Sunday, March 09, 2008

Has The Fat Lady Sung?

Dick Morris, once an advisor to President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton, thinks so.

“The race is over,” Morris writes in his column, “The results are already clear. Obama will go to the Democratic Convention with a lead of between 100 and 200 elected delegates. The remaining question is: What will the superdelegates do then? But is that really a question? Will the leaders of the Democratic Party be complicit in its destruction? Will they really kindle a civil war by denying the nomination to the man who won the most elected delegates? No way. They well understand that to do so would be to throw away the party’s chances of victory and to stigmatize it among African-Americans and young people for the rest of their lives. The Democratic Party took 20 years to recover from the traumas of 1968 and it is not about to trigger a similar bloodletting this year.”

How does Sen. John McCain, the likely Republican nominee for president, fit into the mix?

He serves as a guarantor that the superdelegates will behave and not, as the Clinton camp hopes, throw the nomination her way. McCain would be a perfectly acceptable choice for Democrat voters should they think the nomination was gerrymandered by superdelegates pledged to Clinton.

Morris, usually a pretty good bean counter, suspects that Obama will retain his delegate lead through the remaining primaries, but even if it were possible that Clinton should narrow the gap, “The proportional representation system makes a knockout impossible and so mutes relatively narrow victories as to make them almost inconsequential.”

Even so, Morris predicts that Clinton will not give up the fight. Hubris becomes her.

McCain is no match, Morris thinks, for Barack Obama: “If Obama prevails, [McCain’s nomination] won’t be worth the paper on which it is written. The giant killer, Obama will have soared to new heights of popularity and McCain won’t be able to bring him back to Earth in the nine weeks that will remain.”

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