There are just some places you really can’t go home to again. It didn’t bode well for Hillary’s bid to make 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue her address once more that she spent tonight’s District of Columbia primary about as far from the old ‘hood as electorally possible, celebrating her hanging-by-a-fingernail lead in what increasingly seems like her equivalent of Giuliani’s Florida, Texas, in El Paso with a triumphant but by now rote and dog-eared march-to-victory speech–which was conspicuously free of the acknowledgment of any 800-pound gorillas.
The Obamanaut continued through the Chesapeake Valley tonight, with the Illinois Senator trouncing Mrs. Clinton in Virginia, Maryland, and the nation’s capital. “Trouncing” is almost charitable. His margins were the stuff of 1960s Mike Mansfield-era Senate votes: 60-37 (Maryland) , 75-24 in the District of Columbia, and, in the one state where there was some speculation she might pull a New Hampshire Surprise, defying the early polls and coming from behind to trounce Obama, and where even Obama’s people hoped for just a narrow victory, Hillary was carved up like a Virginia ham, 64 to 35.
It was a slaughter across the board. Barack’s lead in the pledged delegates is now outright. Just this week he’s even gained seven superdelegates to Hillary’s two. MSNBC’s Howard Fineman (who is no Anderson Cooper, even on his worst day) laid out his homework that no one on Clinton’s campaign could reasonably hope to finish the primary season with a lead in the pledged delegate. Norah O’Donnell’s exit polling indicated that white men are fleeing Hillary’s column as if she hired Celine Dion to perform at one of her rallies, and there are even fissures appearing in her previously rock-solid Hispanic bloc, as Obama took the Hispanic vote in Virginia 55-45. A Latino analyst from Texas reported that Obama got boots on the ground across the state already, opening offices in Austin, Waco, and other cities a week before Hillary. He won Catholics in Maryland, and on and on and on.
Chuck Todd’s own math was just as bleak for the Clinton campaign (I didn’t watch boo on FOX News tonight. I’m detoxing this week and don’t feel well enough to subject myself to that, and they were just going to lead with McCain-Huckabee anyway). She has to win Texas and Ohio and practically every remaining state with nearly 60% of the vote to surmount Obama’s delegate lead (a virtual impossibility, it would seem, on the face of Obama’s bigger and bigger rallies sticking a finger in the face of fire marshals and physics as he continues to pack tens of thousands of fans into buildings that are used to comfortably seating considerably thinner crowds, like Milwaukee Bucks fans). Her trump card has always been up to this point that she still held the lead in the popular vote. Before tonight, she in fact did hold a 400,000 vote lead in the popular vote if you counted Florida and Michigan (which, for the let’s-get-this-party-stunted reasons for which the Democrats are so destructively notorious, did not award any delegates because they dared to defy the party machinery and move their primaries up to January). That was before tonight. Obama took a fire axe to Clinton in tonight’s contests wiping out that nearly half-million vote lead in three fell swoops.
In the kind of tactical move that worked out so well for her in Iowa, Hillary is showing a similar bread-basket disdain for the voters in Wisconsin by deploying her resources to Texas and Ohio and practically conceding the Badger State to Obama. There have been many fools who have put their money against Hillary only to soon be parted from it, but she’s running out of game clock, and the arena is getting very loud against her.