Weak Night for Hillary

Posted: May 07, 2008 10:27 AM
Weak Night for Hillary

As John King said on CNN last night that Hillary cannot change the math so she needed to change the psychology of the race but she didn't do that.

For those who may have missed it, Obama won North Carolina by a wide margin; Clinton won Indiana by a smaller margin. Under the rule DNC rules, Obama got much closer to the magic number of 2,025 delegates, Clinton got additional delegates, too, but not as many.

Clinton needed a surprise in North Carolina. She didn't get it.

Hillary Clinton is running out of time and delegates.

My debate partner on these election nights at Associated Press TV, Jenny Backus, told me last night that the Obama campaign will, perhaps as early as today, begin to dribble out superdelegates announcing their support.

The big torrent of supers will be held close to the vest by Obama until after the end of the Democratic primary season - June 3 with elections in Montana and South Dakota. After that, Backus suggested, they will roll out enough supers to put Obama over the top, or at least so close to the necessary number that even the Clinton superdelegates will begin to waver.

The Obama people were giddy over the fact that, even with the Jeremiah Wright "Me-Tour," and the loss in Pennsylvania (which was preceded by the "bitter" business), Obama regained his momentum and his footing with the huge victory in North Carolina.

Speaking of Jeremiah Wright, according to the AP's Alan Fram: Wright was a looming factor in the voting, with half in each state saying he was important in choosing a candidate. Of that group, seven in 10 in Indiana and six in 10 in North Carolina backed Clinton, including eight in 10 whites. Those discounting him as a factor heavily favored Obama.

And these, remember, were voters in Democratic primaries.

Barack Obama's speech (which was delivered well after North Carolina had been called but before Indiana had been decided) indicated he believes this is all but over. As Republican media guru Alex Castellanos said on CNN, it more than a victory speech, "It sounded like an acceptance speech."

Hillary Clinton's speech, on the other hand, sounded very much like it was one step away from a farewell-and-thank-you. The Clinton campaign - unlike election night in Pennsylvania when they were off to the side during her remarks - stuck Bill and Chelsea in the frame with Bill directly behind her.

This appeared to me to be aimed at helping to convince supporters and leaners to SEND MONEY.

As of midnight last night, pretty much everything was in from Indiana except Lake County which is heavily African-American and is in the Chicago media market. While the Lake County officials were claiming they were counting absentee ballots before releasing any numbers, there were some - well, there was me - who claimed they were waiting for everything else in the Hoosier state to come in so they knew how many votes Obama needed to win the state.

Maybe not, but it looked pretty suspicious.

In the end, Indiana will be close enough so that even if Obama wins, Clinton will not drop out; so this will go on for at least another month.