Wednesday, February 06, 2008

McCain winner?

As John Judis writes in New Republic
(http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2008/02/06/who-won-super-tuesday.aspx) containment of Obama momentum by Hillary is actually making an opening for McCain and GOP. With Hillary, it is clear that it is all back to Coastal Blue States strategy of Kerry. If Obama does not get nomination, Missouri, Colorado and other Midwest states will not become Blue. The only scenario, Hillary will edge in the general election will be of souring of economy. If Iraq stabilizes, it is fine for Hillary because that would hide her ‘flip-flops’ in this matter. If violence erupts again in Iraq, it will be marginally better to her too since it is very unlikely that Americans will buy the McCain line of ‘staying for 100 years’. We will be in the sixth year of Iraq war by November and the fatigue of that war has already settled in. But if the economy holds and Iraq stabilizes bit, GOP will be ‘on march’ too.

In a sense, it is not a strong opening for Dems via Hillary in the current state. With Obama, since he did not knock out her and got bad bruises in California; his case is still not proven fully. If Dems are looking for a victory via Obama, he would need to defeat Hillary politically – by popular votes in a big state. Otherwise, he will be a weak contender against GOP. One of the basic objectives of Super Tuesday for Dems was whether Obama would take Dems beyond Coastal Blue States strategy by winning Midwest, South and still carrying some of the coastal states. He did the first two but could not deliver on the last one. It is also perplexing that Obama ignored California and Massachusetts quite early in the game. There never was any serious attempt by Obama campaign to get entrenched there. Probably it was thought, there would not be sufficient money to go after California in a meaningful manner. Considering the money raked in by Obama campaign that seems to be the miscalculations. To label less interest in California as a strategic move based on the assumption that Hispanics and Asians will not come on the board anyway seems bit cynical. And as far as Massachusetts goes, probably it was thought that Ted Kennedy and John Kerry could at least help to reduce the double digit gap. But that gamble clearly did not work.

However, Obama does not need to throw in the towel. He still has a chance to notch some convincing victories – especially in Ohio and Texas. The later is tough, but that is what is needed.

All in all true winner after Super Tuesday could be John McCain.

No comments: