Lost in last night’s Obama self-back-patting was the fact that few nominees have ever limped to the finish line so weakly. For at least two solid months, EVERYbody in Conventional Wisdomland had said Obama would easily win both Montana and South Dakota. (Yes, in the last week a few had said South Dakota might be close, but even they were wrong.) Instead, he got walloped in South Dakota despite the strong and longstanding support of every major Democratic political figure in the state. This comes on top of weak showings in a whole string of states. When the smoke clears, it will be evident that among elected delegates (i.e., not superdelegates) he will barely beat Clinton, and that his overall margin right now comes substantially from his growing edge in superdelegates. In short, he built a big lead among elected delegates and used it to bring superdelegates on board, only to see the elected delegate lead dissipate badly. He will end up winning the nomination — IF he wins, which is still an open question until the convention vote itself as long as Hillary draws breath — because he cleverly played the expectations game in order to make himself the Anointed One. But he is an Anointed One with his sheen having been considerably dulled, who has won as much because his main opponent is so disliked (and distrusted) as because of any accomplishment of his own. And now he is in an almost no-win situation in terms of picking a Veep who is not Hillary but who will somehow make the Clintons and their people actually want to seriously help him win.Â Weak, weak, weak.
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