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Does Obama need a longer race?

January 31st, 2008

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    How will the GOP’s likely choice affect the Democratic race?

With the Republican looking set to select John McCain as their nominee for November’s election there will be increasing focus on the Obama-Clinton battle? Will we get a clear picture after next Tuesday’s mass of primaries and caucuses or could this be spun out over many months?

David Broder of the Washington Post looks at the dynamics this morning and suggests that the longer the Democrats take to decide the better the prospects for the Black senator from Illinois. His reasoning is that Obama’s best hope lies in “more elected Democratic officials and candidates coming to view him as the better bet to defeat McCain in November”.

He says that the race remains hard to handicap “…because Clinton already has demonstrated her resilience by fighting uphill battles to prevail in New Hampshire and Nevada and because she retains formidable alliances and organizational strengths.. But the last two weeks have seen a remarkable shift of establishment opinion against her and against the prospect of placing the party’s 2008 chances in the hands of her husband, Bill Clinton. The prominence of his role in New Hampshire and South Carolina, and the mean-spiritedness of his attacks on Obama, stunned many Democrats. Clinton’s behaviour underlined the warning raised in this column before Iowa, by a prominent veteran of the Clinton administration, that the prospect of two presidents both named Clinton sharing a single White House would be a huge problem for the Democrats in November if she is the nominee.”

In an ABC interview last night Hillary acknowledged the danger of her husband to her campaign. When asked if she could “control Bill” Hillary replied: “Oh, of course. You know there’s only one president at a time”.

In the nomination betting the markets have moved a notch back to Hillary following Florida and the John Edwards decision. The former First Lady is now at 1/2 with Obama at 1.9/1.

Mike Smithson






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