Cruising to Victory

There are signs that the Hillary Clinton campaign may be getting close to closing up shop, as she criss-crosses South Dakota and Montana, the two last states to vote. Bill Clinton was quoted today saying that “This may be the last day I’m ever involved in a campaign of this kind.” We can hope.

But, even as superdelegates coalesce around Barack Obama and party elders try to broker an end to the long campaign, signs of Obama’s vulnerability as a candidate continue to accumulate. The most recent South Dakota poll shows Hillary winning by a startling 60%-34% margin. And, to put it mildly, South Dakota has never been thought of as Hillary Clinton territory.

Observing Obama’s campaign, one sometimes gets the sense that even as his party hurries to anoint him as its nominee, a time bomb is ticking. Over the weekend, he moved to distance himself decisively from Trinity United church. But it can’t be done. Obama says that the racism and anti-Americanism so often on display at Trinity “totally conflict with my long-held views.” But his own memoir reveals that it was, precisely, that racism and anti-Americanism that first drew Obama to Trinity. Click “play” to hear Obama rhapsodize about how he was moved by the idea that “white folks’ greed” is responsible for the world’s ills:

Rumor has it–and I do mean “rumor”–that a video of Michelle Obama railing against “whitey” is the next shoe waiting to drop. That would be consistent, perhaps, with Obama’s otherwise out-of-the-blue decree that criticism of his wife is off-limits. The only thing we can say for sure is that any Democrats who think they’ve seen the last of the Trinity issue are dreaming.

On a more prosaic level, Thurlow Weed argues that the seeds of November defeat may have been sown when the DNC awarded Michigan delegates to Obama, even though he was not on the ballot there:

[T]he Michigan decision is a jaw dropper. By setting aside election results to Hillary’s disadvantage, the DNC…has told Michigan voters that the DNC – and by extension, its nominee, Obama – is willing to set aside election results it does not like. That cannot have a positive effect on Michigan swing voters – and Obama needs to carry Michigan in the fall to have any shot at victory.

The fact that John McCain currently leads Obama by three points in Michigan in the RCP average is probably not coincidental.

So, in a sense Obama may be cruising to victory, but these are far from cloudless days for the Obama campaign.

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