I’m going to take a break from the war post-mortems to discus tonight’s primary/caucus results.
It was a big night for Kerry and Edwards. Sorry, GEN Clark, but you needed to come away with a victory tonight. And no, winning Oklahoma by a couple of thousand doesn’t count–it had to be a nice, clear win, even if it was by only three or four percentage points. Without it, the rationale for your campaign vanishes–if you can’t win one primary in your party, how can you hope to win the White House?
It didn’t help that the Clark management made some key mistakes, like taking Clark out of South Carolina, where he could have polled well, and sending him to Arizona, where many voters had already voted by mail. Or courting, then not courting John Weaver, McCain’s maverick genius, who would have reinforced Clark’s indy cred.
Instead, you had the wonderboys from Al Gore’s winning Presidential campaign, Mark Fabiani and Chris Lehane, calling the shots. And now we have the results of said shot-calling. That these two managed to rise so far, and fail so miserably, is a living testament to the power of the Peter Principle.
So, now, instead of a three or four man field, we have the final two: Kerry and Edwards. Dean, while still theoretically able to pull out a win in either Michigan or Washington (possibly both), realistically will have to contend with Edwards too, who’s going to be going after the labor vote in Michigan. So, any way you cut it, it’s most likely Kerry versus Edwards