Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"In Convention"al Wisdom

Curious thing about this story: Why didn't Obama win this state?
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton arranged to meet with uncommitted superdelegates on Wednesday following her lopsided win in the West Virginia primary, as her supporters argued that her appeal to some traditional Democratic voting blocks may change some opinions despite the continued long odds that she can secure her party’s nomination.

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, a supporter of Mrs. Clinton, said “superdelegates have to have second thoughts” after West Virginia, speaking in an interview Wednesday morning on CNN.
Conventional wisdom said that Hillary Clinton should have mopped the floor with Obama and given the nature of the electorate in West Virginia, I concur. She should also wipe the floors of Kentucky with Obama.


Conventional wisdom, for some reason, begs the most obvious question: Why?

Obama has the nomination all but sewed up, according to every single pundit who can't see past the hors d'oeurve table at Obama headquarters.

Obama has an insurmountable lead in pledged delegates and a slim lead in superdelegates.

It's all over but the shouting, I mean. Right?

Except here's Obama losing by 40 points! to Hillary Clinton, a woman whom everyone is saying is done for, finished, finito, kaput.

If it's really all over, why didn't West Virginia send a message to Clinton: "Get out."

If it's really all over, why didn't Obama use that as a theme to put up even a modest campaign in West Virginia, one that he could claim was "healing the wounds" he has helped create in the Democratic party? After all, wouldn't beating Senator Clinton in a state that was, to quote Bill Richardson, "tailor-made" for her be a sign to her that even her supporters thought she was done? Enough?

Was West Virginia not "good enough" for this effort, Senator Obama?

Aren't the "typical white voters" you poo-poo worth the effort to persuade to your coalition? Or have Reverend Wright's words sunk deeply into your mind and worse, your heart, Senator?

The overriding issue here is, if this election is over, then why isn't it over? Why hasn't Obama dealt the Clinton campaign the humiliating defeat that should have been dealt by now to a campaign struggling to stay afloat?