Commentary Magazine


Running Out of Options

The magnitude of Hillary Clinton’s loss is rather eye-popping: she lost by 17 percent last night, just one point less than Mike Huckabee’s margin of defeat. The latest delegate total shows her trailing 1239 to 1301. What to do? Her options are limited because the main lines of attack (e.g. Obama has no real experience, he is too far left), which may be viable avenues for John McCain, either don’t work in a Democratic primary or don’t create enough of a contrast between the two. (It took Barack Obama to convince the media that Hillary Clinton is painfully light on experience herself.) She could go negative and incur the wrath of the media, or she could hope for an awful gaffe. Tomorrow’s debate and the one next Tuesday may be her final chances to climb back into the race.

While Obama may not reach 2025 delegates by June, he will, at this rate, establish himself as the undisputed “winner” and thereby deprive Clinton of any argument to lure away the superdelegates. We will then have our general election match up: the two greatest come from behind nominees, perhaps ever.