The Potomac primaries just ended, and I’m still a little annoyed at how the mainstream media seems to have all but called the race for Democratic nominee in favor of Obama, who leads with a delegate count of 916 (NYT)/1,275 (AP) to Clinton’s 885 (NYT)/1,220 (AP) as of this posting. Yes, I’m an Obama supporter. But MSM, can you just calm the heck down for a second?
Going by the NYT’s figures, Obama leads with 31 delegates. Going by the Associated Press’ counts, Obama leads with 55 delegates. Though undeniably significant, to me these are still small margins. To put it in perspective, a candidate must win 2,025 delegates to be nominee.
Maybe let the remaining primaries and the whole superdelegates mess play out before you nail it down, MSM? Wasn’t it embarrassing enough when Dan Rather called it live on tv for Gore back in 2000 with some witty Texasisms, and then had egg on his face when, to his and everyone else’s horror, he was So. Very. Wrong?
I mean, Clinton would have to pull off a minor miracle to close the gap in delegates, but you never know. She could do it. Let the lady take her shot, you know? (Yes, I am the one who held Clinton’s feet to the fire about her un-recanted Iraq war authorization vote in “Feminists for Obama,” linked from MOMocrats here. But I feel for the people who have yet to attend a primary in the remaining states; as a resident of California, I’ve often rued the “Disenfranchisement by Time Zone” effect of having elections called on the east coast before our west coast polls have closed. So give those folks some breathing room, and give Clinton a little breathing room. Let some more people who have yet to vote, vote already.)
However, because the MSM in “kingmaker” mode has seen fit to anoint Obama, we’re starting to see more personal profiles of the candidate’s family members. As the election wears on and it just gets all too tiresome to rehash silly old policy points, I bet we’ll start seeing predictable profiles on the frontrunners’ family pets.
For now, I’m talking about the snuggly piece in the NYT, “Obama’s Edge: His Wife Michelle.” I defy you to read it and not be instantly charmed by Michelle Obama. And I absolutely believe she is that unassuming, refreshingly honest, and grounded.
That aside, can’t you sort of see the meta-narratives forming here? The Obamas are the loveable, well-adjusted, cozy-sweatered Huxtables of The Cosby Show fame. By contrast, the Clintons are the new-money, slightly sketchy, intrigue-filled* Carringtons of Dynasty (appropriately enough in some regards and inappropriately in terms of the oil-baron setting). Hmmm. Which family would you rather spend time with?
I am mostly trying to be humorous here, and critical of MSM “horse-race” journalism. I do think the MSM can easily get ahead of itself and start believing it’s the horse, not the cart.
Let’s hope people who have yet to vote still turn out with equal enthusiasm and in large numbers. You still have a voice–nothing’s been pre-ordained and no numerical lead in delegates is so decisive that a big upset–like Edwards’ rumored-to-be-imminent endorsement or some other unforeseen factor–couldn’t still change things.
* George Packer’s New Yorker article, cited above, is more subtle than most at getting at what many would say is Hillary Clinton’s taste for intrigue. This is the passage I’m thinking of:
If there’s a flaw in Hillary Clinton’s character which could keep her from becoming a successful President, or President at all, it is what Carl Bernstein, her best biographer, described to me as a tendency toward “subterfuge and eliding.”
Cross-posted at MOMocrats.