Paul  Weyrich

Media pundits now have begun to predict that Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) will be the Democratic Presidential nominee. Some even have pronounced that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) is finished. Washington pundit Chris Core, on WMAL Radio, one of the most able prognosticators in the country, had a celebration on his radio show to commemorate the end of the Clintons. The basis for these predictions is as Follows: Obama is leading in delegate count with Wisconsin and Hawaii expected to add to the total. Some so-called super delegates have come out in support of Obama though they had been expected to support Clinton. Pollsters have noted a shift in national support for Obama. This is the first time since national measurements have been taken beginning in mid-2007 that Clinton has not been in the lead.

Obama seems to have what former President George H. W. Bush called "the Big Mo." Is Clinton really finished? Don't believe it! First, Clinton's so-called "firewall" states are coming up. She is currently leading by large margins of about two-to-one in Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania. Were she to win big in those states she would then resume the lead in delegate count. She won New Mexico after nine days of counting, giving her a small boost in the media. If she does win big in those three major states she would be branded "the comeback kid" and she, not Obama, would have momentum as the primary season will have concluded. That, in turn, would affect the super delegates. They are elected officials who would be inclined toward Clinton and if they think she will be the nominee they won't hesitate to jump on her bandwagon.

Then there is the matter of Michigan and the all-important State of Florida. Those states have been deprived of the delegate count because the Democrats agreed that those states should be punished for holding primary elections before Super-Duper Tuesday. Now Senator Clinton, who is leading in both states, is calling for another vote. Clinton points out that for seven years Democrats have insisted that Florida was stolen from Vice President Al Gore as the United States Supreme Court ended the selected recounts in Florida and declared George W. Bush the President. Obama pointed out that he, Clinton and John Edwards all agreed to the punishment. "I wonder if I had won the Florida primary she would be clamoring for a recount," Obama said.

It is unclear if the Democratic National Committee will order a recount. To do so probably would cause an uproar among some in the Party. On the other hand, not to do so could enable Clinton to charge that Obama had deprived Democratic voters in Michigan and Florida of an impact in the 2008 primaries. In any case, Clinton is far from out of the race. Core may wish he never held had that commemoration. True, Clinton not only must win those "firewall" states but must win big due to the proportional system used by the Democrats. However, it always is a mistake to count out the Clintons. Were Obama to win who could imagine the nature and intensity of Clinton or Clinton-inspired revenge.


Paul Weyrich

Paul M. Weyrich is the late Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation.
 
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