Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Proven Wrong
Well, I wasn't as ready as I thought I was. Rather than the expected Obama win at 8.15 or so, it's a few minutes before 11 and he's conceding.

What happened? Who knows, really, but probably some combination of:

  • Independent New Hampshire voters breaking for McCain;

  • Overconfidence by the Obama organizers;

  • The most brilliant rope-a-dope strategy on the part of the Clintons since the Ali-Foreman fight; and

  • The "fuck you, Iowa" effect.

And now? Again, who knows. Two rumors on the tubes (as I will now call the Internet) earlier today were that Obama was in line to receive a union endorsement in Nevada that would have made him the overwhelming favorite in that state's vote, and that Clinton was perilously close to running out of money. She'll be able to raise money now, and that union endorsement--which had been expected Wednesday--is probably being reconsidered even as I sit here.

In that the turnaround gives more people the chance to be involved in the process, this is a good thing for everyone. In that it will ensure that whoever the Democrats nominate will be much more battle-tested than might have been the case had either candidate won the first two contests, that's probably a good thing for the Democrats. In that it raises the hopes of perpetuating the Clinton dynasty, I'm less than thrilled. But life is full of these little disappointments, and after November 2004, I'm pretty certain there's only so much any election defeat can hurt.


Brian said...

"But the race feels over to me now--I'm fully prepared to be proven wrong after polls close tonight, but given the reported record turnout in New Hampshire it's hard to imagine the Obama train was derailed today. "

Ouch, Im kinda surprised that you'd ever call a Clinton dead prematurely but you certainly werent the only one.

David said...

Yup, I was way wrong. Not the first time, not the last.

Of course, the thing about making a million predictions is that your ass is covered in almost any circumstance. For about a year I've been writing that Edwards and Obama (and the others) all had potential to split the "Not Digging Hillary" vote. If you add their two totals together, they whomped her, and I'm pretty confident that most Edwards supporters would prefer Obama.

The longer both of them stay in, the better her odds become. Given that Edwards has pledged to stay in all the way--he doesn't have much else to do, which helps with this--she could reap the benefits of that split through the whole primary season.

Chris said...

The high turnout is a positive for Obama, not Hilary. The Clinton party should try to suppress voter turnout...because the status quo voter is going for Hilary, while Obama is bringing out a lot of first timers.

David said...

The whole Clinton appeal is so contradictory on its face.

She's the candidate of "loyal Democrats," but is clearly less progressive than Edwards and probably less progressive, given her corporate support, than Obama. Indies disdain her, and the media detests her. Fair or not, those things matter in presidential elections.

Two American prospect writers nailed this last year when they wrote that Clinton is a moderate who is perceived as a liberal. Obama's closer to the opposite, maybe because of that "conservative temperament" that Andrew Sullivan keeps going on about.