseen miracle Obama gets 71-percent of the remaining delegates. There are many who argue that Obama may be able to overcome the "liberation theology" mess because the election is eight months away and by the time the election comes the Reverend Wright will be retired and old news. But it is still very likely the voting pool has been poisoned for the rest of the primary season, and that cannot be good for Obama. His willingness to give Wright a pass, call typical white people racist and his failure to answer the questions about his long-term membership in that church, will very likely drive the voters he needs into Hilary's camp: Or perhaps, drive them to not vote at all. Given the voter response to Obama’s issues with his church it is very likely he would not be the nominee if this had surfaced before the New Hampshire primary. What will the post-primary, pre-convention season be like if neither candidate wins enough delegates by June 30th? You can decide that for yourself, but I think it will be a long, hot summer.