First, let me congratulate Ed Morrissey on his move to Hot Air. As of January 29, 2008, he had closed Captain's Quarters, though his posts will remain online as archives for those who are interested. Captain Ed has been a model for my own modest blogging efforts, and I am sure that he will continue to provide scintillating commentary and analysis on current events from his new perch. I will miss the daily exercise of checking Captain's Quarters, but at least with his move to Hot Air, I have one less bookmark to keep up!
I would also like to extend my congratualtions to Senator McCain for clinching the Republican Presidential nomination. According to the Associated Press, not only has McCain has secured more than the requisite 1191 delegates to clinch the nomination in last night's contests, but his remaining serious rival (no, I don't count Ron Paul), former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, has withdrawn from the race. Writes the AP,
John McCain clinched the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday, an extraordinary comeback for a candidate whose White House hopes were dashed eight years ago and whose second bid was left for dead eight months ago.
"The most important race begins," he said in an Associated Press interview.
According to the AP count, the four-term Arizona senator surpassed the requisite 1,191 GOP delegates as voters in Ohio, Vermont, Rhode Island and Texas put him over the threshold. The triumph came one month after his Super Tuesday coast-to-coast victories gave him an insurmountable lead in the delegate hunt and forced his chief rival, Mitt Romney, to drop out of the race.
I find the AP's report interesting insofar as they don't seem to feel the need to admit that their own reporting was one of the primary causes why McCain was 'left for dead eight months ago'. Interesting how there is no mention of just who left McCain's candidacy for dead. However, as I wrote earlier, while I endorsed former massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (shortly before his Super Tuesday defeat that led to his withdrawal), I believe that Senator McCain is a worthy candidate and an honorable man. I am proud to support Senator McCain and I strongly urge any readers of this blog to consider doing so as well.
Meanwhile, Senator Hillary Clinton's Texas/Ohio firewall has apparently held- at least to the extent of allowing her to stay in the race for the Democratic nomination. However, she trails Illinois Senator Barack Obama by just over one hundred delegates with twelve contests and 611 delegates left to be pledged. According to ABC News, neither Obama nor Clinton are likely to be able to secure the nomination prior to the convention, which means the Democratic superdelegates will end up deciding who is the nominee. Writes ABC News,
ABC News' current delegate estimate has Obama at 1,555.
That means he would need to win 77% of all the remaining pledged delegates to hit the magic number of 2,024 to secure the nomination. That is highly unlikely due to the proportional delegate allocation rules in the Democratic Party.
Clinton would need to win 94% of all the remaining pledged delegates to hit the magic number of 2,024. (ABC News currently has her at 1449.)
So, clearly they both are going to be relying on superdelegates to secure the nomination.
This exposes both the structural problem with the Democratic Party- allowing too many party bigwigs to decide nominations, and the issues the Democrats have with identity politics. Since you have two of the Democrats' favored victims classes- a woman and a black man- running for the nomination, the traditional Democratic politics of destruction are going to be used internally for the first time. This is why running on identity politics is a bad idea and why Republicans need to really emphasize that it is who you are, not what you are, that really should matter.
Ultimately, I believe that Barack Obama will be the nominee, unless the Clinton machine uses the superdelegates and the courts to overturn the primary voters' decisions. Since this is the Clintons we are discussing, that is a definite possibility- we already know that if the decision comes down to the convention, the Clintons will use all arguments necessary to seat the Florida and Michigan delegates, despite the Democratic Party's stated refusal. However, the Democratic race will be fun to watch- especially for Republicans who listened to pundits crown Hillary a year ago and tell us that the Republicans would have a bruising, lengthy primary. that the exact opposite has occurred despite the best efforts of the media should tell you all you need to know about the pundits' accuracy- and the preferences of the national media.