A “drumbeat” has started to sound in the media the past week with the speech on race by Sen. Barack Obama and with the announcement of Bill Richardson’s endorsement of Obama – “this could be the beginning of the end for Clinton.”
Jim Vandehei and Mike Allen at Politico.com wrote today that “One big fact has largely been lost in the recent coverage of the Democratic presidential race: Hillary Rodham Clinton has virtually no chance of winning.”
Former Republican and Democratic strategist (in fact, he worked for the Clintons) Dick Morris said on Fox News yesterday that “First of all, he is the Democratic Party nominee. There is no way that Hillary Clinton is going to either beat him in elected delegates or persuade the superdelegates. He is the Democratic nominee.” (Morris did add that he thinks the Wright issue will sink Obama in the fall.)
Jack Cafferty, of the Cafferty File on CNN, used the phrase when talking about the Richardson endorsement and the delegate count. Specifically, Cafferty said Richardson’s status as a special delegate gives other special delegates the excuse to come out and support Obama now, despite the Wright controversy.
Toby Harnden, The Daily Telegraph’s U.S. editor since 2006, writes that Clinton has “no realistic path” to the nomination. “Unless Obama is, as the now-jailed former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards once put it, ‘caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy’ she cannot overcome his pledged delegate lead.”
Slate’s Trailhead blog looks at the different ways that Clinton could catch up and pass Obama but then adds, “All this being a long way of saying, Hillary’s path to the nomination is not ‘narrow.’ It’s barricaded. Yet still there seems to be a hesitation among the media to declare Clinton dead. Maybe it’s her zombielike ability to rise again — first in New Hampshire, then in Nevada, then most recently in Texas and Ohio. But people have to understand there will be no knockout blow, no head shot. Rather it will be a long, slow exit that causes pain to everyone involved.”
But there are also two things to consider: 1) endorsements really haven’t mattered in the past. Kennedy endorsed Obama, and he still lost Mass. on Super Tuesday; 2) Clinton is way behind in pledged delegates but what about all of those superdelegates who may have benefited from the Clinton legacy in the past … and who will want to benefit from them in the future?
So what do you think? Is the end nigh? Does the Richardson announcement help Obama with superdelegates? What about Clinton’s ability to fight back again and again? (And hey, isn’t she leading in a lot of the polls right now?)
What do you think?