On the Cusp of Victory (with Sat. and Sun. Updates)
Barack Obama got 4 new super-delegates Thursday and one Friday (several of them important members of the California congressional delegation), 2 more from North Carolina as adjustments, and at least 7 Edwards' delegates.
According to the Obama campaign, they are now 17 delegates shy of a majority. That will happen Tuesday night, at the latest. The only real suspense is how big his Oregon victory will be, and how close will he come in Kentucky? 20 point victory in O, and getting 40% in K would be A-OK.
In Kentucky, the Lexington Herald-Leader has endorsed Obama with much the same argument as other newspapers:
But while Clinton is an adept practitioner of politics as we know it, Obama is offering something new. He makes a convincing case that he can lead this country without sowing fear and dividing people, the cynical ploys of a political era that has run out of steam.
Obama has given voice to a widespread yearning not just for a changing of the guard but for a changing of the game. And that ability to express a people's aspirations is a mark of leadership.
Like President John F. Kennedy, another senator who electrified young people, Obama also has the substance to transform idealism into action.
The New York Times considers how Republicans fear Obama will put much of the South in play. Marc Ambinder has an interesting Atlantic article on how Obama may use the Internet as President. For instance:
What Obama seems to promise is, at its outer limits, a participatory democracy in which the opportunities for participation have been radically expanded. He proposes creating a public, Google-like database of every federal dollar spent. He aims to post every piece of non-emergency legislation online for five days before he signs it so that Americans can comment. A White House blog—also with comments—would be a near certainty. Overseeing this new apparatus would be a chief technology officer.
But the news of Thursday and Friday was Bush's flat-footed accusation of appeasement, the immediate defense by prominent Democrats, and Obama's swift response to presidential swift-boating, and pointed analysis of Bush-McCain foreign policy failures. After McCain proposed earlier in the week that he and Obama debate without moderators, I'll bet by Friday he was plenty sorry he mentioned it. It's clear already that Obama debating Democrats and Obama debating McBush will be two very different experiences.
Although Obama made a couple of appearances in Kentucky, he's not scheduled to go back before voting on Tuesday. He does have more offices on the ground there than Hillary, but it's not clear how much effort is being put into that state, where Hillary has been way ahead in the polls.
Obama will campaign in Oregon today (Saturday) and tomorrow, and campaigns in Montana on Monday. He's in Florida Wednesday, but so far nothing on his schedule for Tuesday. Where will he be when he passes that magic number, a majority of delegates in primaries and caucuses? Stay tuned.
Sat. Update: Where he will be on Tuesday evening is a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, the state where his candidacy first went before the voters, and where he won his first delegates and first victory...Saturday Obama also was endorsed by another super-delegate. He now needs 119.5 for the nomination. Not sure if that tally yet includes another delegate pick-up in Nevada where the caucus process was completed Saturday. Though Hillary Clinton claimed victory there initially, the final tally according to The Field is Obama 14 delegates, Clinton 11. The Jed Report estimates that Obama's take today is at least 3 delegates, and perhaps 2 more. Jed's projections (I don't know what they're based on) gives Obama a lock on the nomination number.
Meanwhile, there's this video--low on substance, but nicely done.
Sun. Update: Think Obama might win Oregon? He spoke Sunday before a crowd in Portland estimated at 75,000. That's about twice the size of his previous biggest crowd, in Philadelphia... Meanwhile, the Jed Report goes into more detail on why Obama has a lock on the nomination. His estimate includes conservative projections for delegates gained in the last contests.
According to this, on Sunday Obama got 2 add-on delegates from California's primary (Hillary got 3) and Obama picked up a super-delegate from Washington state.
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