The Democratic primary race is all over but the counting. Barack Obama will win the nomination.
And he will lose to John McCain in the November general election.
Thank you, Mrs. and Mr. Clinton!
By staying in the race after 10 consecutive drubbings in February, Hillary Clinton made sure that Obama got fully exposed for what he is -- a rank amateur not quite capable of firing a political kill shot. By dragging the race to its ugly conclusion, when no mathematical probability supports her continued candidacy, Hillary did the Republicans their bidding by going full throttle with the kind of identity politics that the Democrats are famous for.
Famous for losing presidential elections.
Make no mistake, the race card, gender card and even the AARP card are all now on the table. It will be fair game for McCain to play them come summer and fall because it was the Democrats who dealt them.
For Obama, he already got a losing hand.
If the blue-collar whites had reservations about voting for a black man, Hillary went out of her way to assure them that there's nothing wrong with racist feelings. If women resented a younger man taking away something that they perceive to belong to a woman who's put in her dues, Hillary said resent away. If old folks felt the country couldn't be trusted in the hands of an inexperienced neophyte, Hillary cleared it all up with, you know, that red phone thing.
All these constituencies are not gonna break Obama's way, even after he formally seals the nomination. And they're still not coming his way even if he makes an astonishing move by tapping Hillary as his VP candidate.
Now, Obama is not that green. He doesn't want Hillary running around the White House showing him where everything is, much less Bill telling him what to do. In this case, if he wins the election, he will be indebted to the Clintons, and will be forced to pack his cabinet with the Clintons' cronies. That's not change you can believe in.
But the truth is that even if Hillary is on his ticket, she won't be that much help. The only demographic group she truly has an influence on is the downscale women voters. The rest of them, they're all up for grabs.
And let's face it. Many of the Clintons' "supporters" during the primary have their own agendas. There are plenty of Republicans who disingenuously tried to influence the Democratic ticket. Some are whites who couldn't bear to vote for a black man but will have no trouble pulling the lever for McCain in the fall. And there are those who are truly concerned about national security -- yeah, whom do you think they want to answer that red phone?
No matter how you look at it, Obama is a badly damaged candidate. Battered by the incessant identity politics, he's right back into the mud-slinging that he had hoped to transcend.
Obama's best shot to stop the bleeding is to exert so much pressure on Hillary that she'd finally quit the race. With just a handful of primaries left to contest, Obama needs only about, at best 50, at worst 90, of the remaining 260 or so uncommitted super delegates to cast their lot with him to put him over the magic number of 2,025.
But does he have the clout and gravitas to force the issue? Not now. Obama might've been able to push another male candidate off the stage, but not Hillary. She's special because she's the first woman to legitimately vie for the presidency of the United States. With that being the case, no man had dare tell her what to do.
And that goes for the rest of the identity-obsessed Democrats. Yeah, talk about chickens coming home to roost.