Is It Enough?

Carol Platt Liebau
|
Posted: May 06, 2008 10:46 PM
Barack Obama has won convincingly in North Carolina; Hillary Clinton looks to be securing a much, much narrower win in Indiana.  So then the question will become: Is her Indiana victory enough?

No one's talking, of course, about whether it 's enough to keep Hillary in the campaign.  She'll go right on like the Energizer Bunny, and a win of any margin in the Hoosier state gives her a fig leaf for doing so.

But what will be interesting to see is whether the superdelegates now start flocking to Obama.  Ironically, the Wright debacle may actually have helped Barack.  First, there's the "rally 'round the (beleaguered) candidate" phenomenon, where Dems reach out to embrace one of their (beloved) own when he's under fire. 

But along with that may be coming a new sense of vulnerability -- a concern that an Obama nomination (which may be inevitable now, considering the continuing margin of elected delegates)  may not be as "bulletproof" as many Dems had previously assumed.  And with that may be coming a new sense of urgency about bringing the primary season to an end.  A very narrow Clinton win in Indiana may not be enough, given all this, to keep a lot of superdelegates for coming out for Barack.

One final note: In his speech tonight, Barack attempted to launch a preemptive strike against any criticism of him -- essentially terming it "divisive" per se.  Given the Wright debacle we've all witnessed over the last days and weeks, Obama is poorly positioned to complain about division.  After all, isn't it fair to ask him -- why is "divisive" rhetoric unacceptable when it's criticism of him,  but for 20 years, it was A-OK for his pastor to indulge in the most over-the-top and divisive kinds of criticism of America?