Can Obama Win On Super Tuesday? I Think So
When Caroline's endorsement, appearing as an Op Ed page article in this morning's New York Times, is followed by that of her uncle, Sen. Ted Kennedy, as the New York Times is reporting will happen tomorrow at a rally at American University, they will be gold to the Obama campaign, especially in the Latino neighborhoods where Sen. Hillary Clinton has appeared strong.
The Boston Globe reported today that Ted Kennedy will campaign for Obama in California, New Jersey, Arizona and other states where there are large numbers of labor union members and Latinos, and that Caroline Kennedy will also appear with her uncle and Obama at American University tomorrow. (Within hours of the report of Kennedy's impending endorsement, Rep. Xavier Becerra, a leader of the Los Angeles Latino community and senior Latino in the House, announced for Obama).
But there is much more happening after Obama's big victory last night in South Carolina than the Kennedy endorsements, important as they are.
Is that cracking we hear this morning? Listen carefully. I believe it is the cracking of the Clintons' campaign to restore divisive leadership to the USA.
Oh, they are not ready to give up yet. Just last night in Missouri, Bill Clinton was comparing Obama's South Carolina victory to those won years ago by Jesse Jackson. The poor silly oaf. If Bill Clinton really believes that Obama's campaign is comparable to Jesse Jackson's, then he has lost his marbles. If he keep playing the race card like he did in South Carolina, Hillary' political fortunes are going to continue to nosedive. Doesn't she have either the smarts or the fortitude to order him to shut up?
Assuming that on Super Tuesday Obama's home state of Illinois is sure to support him, then Obama must concentrate on five states between now and Super Tuesday, Feb. 5 -- New York, New Jersey, California, Georgia and Alabama. In all, he should be able to make substantial inroads on the Clinton lead, and he may win some of those states.
California and New Jersey are among the states that permit independents to vote in the party primary of their choice, and Obama has done very well among independents.
The fact is, every time Obama speaks, he is gaining adherents. No one, not even Sen. John McCain, can hold a candle to his speaking ability. No one can inspire the American people like he can.
Too much, by far, is being made of Obama's 80% support among black South Carolina voters and 24% support among white voters. That preoccupation ignores two salient facts: Obama's 50% of the white vote in South Carolina aged 18 to 35, and the fact that former Sen. John Edwards drained away quite a few white votes.
If Edwards stays in the race, as he vows to do, then whatever votes he gets are going to come out of Clinton's hide.
Last night, while the news of South Carolina was reverberating around the country, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the most important paper in Missouri, another Super Tuesday state, was endorsing Obama and McCain for the respective party nominations. It is the latest example of a large move in the print press toward the two men of character in the race.
"This year, voters have the chance to turn the page on 28 years of contentious, greed-driven politics and move into a new era of possibilities," the Post-Dispatch said..
"Mr. Obama offers the greatest potential for truly transformative change. On the Republican side, Mr. McCain's independence and integrity have the clear edge in a flawed field."
Also important is the column in the New York Times today by Frank Rich, arguing that a Clinton candidacy in the fall would run thje risk of handing the race to the Republicans.
Rich, who generally knows what is going on, writes, notably, "Up until this moment, Hillary has successfully deflected rough questions about Bill by saying, 'I'm running on my own,' or, as she snapped at Barack Obama in the last debate, 'Well, I'm here, he's not.' This sleight of hand became officially inoperative once her husbabd becane a co-candidate, even to the point of taking over entirely when she vacated South Carolina last week. With 'two for the price of one back as the unabashed modus operandi, both Clintons are in play.
"For the Republicans, that means not just a double dose of the one steroid, Clinton hatred, that might yet restore their party's unity but also two fat targets..."
The apt headline on Rich's article was, "The Billary Road to Republican Victory."
Stay tuned. The next week is going to be one of the most exciting in American politics since Abraham Lincoln emerged in 1860.
Three skiers died from avalanches in the San Gabriel Mountains near Wrightwood over the weekend, and one of the finest stories in the Los Angeles Times this morning was one on avalanches and the struggle to be safe from them, by using new equipment, by Tami Abdollah.
Labels: Presidential campaigning