Wednesday, March 05, 2008

It's Scorched Earth

I will never again assume the Clintons will do anything other than force this fight all the way to the convention.

Two things this morning are certain. One, the Clintons cannot go into the convention with the most pledged delegates

Two, they don't care. They will stop at nothing to strip the nomination from Obama and all those who voted for him. That they cannot win the nomination from votes means that they will attempt to so bloody Obama on his way to the convention that, they hope, no one will want him. Or, he gives in, and just hands them the nomination. In fairness to the Clintons, even if they signaled that they might show some restraint, their staff as been very clear about their plans.

This is not a "Kitchen Sink" strategy, it's a scorched earth strategy, pure and simple.

Obama needed to knock them out and he didn't do it. He had the resources and came up short. He will win Wyoming on Saturday and Mississippi on Tuesday, but the Clintons don't care. They know they will never catch him on pledged delegates so they intend to burn him and the party until someone says 'uncle'.

I caught part of Hillary's interview this morning on CBS wherein she has signaled one way they might end their siege: A Hillary / Obama ticket. It was creepy in a Machiavellian way, much like her 60 Minutes "I take him at his word" response to Obama smears. I've always taken Hillary at her word that she didn't murder Vince Foster.

And there is every reason to believe that the Clintons will win Pennsylvania. They do best with the rust-belt Dems of yesteryear and with the support of an old style party machine. But with PA there is a possible caveat -- Howard Fineman (I think) said last night that Pittsburgh and Philly are no longer like they were even a decade ago. Pittsburgh is now a college town with some new industry and not a single steel mill. So we will see, but I'm not holding my breath.

The Clintons have found some negative themes to knock Obama off his stride and he needs to come out fighting. For one, he needs to call her on the nonsense of her foreign policy experience: She has none.

It will be interesting to see just how many delegates the Clintons actually pick up from yesterday. Reports seem to very, although it's clear they did better than earlier predictions and may end up with as many as 13 or 14. If the Clintons could string together 14 more OH/TX contest they might actually catch Obama.

Obama will likely erase the Clintons gains in Wyoming and Mississippi, but it's not like the Clintons are going anywhere. And note, Obama has been bloodied. The 17plus margins he strung together in February may not repeat themselves.

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