Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum
Raves/Rants about the goings-on on a little blue inconsequential planet in a small and relatively uninspiring solar system which is on the far end of a small and wholly unspectacular galaxy in the large universe.

Clinton wins the battle, Obama wins the war...

Category: , , By Satchal
...But McCain wins the election?

Last night, the Democratic nomination race held pretty much to serve, with Clinton cleaning up in Kentucky and Obama completing his Pacific Northwest sweep. Obama has also won the majority of votes, meaning he could potentially hit the magic number of pledged delegates in the next few weeks (particularly after May 31, when Michigan and Florida are decided). However, the only candidate who can be thrilled with this outcome is John McCain.

To whit: It's clear both Democratic candidates have well-established support bases. The problem? Over the past few weeks, Obama has essentially conceded the "working-class" white voter bloc, particularly in West Virginia and Kentucky, and Clinton has basically locked up the mid-Atlantic white vote. The risk? If and when Obama locks up the nomination, he has no readily apparent strategy, other than the full-fledged support of Senator Clinton, to lock up these votes.

The latter part is no lock, either. Whatever the final decision regarding Michigan and Florida, Senator Clinton (or, more likely, folks from her camp) will contend that she won the popular vote (as it stands currently in those two states, she would), and her nomination was stolen from her by the pledged delegate system, in the same way Al Gore was cost the presidency in 2000. If her key support demographic feels their nominee was somehow gypped by the system, they could decide to stay home in November and not vote at all, or worse, throw their support behind McCain, whose party suddenly looks well-run in light of the fiasco that has become the Democratic nomination. Only the Dems could screw up an election in which they had the two most popular candidates with record-setting turn-outs and the other party had the ancient, once-unpopular guy and was responsible for a recession, a well-bungled war, and a disgruntled electorate fighting off Bush-fatigue.

So I love making sports analogies. To me, the '08 Dems are like the '03-'04 Los Angeles Lakers. Remember them? That Lakers team had arguably the two best players in the NBA (Shaq, Kobe), where the Dems have perhaps the two best candidates (Clinton, Obama). The Lakers also had two past-their-prime stars (Gary Payton, Karl Malone) looking to hitch their wagon to Shaq and Kobe for one last shot at glory, much like the Dems (John Edwards, Bill Clinton). Both had two wise elderly statesman-like leaders staunchly refusing to support either star (Phil Jackson, Al Gore).

So where am I going with this? The '04 Lakers greatly underachieved: their in-house squabbles cost them the chemistry needed to win the NBA championship, allowing a less-talented but more unified Detroit team to capture the glory. After the season, the team was broken up, with the aged, established star jettisoned in favor of the young, rising star. While the decision was the correct one, the team slipped into mediocrity and malaise and, though they eventually rebuilt around the young star and paired him with the right supporting cast, they did not rise again for another four years.

And will that scary parallel come to fruition this November?


1 comment so far.

  1. The Lethal One May 21, 2008 at 11:45 AM
    Couldn't have been a more appropriate analogy. Although you got to think that the Republican Party (i.e. Detroit Pistons) is weakening as we speak with seat losses in the special elections of Northern Mississippi and West Virginia, formerly strong red territories. With Bush's approval ratings so low, we only got to hope his association with McCain increases. Hypothetically that would be like Isiah Thomas coming back to coach the Pistons. Let's hope that happens.

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