Wednesday, May 14, 2008

No Resolve and A Sore Loser.

By all rights, the Democratic race for the presidential nomination should be over. Barack Obama has this nomination in the bag. There is no way that Hillary Clinton can mathematically (or even mystically) win the nomination. But, don't tell that to West Virginia. Last night, they gave Hillary Clinton a win by a ratio of "over" 2-1/2 to one with Barack Obama only getting 26% to Hillary's 67%. A massive blowout!

This win was telling. The wider than expect margin for Hillary Clinton says that Democrats, at least in West Virginia, haven't resolved themselves to Barack Obama being their Democratic candidate for President. In fact, it is a slap in the face to Barack Obama. By now, the Democrats should have been closing ranks behind their presumed winner and the margins should be shrinking. But, they didn't.

A lot of the press categorized the West Virginians as less educated, predominately poor, white, and blue collar (the Lil' Abner scenario). They, in the defense of Barack Obama's loss, said that West Virginia appeals more to Hillary Clinton's supporters. Further, they said that Barack's 'states' represent the more educated, and have a higher percentage of blacks. Well, I'm sorry. Isn't the Democratic base and the appeal of the Democratic message (like Obama's) more fitting to a West Virginia model? You would think that Barack's 'promises' of everything to everybody would draw those people into the mania that surrounds him. But, it doesn't because they don't seem to believe him. Elections are all about perceptions and trust, and West Virginia told Barack Obama that they don't believe him and they don't trust him. Further, I think West Virginia exposes the depth to which Barack Obama's elitist comments on "clinging to guns and religion" may have hurt him.

To top everything off, Barack figuratively gave the West Virginians the middle 'finger' last night. He left the State early to campaign elsewhere and he didn't even give a concession speech. He made no effort to politically smooth over his loss by talking to the West Virginians vis a vis a healing concession that would appeal to them in the upcoming general election. He acted like a sore loser. It merely furthered the "elitist" label that he picked up in his "clinging to guns and religion" San Francisco speech. His actions (or lack of actions) of last night may have hurt him more than can be actually calculated. He may have 'furthered' the divide between Democrats that seems to exist between his backers and the Clinton backers. A divide that may ultimately seal a loss of the Presidency in the fall.

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