The Corner

The Second Coming of McGovern

Hillary won just enough to show that it is ludicrous to oust a 10-point winner at this late junction, but not quite the blow-out that might cause a stampede to her in the next few states.

The Democrats are tottering at the edge of the abyss. They are about to nominate someone who cannot win, despite vastly out-spending his opponent, any of the key large states — CA, NJ, NY, OH, PENN, TX, etc. — that will determine the fall election. And yet not to nominate him will cause the sort of implosion they saw in 1968 or the sort of mess we saw in November 2000.

Hillary won’t quit, since she knows that Obama, when pressure mounts, is starting to show a weird sort of petulance, and drops the “new politics” for snideness. And at any given second, a Rev. Wright outburst, an Ayers reappearance, another Michelle ‘never been proud’ moment, or another condescending Obamism can cause him to nose dive and become even more snappy.

They won’t be able to force Hillary out since she still has strong arguments — the popular vote may end up dead even, or even in her favor; while he won caucuses and out-of-play states, she won the critical fall battlegrounds — and by plebiscites; she is the more experienced and more likely to run a steady national campaign; she wins the Reagan Democrats that will determine the fall election; and by other, more logical nomination rules (like the Republicans’ fewer caucuses, winner-take-all elections) she would have already wrapped it up. There seems something unfair, after all, for someone to win these mega-states and end up only with a few extra delegates for the effort. The more this drags out, the more Obama and Hillary get nastier and more estranged from each other — at precisely the time one must take the VP  nomination to unite the party.

On the plus side, Hillary is showing a scrappy, tough blue-collar talent that is critical for November — but apparently it will be all for naught, or worse, cause lots of these Middle America “clingers” to go over to McCain.

More and more, McCain will want to run against Obama and his far weaker coalition of elite whites, African-Americans, students — and closets of skeletons. More and more, we will start to see the buyer’s remorse of midsummer 1972.

All eyes turn to a repeat in Indiana…