Politico describes the Democratic race for President has having entered the “World War I phase.” That sounds about right:
…on June 3, when South Dakota and Montana end the current voting calendar, the contours of the race aren’t likely to be much different from what they are today.
That means 2 1/2 months of conference calls, attacks, counterattacks and millions of dollars spent, all to move the political needle just a few inches.
“It’s going to be a long, hard slog,” predicted Jim Jordan, a veteran Democratic strategist not working for either candidate. “It’s not good for the party.”
The Democrats are suffering from an embarrassment of riches: two near-perfect candidates. Clinton and Obama are each an almost Platonic ideal of the modern Democratic Party. The only things distinguishing them from one another are race and gender.
Mix that together with proportional representation, and you have the mess the Democrats are in today. John McCain isn’t exactly a model Republican, but at least winner-takes-all primaries result in a clear winner, and quickly, too. Currently, McCain is overseas and looking very much like he’s already President. Clinton and Obama are locked in trench warfare.
The Democrats’ primary system is designed to give “everyone a voice.” Well, almost everyone has spoken and the result is… not pretty.
If the Dems really want to reform how they choose candidates, they need to get rid of tricks like proportional representation, superdelegates, hybrid votes, Tsunami Tuesday, and all the rest. If they had winner-takes-all, either Obama or Clinton would probably have wrapped this up six weeks ago.
Instead, the Democrats have two strong candidates trying to kill one another, armed with nothing more deadly than Sporks.