I’ve been on Al Jazeera Arabic for a few hours tonight and enjoyed encounters with a number of thoughtful Republican and Democratic strategists. After I left, I went to a party in the Adams Morgan sector of Washington to watch the results continue to roll in with a bunch of young activists, bloggers, and friends associated with Move On.
The crowd I was with in the after evening was overwhelmingly pro-Obama. . .but I asked them one on one and then collectively what their mood as the results came in — and despite the cheering behind Obama right now in the Chicago Hyatt — I would say the mood was not entirely despondent, but more like somewhere between slightly depressed and unimpressed by Obama’s results tonight.
It’s not a scientific survey — but it’s an interesting read among people because these folks are the sort who want to see Obama win badly. They didn’t see him doing that tonight.
But his speech tonight was lofty. And I liked the lines “All the results may not be in yet — but we know that our time has come. . .our movement is real. . .and that change is on the way.”
Obama did well tonight I think. He scored some significant wins — and the story may be very interesting when delegates come in. He seemed to win the smaller states by large margins — and Hillary seemed to win most of the big states by smaller margins. That may have helped Obama disproportionately with delegates. But we’ll see. California is not in.
But if I were an alien looking down at the Earth without any pre-knowledge of the race, I think that Dems are still divided down the middle. I see the results as roughly even — and that means this goes on. Those who support Obama want to see the results viewed through the surge in his standing — but even his supporters feel he didn’t go far enough.
Those who support Hillary Clinton see that there is no inevitability in a victory for their clan — and she did not score any knockout punch.
And her speech lacked the personal vignettes that Bill Clinton used to mesmerize and inspire his crowds with.
The Democrats are divided — and the negotiation between quadrants of the party about what it wants to be will continue.
On the Republican side, Huckabee’s legs are impressive in the South — and he’s the necessary sizzle for any one who takes the nomination.
BUT THE REAL STORY TONIGHT was the absense of enthusiasm and people at the McCain party in Arizona. The staging of that was unbelievably bad. No people. Flat energy. When compared to the sizzle and excitement of the Obama and Clinton campaign parties, it’s clear that Republicans have an enthusiasm problem.
Barack may have a rise going on — but the barrage of celebrity and political endorsements for him turned out not to be a tsunami. Hillary Clinton performed solidly — but she lacks his spark.
Hillary and Barack need to run on the same ticket.
— Steve Clemons