After Barack Obama swept the Potomac Primaries last night, one might have expected Hillary Clinton to say a few words to her supporters to explain the losses. If so, the crowds that turned out for her in Texas had to manage their disappointment. They managed to let her know when they disagreed with her, however:
As news of her triple defeat in the Potomac Primary sank in, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton did what has become a specialty in recent weeks: She headed someplace else.
After flying from Virginia to Texas for a rally on Tuesday night, Clinton did not publicly acknowledge, even in passing, that three significant primaries had taken place that day and her campaign had not issued a statement hours after results were announced. ...
When Clinton mentioned having differences with Obama over health care and the mortgage crisis, she was booed. Her comments continued past 9:30 p.m. Eastern time, as the polls in Maryland closed and the race was called for Obama, but in the giant arena, with a crowd her campaign estimated at 12,000, it seemed as though the defeat had not happened.
She talked about George Bush and Barack Obama being "all hat and no cattle," a rather strange reference for someone who has no executive experience at all. Her only public-policy leadership experience came from a task force that attempted to nationalize health care and lost her party control of Congress. In fact, the debacle was so bad that the Clintons have kept the records from going public for months.
It also might cause a few people to recall Hillary's history with "more cattle". Questions still remain about how she managed to turn $1,000 in cattle futures into a $100,000 profit. What was the wife of the Attorney General of Arkansas doing in partnering with the head of a corporation in a state-regulated industry to turn an almost unheard-of profit from a minimal investment? Talk about all hat, no cattle!
Beyond that, though, Hillary still remains the favorite to win the nomination. She now trails in overall delegates for the first time, and in pledged delegates Obama leads by over a hundred, 1059-956. Without the 796 superdelegates, neither can win the 2,025 delegates necessary to get the nomination, and the primary map will soon start favoring Hillary. I doubt that the gap will get much wider, and it will likely narrow considerably. Unless Obama can keep widening it all the way to the convention, he's sunk.
Here's why. The superdelegates represent the elected and appointed establishment of the party. The Clintons have spent the last sixteen years putting most of them in power. They have campaigned for them, raised cash for them, and gotten them their jobs. Most of them are superdelegates because of the Clintons in one way or another. Barack Obama, on the other hand, just won his first national office three years ago, and has done far less for most of these elected and appointed officials.
When the Clintons come calling, which will most of these people choose to support? The people who put them in the position of casting this vote, or a candidate who hasn't done hardly anything for them? Will they select the candidate that wants to incorporate the establishment into the next administration, or the one that has campaigned on the promise to clean out the establishment?
Obama had better hope he wins everything between now and Denver. If he has less than a two-hundred delegate lead going into the convention, he won't win the nomination.
UPDATE: Bill Clinton was Attorney General of Arkansas at the time of the cattle-futures trade, not Governor. Thanks to Anthony of The Irish Spy for the correction.