Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Super Tuesday Super Roundup

So, after yesterday's Uber Tuesday voting extravaganza, what do we know?

If you're a Democrat, or interested in the Democratic race, I think the answer is clear: Not a hell of a lot. Spin things depending on your preferred candidate: Obama won more states! Hillary won the biggest one by taking California! But either way, the divisions in the party are clearly not going to be resolved any time soon. And I am fine with that. I welcome a real race all the way to the convention.

Meanwhile on the GOP side of the aisle the picture is somewhat clearer. Because of the (I'd argue utterly unjustifiable) winner-take-all nature of the Republican primaries, John McCain is forging to a lead that is likely to be insurmountable. (And it seems that he may be able to thank recent successes in Iraq for his own electoral fortunes.) But while time might give McCain the advantage of being able to start hammering away at the Democrats, it also is going to give him ample time to have to pander to the party's far right base. McCain has amply revealed in recent years that he'll derail the Straight Talk Express whenever expediency calls for it. My hope is that he'll avoid the temptation to cave under the rationale that those voters are not going anywhere and will not in any case stay home in the face of a Hillary or Obama candidacy.

Yesterday's results and what it all means is receiving the expected saturation coverage today. The first thought on everyone's minds is the horse race: You know, who won? Seriously. Who won? And who sort of won but, let's face it, really lost.

But the biggest lesson may be: stay tuned. Enjoy it. We have a real race. The longest presidential run in history is about to get longer, as these three or four months, normally a respite, are only going to be increasingly intense. Super Tuesday has merely set the scene for the race yet to be run.

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