Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Crushing Defeat: Hillary Takes Three Big Ones

Amazing. Hillary Clinton has tonight forged a remarkable comeback--once more. Outspent two to one by Barack Obama in these crucial states Hillary pulled out her decisive victories in the last week perhaps last three days. One is struck by the size of these victories--at this moment around 10;30 on the west coast--Hillary has managed a landslide in Rhode Island (18 %) and in the great bell weather state of Ohio--a truly decisive 12 point victory regrouping her critical coalition of white working class men, women, especially senior women, seniors in general and Latinos. In Texas she is leading Obama by nearly 100,000 votes in a contest that attracted two million voters in yet another important general election state.

White male working class voters support Hillary in clear numbers. One danger for the democratic party is that the liberal elite wing and its working class base begin to pull apart. Race is still a powerful force in American politics. Latinos and white workers are beginning to coalesce around Hillary; black voters and young multi-cultural 30 somethings are strongly supporting Obama. This is dangerous ground for Democrats: these two broad and important elements of the Democratic party must find a political accommodation in the difficult contested days ahead. If neither candidate can garner sufficient votes to win at the convention without super delegate support then a compromise must be found. Only one scenario works: Obama is young enough to make an excellent Vice President. Hillary is too old to return to the fray in another 8 years.

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