Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Noah Nails It...

...the current Democratic nomination race, that is.

I just got back from my first American Government class of the day--and coincidentally, we were talking about voting and elections today--and afterwards, I chatted for a while about the Democratic primary contests with a political junkie in the class. We argued for a while about what was going to come next. How much good media spin was Senator Clinton going to get out of winning Texas last night, even if Senator Obama ultimately takes from the convoluted Texas process more pledged delegates home? How much will Obama be able to sell "respect the process" when he comes into the convention months and months from now still slightly ahead in delegates, but with Clinton being able to push the "overall Democratic voter support" line? How will the superdelegates act--will they figure that the amount of general popular support for Obama would result in a backlash and a drop in voter turnout if they fought tooth and nail to instill Clinton as the nominee, or will they conclude that the particular swing voters that Clinton can appeal to need to be brought out in the general election, and so negative publicity and nationwide voter turnout be damned? My student said he figured that, especially if the Pennsylvania contest doesn't settle things (and it probably won't), then all that remains is for some number of superdelegates (50? 100?) to band together and insist to the Clinton campaign that putting her over the top at the convention would be too great a price to pay come November; I responded that he was underestimating just how much negativity the Clintons might be willing to take on. Then we had to go our separate ways. I came back here to the office, thinking I'd write something up on this...

...only to find that the consistently brilliant Noah Millman has already put most everything that needs to be said (every data point, every poll, every strategy and argument) about Clinton vs. Obama together into a very smart dialogue on The American Scene. Go there, and learn all you need to know. I did.

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