Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hillary wins; race goes on

Yes, Hillary Clinton did win big victories last night; victories she desperately needed to stay in this race:

As Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton raced from border towns on the Rio Grande to farm communities in the Midwest trying to salvage her troubled presidential campaign in recent days, advisers at her Arlington headquarters were awash in mixed feelings about whether she should go on.

Decisive victories in both Ohio and Texas, they agreed, would justify staying in the race until the next big primary in Pennsylvania in seven weeks. Defeats in both of the big states would spell the end. But the prospect of a split decision or close results generated sharply different judgments from her strategists about her future.

Clinton wiped away the debate last night with a robust victory in Ohio and a narrow win in Texas. But as she vowed to keep campaigning, the tight vote in Texas signaled she may yet face a tough decision in coming weeks. The slim margin in the Texas popular vote and an additional caucus process in which she trailed made clear that she would not win enough delegates to put a major dent in Sen. Barack Obama's lead. And regardless of the results, she emerged from the crucible of Ohio and Texas with a campaign mired in debt and riven by dissension
Clinton plans to use her triumphs in Ohio and Texas, as well as in Rhode Island, to argue that she still has a credible claim to the Democratic nomination, despite the delegate math. Many in her circle believe she finally recaptured momentum on the campaign trail in recent days and managed to put Obama on the defensive by questioning his readiness to serve as commander in chief. If nothing else, they hope she has earned a new lease to make her case to the nation.

Appearing before jubilant supporters in Columbus last night, an energized Clinton seized on the Ohio victory and declared that she will go "all the way" to the White House. "Keep on watching," she said. "Together, we're going to make history."

Now, Hugh Hewitt rightly complained last night that Republicans that crossed over (she took 35% of the avowed conservative vote overall) resurrected her chances. "You let her out of Mordor, and Strider wasn't around to take her out," he opined on Monday, and repeatedly last night. I had called in earlier in his show, but quickly grabbed the phone to call back and explain why this strategy was sound.

First of all, neither one have the delegates to take the nomination right now. 2025 are needed to win the nomination, and 693 are left to go through April, May, and June ending with the final primary in Puerto Rico on 7 June. Obama has 1546 delegates; Hillary has 1449. There are 693 delegates left to go. Obama needs 479, and Hillary needs 576. There is no way that both of them will sweep the last primaries. As things stand right now, it looks like they'll split these contests, and if that's what happens, then we're looking at a brokered convention.

Secondly, this needs to drag out. Both of these people are quite beatable by John McCain. As long as this drags out, they're going to be burning through their money. As Jim Geraghty from NRO's Campaign Spot coined yesterday, Tuesday was the "Democrat Groundhog Day." Now we're guaranteed six more weeks of these two slinging mud at one another, wasting money, and digging into one another. And there's more fuel that's being thrown on the fire in the form of the Tony Rezko trial unfolding right now. If you listened to Hugh last night, you know that a lot of people are saying this little deal between Rezko and Obama doesn't come close to passing the smell test.

Third, McCain can sit on the sidelines, touring the nation, and having his rallies. He can go after BOTH potential nominees with ease. He can attack them on their inability to understand national security in a post-11 September world. He's going to go after the rookie (Obama) for being so naive and inexperienced. He'll go after Hillary on her laughable proposals of national health care and withdrawal from Iraq. He won't be spending nearly as much money as Hillary and Obama will be, and he'll be able to jump on either one when they open up a wound on one another.

Simply put, as long as this lasts, Hillary and Obama are going to beat on one another, waste money on one another, and both will go into the convention badly bloodied. (Obama already has a bloody nose as he was unable to put Hillary away last night, after taking eleven straight primaries.) Additionally, they are guaranteeing that there would be a brokered convention and a floor fight.

Oh, and one final thought. I know the MSM is saying that Rush Limbaugh caused this. Maybe, but we've been thinking that as McCain had the nomination sewn up, Republicans should cross the lines, and vote for Hillary. The longer they keep their contest up, the easier it will be to beat them. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this one out.

Publius II


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