Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Obama to clinch nomination "win" today "on the road"; Will Hillary be American Idol #2?

Barack Obama will speak in St. Paul MN tonight (near my home from 1997-2003, in a sense my good old days) as Obama is very close to meeting the number of pledged delegates (including superdelegates). The Donkey exercise Saturday on Michigan and Florida seems like distant history. And Hillary Clinton is due to speak tonight. She has already hinted at taking the “consolation prize”. You know, you can finish #2 in American Idol and get tremendous recording contracts. Clay Aiken and now David Archuleta have proven that.

There was a “sneak preview” on ABC’s “The View” this morning that Hillary was going to “concede” tonight, but then the “preview” was withdrawn. Is that like calling Dewey early in 1948? (Or Gore in Florida early in 2000? The Newseum has a short film on getting the news -- especially election returns -- wrong.)

The no-brainer is that Hillary should be on the ticket. But whether the unfortunate attacks and lapses in taste occasionally precludes making her the “automatic” VP candidate remains to be seen.

Obama is very likely to win the election and be the first African American president. I am optimistic that he will be able to get the right Congress to repeal “don’t ask don’t tell.”

Analysts say that Obama won by being able to raise money from so many individual donors, for whom he could return again. Obama manufactured a lot of runs with singles and live drives between the outfielders and seemed to have a couple of six run innings in the middle of the game; Clinton depended on solo home runs. She may have had “home team advantage” but her last at bat in the bottom of the ninth inning wasn’t enough to get into extra innings. She lost a one-run game, sort of like a Yankees 12-11 loss at home.

Did Oprah’s coming on so early for Obama make a big difference? Maybe.

One can imagine other running mates: John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Joe Lieberman. OK, imagine Oprah on the ticket, or even her “Big Give” co-host Nate Berkus, who personally survive the 2004 tsunami.

History will be made, but it always will be, somehow.

Update: June 9

A transcript of Hillary Clinton's official concession speech at the National Building Museum in Washington DC June 7 is here.

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