Commentary Magazine


Once Again, The Media Declare the Democratic Race Over

As Abe and Jennifer have noted, this has been the worst week of Barack Obama’s candidacy by far. So it is interesting, to say the least, that three major political venues — the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Politico — chose this week to publish  articles on why Hillary Clinton has almost no chance to win the nomination. What the articles say is certainly true enough: The delegate math doesn’t add up for her even if she does brilliantly from now until June. But where is the vaunted media hunger for the hot horse race? Surely, if she wins every state until the end of the primaries, that will suggest Obama has weakened wildly and will change the dynamic of the discussion in Democratic circles going into the summer. It’s a tall order, very tall, to be sure. But one thing is certain: Her path to the nomination actually looks better this week than it did last week, owing to Obama’s troubles. And yet the pieces all appear at once to say she’s through.

Why try to puncture a hole in Hillary’s balloon now? It is very nearly impossible not to think that, at least unconsciously, the pieces are an effort to limit the damage to Barack Obama among the undecided superdelegates and the like by reminding them of the trouble Hillary is in. The simultaneous or near-simultaneous publication here is not a mark of conspiracy, but of the peculiar way the mass media mind works at times.

Just remember this the next time somebody says the media love a good race and thrive on conflict. Whoever says it is almost always explaining away a liberal bias. In this case, it’s an Obama bias.