Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Lie About Momentum

Watching this election closely has given me a new appreciation for bullshit. There's something to the fact that winning some early contests can establish you as a front runner candidate and make people in other states vote for you because you're the one who stands the chance. Basically there's no point to voting for Kucinich it he's only going get a couple percent (full disclosure, 2004 I voted for Kucinich after Dean dropped). Which a self fulfilling prophecy, in that, even if there was support out there it wouldn't be enough because you can't support a person without support.

Anyhow, what is true for the first couple contests becomes rather absurd this far out. After Super Tuesday, Barack Obama had pretty much the rest of February tailor made for his campaign, in that, he was set to crush everything on the agenda for a while. At least until Ohio and Texas which Clinton was set to do well in. She did ... eh, though only netting 4 delegates which the California certification pretty well reversed the day after (the other counts were three votes Clinton heavy, three votes Obama shy), and as a consequence, she is mathematically Hucked (a quick political allusion to Huckabee).

The insistence on narrative is a bit 'lie-y'. She underperformed Super Tuesday (Obama netted more delegates) when she needed to get a strong enough lead to block for the rest of February. Then she needed to do well in VOTR primary, which she didn't, but did "win" the states (at least the ones which mattered). Further, she'll win in PA too... but it isn't going to save her. If Florida manages to get a new election (looking doubtful) or Michigan (looking a bit better for a caucus) she'll still going net so few delegates that she'll end up losing.

The narrative is complete crap. After Edwards dropped out just before Super Tuesday, a couple days later everybody had pretty well made up there minds. I think the idea that everybody voted for Obama because he was on fire, winning 12 in a row, is about as dumb as the idea that Clinton just can't be knocked out of this thing, keeps rising from the dead, or can't be counted out. She underperformed where she needed to do really well at every turn. -- She's now lost. It makes for a crappy story. Looking at the delegates she's started off with a good number of Super Delegates from the DNC and DCL and proceeded to be whittled down to the point where there's no chance of her winning. There's your narrative. She's never won in this election, not from the first contest to this latest one. She's underperformed where in the races where she won, she's underperformed in the races where she lost.

Winning states is kind of crap too. It's a primary, they're delegates. Obama won in Georgia. Clinton won in Texas. How much did they win by? Obama netted 33 in Georgia and Clinton netted negative 5 in Texas. I honestly wish the news networks would try to report the news as it matters. Sure, "Obama wins Wyoming, TAKES MOMENTUM!" Sounds good, but winning that state is exactly as obvious as the fact that he's going to win Mississippi come Tuesday. I bet the momentum he gains from Wyoming helped him there!

The race is honestly interesting if you look at it fairly, this need to create a meta story, is unneeded. Why not report the truth rather than jerk people around? Clinton started out with the endorsements of some party bigwigs because her husband use to be president. She's done okay, but not well enough to win.

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