Herewith 10 notes on the outcome and comments on where we are now after the Super Tuesday results in the Democratic presidential primaries:
1. Those of us who bought the conventional wisdom that Biden was dead man walking received a rude awakening. Biden carried pluralities in Arkansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas as well as majorities in Alabama and Virginia. Biden holds a narrow lead in Maine, which is apparently still too close to call.
2. Biden experienced what they call peripeteia in ancient Greek drama. Time to quit my joking about “Joementum.” Sanders carried pluralities only in California, Colorado, and Utah; in Vermont he won a majority. RealClearPolitics has posted the raw vote totals here; votes are tabulated by percentage here.
3. Biden leads the resulting allocation of delegates 453-373, but that does not include all the California delegates to be awarded. Sanders may well close the gap when all the California delegates are allocated. The delegate totals are tabulated here.
3. In my judgment, the spirit of the crazy left continues to reflect the heart of the Democratic Party. Elizabeth Warren has to be hurting Sanders.
4. Watching his victory speech last night (video below), I thought that Biden was about as surprised as I was by the results. I also thought that we could observe the combined effects of overstimulation and neurological impairment in his remarks. He mixed up his wife and sister. He searched for the right words in the usual mental fog and the new euphoria. You can almost feel the neurons misfiring as he veers wildly from topic to topic and back again. Word of the day: “Expodentially.”
5. Sanders is always angry, but now he’s even angrier. Let his bitterness fester among his followers as well. Sanders gave a victory speech that belied Biden’s perepeteia (video below). When Sanders shouted out that Trump should read the Co…nstitution, I thought he was going to say the Co…mmunist Manifesto. That was the spirit of the thing. Workers of the world, unite (behind me!). We aren’t supposed to notice that his target is the young, the immature, the vegetarians, and the academic elite.
6. Fans of schadenfreude had a big night as Elizabeth Warren came in third to Biden and Sanders in Massachusetts. It’s not clear what Warren is doing in the race. She is apparently immune to humiliation (video below). As she trashes the economic revival of the Reagan years for an audience too young to know what she’s talking about, she proclaims she’ “in this fight.” Oh, yeah, and she’s “the woman who’s going to beat Donald Trump.”
7. Thinking of Michael Bloomberg, I have one sentence I struggle to complete: As American Samoa goes, so goes…
8. If Michael Bloomberg presents the ultimate test of the efficacy of unlimited funds to support a political campaign, we have learned the answer. Money goes a long way, but it can’t substitute for a candidate’s likability or some of the other traditional requisites of a successful political campaign.
9. With Biden, Sanders, Bloomberg, and Warren in the race, the Democratic vote remains splintered. After last night, however, Biden has emerged as the heavy favorite to win the party’s nomination. Check the betting odds here. Those of us hoping for a contested convention for Democrats are likely to be disappointed.
10. Sanders carried Utah with a plurality of the Democratic primary vote (about 35 percent), with Biden, Bloomberg and Warren bunched up behind him at around 15 percent. What’s the matter with Utah (or Utah Democrats)? That surprised me.