It was a bizarre and surreal moment to watch, thinking that she couldn't possibly believe that the words coming out her mouth had any truth or relation to what had just happened. Hillary's shrill and tactless self-congratulations stood in stark contrast to Barack Obama's short and humble, but very upbeat, victory speech, in which he graciously gave an early congratulatory concession to Hillary's Indiana win of the popular vote. Hillary even inserted a tacky plea for donations to her website.
When will this horrible woman go away?
When Mike Huckabee kept up his Republican Presidential campaign even when it became clear that he hadn't a snowball's chance in heck, and that McCain would easily wrap it up, he said he wanted to continue to shape and debate the issues that were important to a lot of Americans. That was a statesmanlike rationale that lent validity to his continued campaign. While I'm not a huge Huckabee fan, I really respect that he put forth that idea. I believe it not only enhanced Mike's personal reputation, but it put forward a standard for a legitimate purpose for maintaining a longshot campaign.
In stark contrast, we Democrats have had to watch the neverending spectacle of Hillary Rodham Clinton continue her longshot campaign based on the rationale that "I, I, I, Me, Me, I, I" can still win it. "I" can still win it by smearing her opponents reputation, by race-baiting, by trying to change the rules of the election in mid-contest, by fear mongering, by sabre rattling, by pandering with candy policy proposals, and of course, the outright lying.
Shall we elaborate? Oh, yes. Let's!
- In speeches, Clinton's theme is "I will fight for you." Obama's theme is "Together we can build." Her campaign is all about her.
- Clinton smears Obama with "he can't win" (we all know why not), no experience (after all, I was a President's wife, so I know how to run a country), elitist, goes to the wrong church, and insults his manliness. She's one classy gal.
- Clinton compares Obama to Jesse Jackson, tells white crowds that she works for people "just like you," and loves to talk about Jeremiah Wright.
- Clinton reneges on her agreement about Michigan and Florida, and now tries to move the number of delegates needed to win. Around here we call this "cheating."
- She likes to scare folks with those 3:00 am ads.
- She likes to sabre rattle by threatening to annihilate Iran. She did this to score cheap political points. This is incredibly bad. By doing this she lends legitimacy to Iran to come forward with an as yet unstated need for an effective nuclear deterrent to the stated threats of the U.S. Nice going.
- This gas-tax holiday nonsense is one of the most meaningless election year give-away proposals I've ever seen. That she is sticking with it in the face of near universal dismissal and ridicule is astounding.
- And the lying. Ah yes. That poor, dying woman who was turned away from the emergency room for lack of $100. Running for cover under sniper fire. The Clinton White House policy of sending the First Lady if a place was "too dangerous." Chelsea jogging around the Twin Towers when the planes hit. As Tony Soprano said, "The bullshit never ends."
Looking at the numbers, Obama won North Carolina by 14.7% and won 20 more delegates than Clinton, with a few delegates still to be determined. Clinton won Indiana by 1.8% and won 3 more delegates that Obama. So the night was a net win for Obama of 17 delegates, so far.
Counting the popular vote, as Hillary is wont to do, Barry was more popular in NC by 232,775 votes. She won in Indiana by 18,440. So in popular votes Barry adds 214,335 to his margin over Hillary to date.
Did I mention that Hillary gave a victory speech?
Watching this go down on the tv, MSNBC had the best coverage, hands down. (Thank you, Snake.) Keith Olberman does a great job of keeping the pace going with a lively and diverse bunch, including Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, and cranky old man Pat Buchanan. Crazily, sitting Maddow next to Buchannan works great. Tom Brokaw pops up every so often with some pearl of insight. And Nora O'Donnell tries awkwardly to give some number analysis on a board that she always has trouble with. But as always she has great presence and boy did she look great. She has, by far, the best hair on tv (though I suspect the new "super thick" style was inspired by Becky Quick.) Eat your heart out David Gregory. Oh yeah, he's on there, too. Didn't see Shuster, though. Where was he?
When things got slow, I'd jump over to CNN. There was Wolf Blitzer in "The Situation Room." Wolf is a weak choice for MC. Despite his Wrestlemania inspired name, he has a squeaky voice and kind of reminds me of a mouse scurrying around the set. That blond guy with the fancy electronic white board is pretty good, and so is the chubby cheeked black guy who's name I also can't remember. I'd peg those two as the real up and comers over there. Campbell Brown is the pundit panel moderator. While she looks good and is smooth on camera, she seems light on substance. Gloria Borger is there, too, adding energy and insight as always. There's one other guy on the end with glasses who's smart but not terribly memorable. Donna Brazile was in the background so I didn't hear what she had to say, but generally to my ear she sounds like a loud, obnoxious dingaling.
So, then as it's getting late I jump over to Fox News to see what they have going on. My God! It was the most awful news show I had ever seen. I've been to livelier funerals. Well, actually I'm Irish so that may be an unfair comparison. But it really was terrible. Brit Hume looked like that old man wearing a diaper from the movie The Savages. Long pauses of silence. Half of his panel with heads down taking notes while on camera. William Kristol, with his crazy, giant, frozen "I swear I'm not gay, I just look like this" smile, making some inane point. To which nobody, even Hume, responded. Dead silence. It was embarrassing to see.
But, to refocus, Obama seems firmly on track. I'm very happy about that. To paraphrase the words of Gerald Ford, our long national nightmare is almost over.