Tomasky on Dem Race

Very shrewd analysis by Michael Tomasky.

He begins with noting the strangeness of a week where some predicted Obama was on the ropes to increased calls for Clinton to withdraw and save the party a nasty fight and rather unite to focus on the common opponent of McCain.

His basic argument is that Sen. Clinton has to win Pennslyvania, North Carolina and Indiana all by large margins to stay in the race.  NC and IN vote on May 6th. So on May 7th, he says, she is either in serious contention or out.

I was saying in the aftermath of the Ohio and Texas primaries that with all the focus on Pennsylvania, the real states to watch were North Carolina and Indiana and that Obama should keep it close enough in Penn, but really park himself in the other two states, win them and then Hillary will be forced out.

Tomasky:

So if we wake up on May 7 and Clinton doesn’t have clear momentum, and the evidence that the Wright association will badly damage Obama in November is anything less than manifest, I’d expect that the calls will mount for her to come to terms with the numerical reality and end her campaign.

Whether she’ll respond to them is another question. Her campaign has given every indication that it will stay active throughout the primary season, which ends on June 3. She’ll hope that she’s close enough to muddy things up.

May still gives Obama enough time to spend the summer hammering McCain who otherwise is opening his mouth and not intelligent things are coming out it.  But he gets a pass on them because everybody is focused on the Dem race.

It gives Obama plenty of time to unleash his fundraising and organizational machine on the unsuspecting, unprepared McCain and Republican.

McCain is not a good campaigner; his positions put him in serious trouble relative to large segments of the society.  He is very very vulnerable but not if the Democrats fight through the summer and worse to the convention.

He will be running essentially on his personality and media/political image.

When it comes to national televised debates, the age difference and the emotions/images reflected in that will seriously come to bear. Obama (who is getting better at debates though admittedly not his strongest suit)  has gotten much better at policy and will

McCain has lots of practice in townhall settings, but is not a very good debater.  And increasingly (especially on the economy) does not talk policy but rather stances:   staying tough, fighting, winning, not backing down.  These are a recipe for him to look buffoonish.  Especially if he gets combative and intemperate and Obama remains cucumber cool.

But the Wright issue while I think cauterized in the Democratic race, while re-surface to be sure in the general, and Obama will have to do more than his speech on the subject.

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Published in: on March 24, 2008 at 2:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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