Thoughts on big trends in technology, media, politics, and society. Oh, and kind of a diary except more public.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Couldn't Pennsylvania Stop The Primaries' Insanity?

Reading the news this weekend, I see how vicious the attacks have grown between Obama and Clinton. McCain and Republicans in general must be full of glee. I live in Pennsylvania. I feel bad the race didn't end here.

If Clinton had maintained the 20 point lead she held initially, she had a legitimate case to gain an overall super-delegate majority. The case would be that Democratic prospects in November would be much better with her demonstrated ability to win big states.

If Obama had lost by five points or less, that would be close enough to a victory (especially coming from 20 points out)that Clinton would have needed to drop out. If she wouldn't drop out, money for her campaign would have dried up so she would have been forced out anyway.

With a 10 point win for Clinton, Pennsylvania passed the buck. I wonder if state luminaries, especially Governor Rendell and Mayor Nutter, now wish they hadn't been so quick to announce their backing for Clinton. Right now they get to feel the temporary high of helping her win. But they must know she didn't win by enough to turn this around. They could have persuaded her it was time to back out gracefully, perhaps to create the Dream Ticket and pull the whole party together tightly.

Instead, the battle will become more bitter in coming weeks. Obama remains on path to win but with an increasingly weakened position against McCain. National Democratic leaders will express more and more frustration this couldn't get solved in Pennsylvania. Will people like Rendell and Nutter begin to regret they missed their chance to be kingmakers for Obama?

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