This morning the New York Times bellowed a headline on Obama's "Convincing Wins" yesterday. The Washington Post bannered the modifier, "Handily." The Chicago Tribune scribbled that he "Score[d] a Sweep" and the Politico, thinking ahead, remarked on Obama's "Landslides" -- which "Could Break Deadlock."
At the Virginia Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson dinner, Obama surveyed his decisive victory: "We won in Louisiana, we won in Nebraska, we won in Washington state"; to put it another way, as he did, "We won North, we won South, we won in between."
Obama's campaign did it with strategic forethought (it anticipated the criticality of post-Super Tuesday caucuses), a powerful coalition, almost unprecedented political momentum, plenty of funds and a ready organization -- all of which will be needed in November, and all of which the Clinton campaign lacks -- as well as graciousness, it would seem, considering that Mrs. Clinton failed to even congratulate Obama in her own J-J speech. As my dear old mama would say: Tacky, tacky, tacky.
But the Clinton camp had a powerful piece of logic at the ready to explain away, to dismiss, Obama's geographically rolling victories: It expected him to win, you see, so the landslides don't really count. That was the feverish word transmitted from Clinton staff to television networks last night, and crack logicians everywhere will be working on that one for some time.
Besides, the Clinton camp argued, Obama outspent its candidate. So there. Double-doesn't count.
If that's the sort of cerebral shiftiness we're to expect in the general, should it come to that, please just wake me when it's over.
As everyone knows by now, however, what it may come to instead is a battle for superdelegates -- and not any fussy democratic vote within the Democratic Party. Again, Obama's logic is the stronger: "If we end up with the most states and the most pledged delegates from the most voters in the country ... it would be problematic" -- now there's a world-class understatement -- "for the political insiders to overturn the judgment of the voters."
Yet it would not be unthinkable, for Clinton has already thunk the thought, as she did again yesterday aloud, that "superdelegates ... should make an independent decision based on who they thought would be the strongest candidate and president."
In other words, superdelegates -- party hacks and bosses -- should decide for you. After which, presumably, they'll change the Democratic Party's name to that of the Oligarchic.
There is, of course, a much better idea, one that averts all that hand-wringing angst stemming from democracy-denial and name-changing. Though it's far from unthinkable, it has nonetheless remained unspoken. But no longer: Should Hillary fail to rack up 68-percent victories in Ohio and Texas early next month, as Obama just did in Nebraska and Washington, she should gracefully withdraw from the race.
You will, I think, be hearing a lot more of that sentiment in the near future, and not only from self-interested Obama supporters. You will begin to hear it, rather, from the party's vast mainstream, which, already being happy with either candidate, will conclude, simply: Let's get on with it -- we can afford a party-splitting contest no longer; certainly not through spring and summer, and certainly not one decided by a superdelegate T.K.O.
The demanded justifications behind a Clinton withdrawal would be nearly overwhelming. In the general Obama will at any rate win the Democratic states of New York, California, etc., that Clinton has bragged about; Obama decisively outpaces Clinton in a head-to-head matchup with McCain; Obama does, in fact, do well among women, having beaten Clinton on that score 35 to 30 percent in Iowa, and 49 to 48 in Missouri; Obama has none of Clinton's scandal baggage to carry into the general; Obama has consistently proven himself a better fundraiser than Clinton; Obama can far more easily carry swing states than Clinton can; Obama would be more than competitive with McCain in the independent vote, unlike Clinton; Obama undeniably has the Big Mo; and above all, Obama did not support George W. Bush's idiotic war, while Clinton will be forced to defend her idiotic counter-decision every bloody minute on the general campaign trail, and which, undoubtedly, will cost her more than a few progressive votes.
Feel free to to add to this list, which could extend for miles. In fact, it extends all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Those arguments are coming, they're coming in droves, and they're coming around the corner. So pucker up, Mrs. Clinton -- and then you had best come up with better counterarguments than ones like, Well, his landslides don't count when they're expected.