February 06, 2008


SAM SMITH, PROGRESSIVE REVIEW - The most important part of what happened on Super Tuesday is that now the Democrats can't fail to nominate Barack Obama without seriously hurting themselves. The Obama campaign, justified or not, has brought out a stunning number of normally apathetic or discouraged voters. The Clintons are about as exciting as Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz reruns. Those who love them will always love them, but they tend towards the older crowd and no new constituency has been built.

If Obama wins, the Clinton crowd will fall in line, but if Clinton wins an uncertain but impressive number of seldom voters may say to themselves, "I guess it doesn't work," and just stay home. Combine that with Obama's excellent showing in the red states and with white males and the still to be featured seamy past of the Clintons and there doesn't seem to be much choice any more.

Think of it like a hardened pro. Which do you want: Mr Hope, Mr Nice, Mr Clean who is bringing mobs of new voters to the polls or a candidate who had three close business partners go to prison, almost got indicted herself and who said "I don't remember" or something similar 250 times in responding to congressional inquiries about her own behavior?

All ideology and personality aside, the Democrats have really no choice but to go with Obama or expect a downturn of their fortunes as the new constituents Obama brought to the party and out of their living rooms watch their candidate's defeat and decide that maybe this isn't the year for hope after all.