In Focus: The Hillary Implosion
Since the close of Super Tuesday, Hillary Clinton has lent her starved campaign $5 million of her own money, and pledged to lend it more; lost five nominating contests in a row; feuded with MSNBC over a glib remark about her daughter and threatened to boycott an upcoming debate on that channel; fired her original campaign manager, who was also the first Latina to hold that position in a presidential race.
If the Democratic establishment needs reminding that Clinton is the heir apparent to reclaiming the White House, then now is the time to remind it.
Simultaneous with Hillary's depressing weekend was a sea change in media opinion about her inevitability as the nominee. Even perennial antagonists seem more certain (and gleeful) that she's now a dark shade of brown toward becoming toast.
Bill Kristol has written in the New York Times that Obama now has the "clearer path to the party's nomination," despite Clinton's support by 100 superdelegates, who are culled mainly from the ranks of elected Democratic officials and thus easily tempted into backing a winner. And Clive Crook in the Financial Times has put paid to Clinton's supposed theme of "experience" by citing her seismic failure to reform health care as First Lady: "[S]ince when was failure, unredeemed by subsequent success, a qualification for the top job?"
Robert Novak notes that the Clinton strategy of waiting out the locust days in order to snag the delegate bonanza in Texas and Ohio -- two states where she's still ahead -- may not be wise given the proportional distribution of delegates. (Another possible erasure of Clinton's lead in Texas is that her votes relies heavily on Hispanics, and there is no telling how harmful her sacking of Patti Solis Doyle, the aforesaid campaign manager, will impact her command of this crucial demographic.)
Arnon Mishkin, however, worries that Obama can't close on his languorous national seduction because he still refuses to address the uncomfortable issue of his race. It's the so-called "Bradley Effect," referring to the surprising loss of the governorship in California in 1982 because his choice to run a "post-racial" campaign ignored a giant elephant -- or donkey, as it were -- in the room.
Though the most telling sign that the collapse of the Clinton Empire is imminent is also the least significant: Obama just won the Grammy for best spoken-word album for the audio version of his memoir The Audacity of Hope. His main rival was Bill.
Michael Weiss is the New York Editor of Pajamas Media. His blog is Snarksmith.