Counting Democratic pledged and super delegates, Barack Obama still maintains a healthy lead going into the next primary elections in Indiana and North Carolina on May 6th. Hillary Clinton is still trailing Obama by 125 delegates, 150 if you just count pledged delegates. Does Clinton still have a chance of upending Obama? Can she surpass him? Can she convince the super delegates that she is the best choice and despite what the pledged delegate count says, that she is the candidate that should receive the super delegate endorsement? If she does, she will be the Democratic nominee. Obama has alot of work in front of him. it didn’t have to be like this, Barack.
What happened in the Pennsylvania Democratic Primary?
In the Pennsylvania Democratic primary, there were lots of voters who decided their vote at the last minute and among those last minute voters about 60% voted for Clinton. Clinton also received alot of blue collar type votes, lots of women votes and lots of older votes.
But the real question is, why, after months and months of getting to know Clinton and Obama, are there so many people deciding their vote at the last minute? Are people wanting to vote for Obama but still walking uneasy not knowing what’s behind the rhetoric? Did the last debate held on April 16th have anything to do with it? The debate was watched by more Americans (10 million) than any other debate we’ve had so far in this 2008 Presidential Primary season.
Obama is definitely getting rocked a bit by probing interview questions but I guess that comes with the turf when you’re the front-runner because the the only negative to standing on the front-runner throne is that we Americans like to bounce you off of it. Pretty large negative. Just ask Britney Spears. Clinton began her campaign stating emphatically that she was more than prepared to be the next Commander-in-Chief, citing experience in the Oval Office as First Lady and as Senator from New York. Obama can’t match her record as hard as he tries – one term as Illinois Senator – so has tried to rely on rhetoric – “CHANGE” – and endorsements (read: fundraising).
Many American voters will prop you up on good looks and rhetoric but, in the end, it really does boil down to issues and experience which may explain teh high number of last minute voters in Pennsylvania. When pressed by the media about the effect on revenues given an increase in the capital gains tax, Obama seemed ill-prepared to answer. (The question was based on that fact that government revenues actually increased when the capital gains tax was cut. Conversely, government revenues decreased when the capital gains rate was increased.)
We are entering the proverbial 4th quarter of the 2008 Democratic Primary season. It is one thing to build a lead, another to maintain it and quite another to preserve it when the momentum swings to your opponent. American voters are asking the tough questions (through the media and blogs) and this requires that a few layers of Obama’s “issue onion” be peeled back. What is underneath the “CHANGE” rhetoric? Does he understand economics, social policy, foreign policy. Is he poised enough? When TV viewers witness frustration, discontent and non-answers, they project that on to other issues, challenges and confrontations. Can Obama stand strong against other foreign leaders? Can he ably negotiate with Republicans if the Democrats do not gain a majority in the mid-term elections? Basically, does he really and truly “get it”?
Clinton, on the other hand, is somewhat ascerbic and not as good-looking as Obama. She lacks charisma and really does have a whiney voice. Does she have to continually yell into that microphone of hers? Does she think I can’t hear her? But, in the end, who do you trust in the White House? Clinton is right. She has been there. She has had on-the-job training and was given Presidential-type responsibilities while acting as First Lady. She is smart, like Obama, but seems better prepared to stand up to resistance, discontent and threats. She seems better prepared to lead.
The opinon of the Lamppost is this: Obama could have secured the Democratic nomination a while back but super delegates, and now regular voters, are wondering if he really is
better than Clinton and if he even has a chance in hell of beating McCain. So many super delegates are worried, in our opinion, that he will be swallowed whole by McCain. And, we
tend to think this is possible because “change” rhetoric will not fly in the general Presidential election debates. The issues will be debated. A grasp of economics will be required. So will a pragmatic and experienced view of foreign policy.
The super delegates are awaiting a few things before they really commit to either Democratic candidate: one, they want to see how the country continues to vote in the seven (7 Democratic primaries that remain, and two, they will take measure of each as a viable opponent to John McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee for President. The feeling is that if Clinton continues to trail Obama in pledged delegate totals yet continues to mount momentum with primary victories, the super delegates will not support Obama and swing the nomination to Clinton. In effect, the race is tied. Whichi candidate will reach down and grab that “something extra” to convince us of his or her strength, intelligence, quick wit and poise?