Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Primary 2008: North Carolina & Indiana - Call it a draw.

A very clever Hillary Clinton began her Indiana victory speech by using her opponent’s words to describe her Indiana win. Obama had predicted he’d win North Carolina, lose Pennsylvania, and that Indiana would be the tie-breaker. Welcome to the tie-breaker.

The Barackians will naturally try to minimize the Clinton Indiana victory as the Clintons will point to the heavy African American vote for Obama as a primary factor influencing outcome in North Carolina. Yet early polls showed Obama with a double-digit lead in Indiana, a state that borders Obama’s home state of Illinois. Hillary seems to have found her stride in closing the gap in the weeks before the primary and in winning the state. An interesting side note is that some of those urban border counties also went for Hillary, though by small margins.

In the overall race, Joe Scarborough of MSNBC’s Morning Joe pointed to the strangeness of it all with his perception that demographic polls were holding up even if the actual voting polls didn’t. He finds it strange, as many of us do, that African-Americans vote for Obama, college students vote for Obama, blue-collars vote for Hillary, as do women and seniors, etc. It would be hilarious and comic if it weren’t so scary a highlight to history. It means that many Americans have a knee-jerk, reactive and paper-thin view of politics and the world condition.

The only ray of hope is that not everyone is marching to the conventional drumbeats. Some “strata” seem less capable than other groups of crossing ethnic lines than others—blacks, who made up one-third of the vote in NC, voted 92% in favor of Obama. Another conventional drumbeat has been set by the Democratic Party boss Howard Dean who is in the embarrassing position of trying to force Hillary out of the race. This unrelenting clandestine pressure is taking its toll of the electorate. The more pressure is applied, the more glaring the fact that Florida and Michigan have been disenfranchised by Howard Dean and his Merry Henchmen. Get it? Henchmen. I think there’s some kind of latent agenda there… I’m sure you’ll agree.

My quote of the day couldn’t be more eloquent than if I’d made it up myself. It comes from Hillary Clinton’s Indiana victory speech:

“It would be a little strange to have a nominee chosen by 48 states.”

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