Okay, I’m officially ready for this to be over

Up until now, I’ve been in the “the more the merrier” camp on the primaries. So long as things don’t get too nasty, I’ve figured that the ongoing campaign will be good for the Democrats. Obama, for example, has been steadily improving his debating skills, and both candidates are building grassroots organizations in primary states that will be battlegrounds in the general election.

Well, I am now officially off the bus. My sense is that the nastiness between the two campaigns is starting to do real damage.

And what’s troubling, of course, is that the chances of this ending anytime soon are starting to look iffy at best. While only a fool would put too much faith in polls at this point, the trend the last few days seems definitely pro-Clinton in both Ohio and Texas, but especially in Ohio.

So it comes down to a contest between the clear trend of the polls and Obama’s history of outperforming them.

Of course, even if Clinton does win the popular vote in both Ohio and Texas, she’s unlikely to come close to catching Obama in committed delegates. In fact, as many other people have noted, the math makes it hard to see how she can ever catch up.

An Ohio-Texas sweep would, however, give her bragging rights to the momentum. Then it’s off to Pennsylvania — which, of course, means almost two more months of this crap, at a minimum.

And by the way, a Clinton victory in both primaries wouldn’t necessarily represent a sea change sweeping her into office. More likely, I think, it would be a product of what I’ve previously described as political pre-wedding jitters. “Democrats like both of these candidates. Even more importantly, however, we’re desperate to win this time. We don’t want to fu*k it up again. Thus, any time we get close to sealing the deal, as happened before New Hampshire, there’s a tendency to step back and whisper, ‘but on the other hand . . .’”    

The attacks on Obama that have been coming from both sides — Clinton and McCain — may well be feeding these concerns. But there’s an important distinction to be made. To the extent some Democrats may be getting a little nervous about Obama, it isn’t because the thought of him being president scares them. No, the vast majority of Democrats are completely comfortable with having Obama be the one who takes that call at 3:00 in the morning. If Obama stumbles, it will be because, now that he’s under constant attack, people are starting to worry about his electability.

But even if Clinton could pull off a twofer today (which is far from assured, and probably even far from likely), Obama’s armies wouldn’t desert him, and my guess is he’d come roaring back. Clinton has shown the ability to break Obama’s surges just in the nick of time in the past. She’s never, however, shown any ability to build one of her own.

Unfortunately, whoever won under that scenario, wouldn’t do so until the bitter — and I mean bitter — end. 

And that’s starting to scare the hell out of me.

Update: This poll tends to support the idea that rank and file Democrats still aren’t comfortable with that “commitment thing.”

2 Responses to “Okay, I’m officially ready for this to be over”

  1. FreeDem Says:

    I would not worry too much. The candidate partisans may be bitter, and possibly even the candidates. but like you the rest of the Democrats (and I think the vast majority, in both parties) are not happy with the results, but are sick to death of the Gang Of Pirates, and will fight like hell to be rid of them. If the GOP wants to run Hillary quotes against Obama, even their own base will eat them for it.

    Obama needs to hone his quick reaction force, and beef up any weak spots in his campaign, some in the Clinton camp may have learned from the most skilled Negative campaigners in the biz, but he will have to face the Master after defeating the student in any case.

    I would also not worry much about McCain being able to raise his stature. He has his own problems with his base, still angry for the “Reformist Maverick” he has repudiated, putting off any who would have liked that by his repudiation of it. Only a very smart choice of VP would make him a contender for the hearts and minds (well hearts anyway) of any who would consider voting for him. Picking Rice would do that for most, but leave his “Southern Stratergy” in tatters, while Huckabee or Paul would get him more activists but a very small base overall.

    Much more of a worry is the still vicious Gang Of Pirates who do not care about anything resembling actual democracy, and will either derail the vote by the dozens of methods they have perfected over the past few elections, or to stage another “Emergency” and dispense with them altogether. In that case the worst Cilnton -Obama bickering will have the perspective it should have anyway.

  2. www.buzzflash.net Says:

    Okay, I’m officially ready for this to be over…

    Up until now, I’ve been in the "the more the merrier" camp on the primaries. So long as things don’t get too nasty, I’ve figured that the ongoing campaign will be good for the Democrats. Obama, for example, has been steadily improving his …

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