Suzanne Fields

The primary reinforced the caution offered by Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell. "You've got conservative whites here, and I think there are some whites who are probably not ready to vote for an African-American candidate." This is something that terrifies insiders in both the Obama and Clinton camps, but it's something you're not supposed to say. The results of the first primary after the extensive coverage of the racist jeremiad of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Sen. Obama's "spiritual mentor," validate the governor's warning.

Sen. Obama clearly doesn't like questions that make him uncomfortable. When a reporter interrupted his waffle at Gilder's Diner in Scranton to ask what he thought of Jimmy Carter's bizarre overtures to Hamas, the candidate demurred: "Why can't I just eat my waffle?" Asked again, he repeated his plaintive wish to be alone with his waffle. "Waffle" as a verb means "to hold back, to falter, to be unsure or weak." Was the senator waffling? (The hungry guy never did finish his breakfast, but someone whisked the plate away and put it up for sale on eBay.)

The math certainly isn't kind to Hillary. There aren't enough primaries left to fish for enough elected delegates, not even counting Florida and Michigan, which the national party is determined not to do. But the superdelegates, who, as elected officials, are supersensitive to sudden shifts in the wind, have it within their power to choose between Hillary and Obama in Denver. Superdelegates were, after all, created to overcome the proportionate rules that enable a winner to earn fewer delegates than a popular vote suggests (s)he deserved.

In Hillary Rodham's famous commencement speech at Wellesley nearly four decades ago, she urged the Class of '69 to restore the meaning of such simple words as "integrity and trust." The campaign of '08 has thrown these words back at her. In her Wellesley speech she paraphrased a theme from the poem "East Coker" by T.S. Eliot: "There's only the trying, again and again and again; to win again what was lost before." Words to survive by.

Suzanne Fields

Suzanne Fields is currently working on a book that will revisit John Milton's 'Paradise Lost.'

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