Monday, May 19, 2008

It Might Be Hillary After All

I heard an interesting comment the other day. The comment was that, if we were starting the primary season all over again, Barack probably would not survive it. The reason, probably due to the Rev. Wright matter as much as anything, was that Barack was not going to be able to deliver states like Ohio and Pennsylvania for the Democrats.

I’m not too eager to see the Clintons back in the White House. Hillary will doubtless be a very competent president. It’s just that, every now and then, something comes back to remind me of that era. Today, it was Rwanda. Yesterday, in a conversation, it was the furniture-moving fiasco when they were exiting the White House. There was just too much of that sort of thing.

But whatever. It seems there is a good chance that, somehow, Michigan and Florida are going to weigh in on this thing; and given Hillary’s seemingly growing momentum, I expect they will favor her.

What I think the Democratic party may be angling for is a graceful exit from Obama, at least for now. Give him eight years to become a seasoned veep, and everything will look different. But at the present, I think the party leadership may feel that an Obama vs. McCain race will be too close for comfort. Not so much because of the polls, but because of the perceived potential for liabilities and unknowns.

It also seems that Hillary is seen as more of a centrist than Obama, in the sense that some who are denied a chance to vote for her may defect to McCain, while a similar defection seems unlikely for most would-be Obama voters. Given what sounds like a growing sentiment at the moment, my odds on Hillary becoming the nominee somehow are up from 10% to more like 40%.

We'll know in a few days. If that meeting of delegates in late May doesn't produce an irrefutable conclusion for Obama, then my bet goes over the 50% mark. At that point, in other words, I'm thinking the tide will have turned.