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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 13, 2008 / 6 Adar II 5768

Not only will Clinton likely get nominated, but she'd be a better candidate, too

By Jonathan V. Last


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Barack Obama's electoral flaws manifested themselves last week as he lost primaries in Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island. If you've been reading this column and paying close attention to the voting coalitions of Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, this came as no surprise. By now, others have told you how "unstoppable" Obama is enough times that you should know better.

Obama had a monthlong string of victories in states tailor-made for his campaign. He had a month of the most fawning and deferential media coverage imaginable. He had a month of presumed inevitability that saw many otherwise serious people calling for Clinton to leave the race. He had a month in which he raised $55 million, enabling him to outspend Clinton 2-1 in Ohio and Texas.

And yet he lost the two most relevant states since Super Tuesday.

Obama still leads in pledged delegates and the popular vote, as long as you exclude the results in Michigan and Florida. Democratic primaries in 10 states, Puerto Rico and Guam remain - and the demographic makeup of those states is largely favorable for Clinton. To this point, demography has been destiny - and there's no reason to think that will change. Obama should win Mississippi, North Carolina, and a couple of smaller states. Clinton should win Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia.

If that is what happens, neither candidate will have enough pledged delegates to secure the nomination before the Democratic convention in August. Obama would arrive in Denver with a lead of perhaps two dozen pledged delegates.

What happens then? Each candidate will make a case to the Democratic Party that he or she has the more legitimate claim. The superdelegates will then decide the nomination.

Obama's argument will be as follows: He garnered more pledged delegates and he does better in prospective polling matchups against John McCain.

Clinton's case is more complicated - but I think it has a better chance of working. She can argue that Obama's lead stands up only if you exclude the results of Michigan and Florida. These two states were stripped of their delegates by the national party after naughty state party officials decided to move the primaries up on the calendar. Clinton and Obama both promised not to campaign in either state. Clinton won both primaries handily.

The Obama camp insists that rules are rules and Florida and Michigan shouldn't count. But is that really a winning argument within the Democratic Party? About 2.3 million Democrats voted in those primaries. Remember that in 2000, Democrats fervently argued that Florida election law was less important than making sure "every vote counted." The party then claimed that holding to the strict letter of the law was tantamount to disenfranchisement.

If "voter intent" was more important than the law in 2000, shouldn't it also trump mere party rules in 2008? Obama's argument about the paramount importance of rules might work with a Republican audience, but it runs counter to the ideological framework of the Democratic Party.

The Obama camp complains that its candidate wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan. Fair enough. But Obama was on the ballot in Florida, and he even ran TV ads there, in violation of his pledge not to campaign in the Sunshine State. Clinton won Florida going away, 50 percent to 33 percent.

Come the convention, the inclusion of Florida alone will likely give Clinton the lead in pledged delegates and the popular vote. The inclusion of Michigan and Florida would almost certainly give her the lead in both.

In any case, Obama has a lead in pledged delegates only because he has been strong in caucus states. Obama can reasonably claim that caucuses are just as valid as primaries. But in truth, caucuses are not a particularly good indicator of electoral strength. Consider Texas: Obama won the Texas caucuses even as he lost the primary by a slim but hardly trivial margin (about 100,000 votes).

Finally, while Obama might lead McCain in theoretical matchups, Clinton can make the case that her voting coalition will be more formidable in the general election.

Obama's support comes in large part from reliably Republican states such as Idaho, Utah, Georgia and South Carolina. Democrats have no chance in those states come November. Meanwhile, Clinton will have won at least eight of the 11 largest states, including must-win battleground states such as Florida and Ohio (and Pennsylvania).

Remember, too, that Obama's coalition is composed of more reliably Democratic base voters: Blacks, voters making over $100,000, and young voters. These are groups that Democratic candidates carry most easily. If Clinton is the nominee, she can take these groups for granted.

By contrast, Clinton's coalition - women, older voters, whites making less than $50,000, Catholics, Hispanics - would be McCain swing voters in a race against Obama. Obama hasn't been successful in wooing those voters yet, so it's unclear why anyone would believe he will finally carry them (and then defend them from a very appealing McCain) in November.

In other words, if you look at the underlying fundamentals of the race, and not just the theoretical polls, Clinton can make a strong case that she is the candidate better suited to challenging McCain and winning the White House.

Don't be fooled by authoritative-sounding delegate math: If neither candidate has the required number of delegates, then holding a slim delegate lead matters much less than being able to articulate a convincing argument to the superdelegates, who are free to vote as they please.

Clinton has at least even odds at being the nominee. And she would probably be the stronger candidate for the Democrats.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jonathan V. Last is a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Comment by clicking here.


Previously:

02/18/08 GOP will unify as Obama and Clinton continue to vie
12/13/07 Fun begins as races tighten and shift
12/05/07 Iran's future: Would lower fertility rates lead to stability?
11/01/07 Nobel Prize in Economics — where Team USA still dominates the game
10/25/07 Handicapping the GOP's presidential horse race
10/11/07 Germany's Turks provide a lesson on immigration
09/13/07 British battle can offer us a perspective on casualties
09/12/07 Alas, GOP seems set to take hit in Senate
08/30/07 Europeans have supplanted backbones with capitulation
08/24/07 Politics holds the key to ensuring a healthy growth in population
08/17/07 Finessing the Democratic center
08/10/07 Woohoo! Satire seeing a revival
07/31/07 Historical model: For Obama, it's Carter
07/26/07 Baseball, apple pie, a 2nd chance
07/24/07 Harry Potter and the alchemy theory
07/06/07 Life is hard — and often short. The perils of professional wrestling
06/21/07 After Bush: Gingrich and others worry that his shortcomings could have a far-reaching effect on the GOP
03/09/07 Why the British outclass us in acting
01/23/07 Romney: Seriously great, but with baggage
12/23/06 When truth is transpicuous
12/05/06 A realistic plan: Split the country in two
11/08/06 We could easily pull out of Korea and let China have regional hegemony. But would it be the right thing?
10/24/06 The decline of revolution
10/18/06 Why the free market is king
08/07/06 Democracy, of itself, not solution to all problems
08/01/06 We get the movies we deserve
07/27/06 How long will U.S. empire last?


© 2006, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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