Posted by: drew | March 6, 2008

It’s Over Hillary. Accept It.

For the good of the party, she needs to accept that it isn’t going to happen for her.

Jonathan Alter of Newsweek crunches the numbers and finds that, despite the Clinton camp’s furious spinning and celebration of their victory in Ohio, and their primary victory in Texas, it would literally take a miracle for her to catch up to Obama in delegates.

In fact, as the Texas “Two Step” caucus votes are going to give the majority of Texas delegates to Obama…so Obama really wins Texas.

Thanks to SNL’s skit, the media is now overcompensating and not asking Clinton the tough questions, propagating the Clinton campaign’s exaggerated victory claims of Ohio and Texas, and seemingly ignoring the fact that the numbers are even less kind to Clinton now than they were before Tuesday…

Back to Alter’s article:

Hillary Clinton won big victories Tuesday night in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island. But she’s now even further behind in the race for the Democratic nomination. How could that be? Math. It’s relentless.

To beat Barack Obama among pledged delegates, Clinton now needs even bigger margins in the 12 remaining primaries than she needed when I ran the numbers on Monday–an average of 23 points, which is more than double what she received in Ohio.

So no matter how you cut it, Obama will almost certainly end the primaries with a pledged delegate lead, courtesy of all those landslides in February. What happens then? Will Democrats come together before the Denver Convention opens in late August?

We know that Hillary is unlikely to quit. This will leave it up to the superdelegates to figure out how to settle on a nominee. With 205 already committed to Obama, he would need another 200 uncommitted superdelegates to get to the magic number of 2025 delegates needed to nominate. But that’s only under my crazy pro-Hillary projections. More likely, Obama would need about 50-100 of the approximately 500 uncommitted superdelegates, which shouldn’t be too difficult.

But let’s say all the weeks of negative feeling have taken a toll. Let’s say that Clinton supporters are feeling embittered and inclined to sit on their hands. It’s not too hard to imagine prominent superdelegates asking Obama to consider putting Hillary on the ticket.

This might be the wrong move for him. A national security choice like Sen. Jim Webb, former Sen. Sam Nunn or retired Gen. Anthony Zinni could make more sense. But if Obama did ask Clinton, don’t assume she would say no just because she has, well, already served as de facto vice president for eight years under her husband. (Sorry, Al).

In fact, she would probably say yes. When there’s a good chance to win, almost no one has ever said no. (Colin Powell is the exception). In 1960, when the vice-presidency was worth a lot less, Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson gave up his powerful position to run with John F. Kennedy.

How about Clinton-Obama? Nope. The Clintonites can spin to their heart’s content about how big March 4 was for them. How close the race is. How they’ve got the Big Mo now.

Tell it to Slate’s Delegate Calculator. Again.


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