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Posted by on Feb 20, 2008 in Politics | 9 comments

Two Must Reads On The Wisconsin Primary

A lot of good analysis is pouring in now on Senator Barack Obama’s landslide win in the Wisconsin primary — but let’s point you to two excellent ones from different viewpoints.

First, read Larry Kudlow on National Review Online. He begins his piece this way:

Please allow me a dose of hardened market realism concerning Obama’s landslide victory in Wisconsin. The race is over. Hillary is finished. The Clinton Restoration is over. President Bill Clinton’s political invincibility is over. Hillary’s electability is over.

Obama got to the far Left faster than she did. He out organized her in the precincts. He out fundraised her. He out speechified her. He out-hustled her. He out-dressed her. He out-presidentialed her. He outdid her and he outbid her for votes, one promised government check at a time.

A 15-point margin in Wisconsin is incredible. Wisconsin is a lot like Ohio except for the wacko ultra-Left Madison college population, which is even worse that Columbus’s Ohio State. But there are so many campuses in Ohio that will go for Obama that it is no matter. Think faculty voters, grimly determined for a left-wing takeover of America ” from the bottom up” to use the former Saul Alinsky community organizer’s phrase. As goes Wisconsin, so goes Ohio.

And he ends it thusly:

The Intrade pay-to-play prediction market shows Obama with a 7.5-point gain tonight, giving him a 78 to 20 lead. That’s right, 78 to 20. Hillary has suddenly become an incredibly steep inverted yield curve, with a rapidly declining credit rating and a complete drying up of liquidity. She won’t be able to raise two wooden nickels, and not even Bill can raise enough money in Dubai to keep her out of bankruptcy.

As of tonight, the market has officially pulled the plug, terminating her campaign. The only thing left for her is to muster some grace, humility and character to begin the process of pulling out. To do otherwise will destroy the Democratic party and what’s left of the Clintons’ badly tarred and tattered reputation.

The real winner tonight? That chap from Arizona. Captain John McCain.

Read it from beginning to end.

The second must read is Dick Polman’s post “It’s hard to spin when you don’t win.” He begins his this way:

Did I mention one week ago, in the wake of landslide losses in Virginia and Maryland, that the Hillary Clinton campaign resembled the Titanic just as the second-class cabins were starting to flood? I did indeed. But here’s an update:

The water is ascending the grand staircase, and threatening the first-class dinnerware.

It’s hard to imagine how the Clinton people can possibly spin away what happened last night in Wisconsin, when in reality the next round of voters, in Ohio and Texas, will awaken this morning to news stories declaring that Barack Obama has buried Hillary in yet another landslide; that, on a percentage basis, Hillary lost almost as badly as Mike Huckabee lost to John McCain on the Republican side; that Obama has now won 10 contests in succession (the 10th was Hawaii, last night), all of them blowouts; and that, most importantly, he has effectively whittled away at her electoral base, to the point where large chunks of that base seem poised to defect. It’s hard to imagine that Texas and Ohio, voting 13 days from now, will not be influenced by the magnitude of Obama’s achievements.

But hang on: The Clinton people did try to spin away Wisconsin last night.

Polman goes on to note how the Clinton camp tried to dismiss Wisconsin as going for Obama because the Illinois Senator got independent voters:

There were three fundamental flaws in that remark. First, a Democratic candidate’s ability to attract independents is actually an asset (Obama topped Hillary among independents by 27 percentage points), because, after all, independents generally swing presidential elections. Which means that the candidate who is weaker among independents is arguably less electable….The Ohio and Texas primaries on March 4 are also open to independents. Given that reality, how does Hillary expect to post the lopsided victories she so badly needs?

He then writes this:

So what can Hillary do next, now that she has fallen farther behind in the aggregate popular vote, and in the all-important pledged delegate count?

She’ll obviously try to tweak or even overhaul her message, but mostly she may be forced to sit tight and hope for the best – hope that Obama makes a mistake in the next debate on Thursday night, or perhaps in the debate next Tuesday night; hope that she isn’t hit with a speight of defections among the superdelegates who committed to her early (indeed, after last night, it’s doubtful that any of the current fence-sitters are going to sign on with her during this hiatus before Texas and Ohio); and hope that she can raise new money from donors who might now be tempted to view her damaged goods.

There’s a lot more. Read the whole thing.

Any analysis of political events this campaign season is in risk of being outdated within days. But these two analyses are stand-outs.

And be sure to read (or-re-read) TMV columnist Shaun Mullen’s superb take on the election results and the new political context below.