By now, you've seen the results of yesterdays primary. Obama scored a resounding win in NC, and it was essentially a tie in IN. Obama is now within 200 delegates of securing the nomination. Based on the math, even if Clinton somehow manages to pull in her votes from FL and MI (without Obama getting any of the "undecideds"), she still cannot surpass his lead. He can now be declared the "presumptive nominee".
It seems even the candidates knew it last night. Obama's speech had the tinge of an acceptance speech and any comments about "his opponent" were directed at McCain. Clinton's speech was a bit schyzophrenic, with "we're going all the way" comments framing a center core that seemed to be a "thanks for all the hard work" good-bye speech. Edwards' last speeches and comments were laden with "we're going all the way" comments too, right up until he dropped out.
It didn't have to end up like this. It could have been Clinton. It could have gone all the way to the convention.
A funny thing happened on the way to the polling place, however. The voters decided they'd had enough of smear politics. They wanted respect.
Two years ago, the Republicans were swept out of the House in resounding numbers. At the time, the general consensus was that voters were hoping Democrats would bring an end to the war in Iraq. That may have been at least partially true. However, it's also true that the Republicans were awash in scandal and sleaze. Many Republican campaigns were repeating the disgusting character assassination techniques perfected by Karl Rove, with none of his velvet sledgehammer "subtlety". In a hint of things to come, the techniques did not work.
This year, it seems that Democratic and Republican voters alike are rejecting that type of campaigning, and selecting candidates that appeal to the populace to vote for them
, rather than against their opponents
. This - I believe - is where Clinton went wrong. Where Obama touted his record and spoke of his plans for the future, Clinton reverberated echos of campaigns past, including:
- Trying to keep the Rev. Wright story alive, saying who you associate with matters
- Harping on Obama's "bitter" comment
- Touting McCain as a better choice than Obama, who only "had a speech in 2002".
- Using robocalls to disenfranchise black voters
- Lying about her trip to Bosnia
- Lying about her position on NAFTA
- Trying to portray herself as "working class" by drinking a shot of Crown Royal in a badly staged photo op, while trying to paint Obama as "elitist".
- Pandering to voters in PA with tales of guns. :rolleyes:
I'm sure everyone could add more items to the list. This was her election to lose, and lose it she did. In general, we're more intelligent than some campaigns give us credit for. We will do the research and decide - based on the evidence - if the candidate is lying. We can see through the cheap campaign photo ops (forever known as "Dukakis moments"), and are insulted by these tactics.
We want a candidate that respects us
, respects the office, respects the Constitution, and - most of all - commands our respect. We now have that in our presumptive candidate.
Onward to November.