Another impressive Tuesday for Barack Obama; he took a small but clear lead in the delegate count while showing signs of cutting into Clinton's base. Clinton's back is to the wall: Obama will likely win the February 19 Wisconsin primary, which means she'll have to win convincingly in Ohio and Texas to keep her superdelegates from bolting. I'm not sure she has to win as big as the pundits are saying -- why would anyone withdraw after winning any kind of victory? -- but narrow wins leave her vulnerable to a fast fade.
McCain's general election problems against Obama are obvious. Look at the two pictures above: One of a youthful, gifted politician reaching out to enthusiastic young people, the other of a near comatose septuagenarian senator celebrating with an octagenarian senator (John Warner of Virginia) and Florida governor Charlie Crist. If this election is about change, who of the two is more likely to deliver it?
In 1968, the Wisconsin primary played a key role in unseating a sitting president. After narrowly beating Eugene McCarthy in the New Hampshire primary, Lyndon Johnson foresaw defeat in the upcoming Wisconsin primary and decided not to pursue a second term. Read about it here, and even if you don't, be sure to scroll down to the pictures. Johnson's address to the nation announcing his decision not to pursue another term is here (scroll down to the March 31, 1968 speech).
Monday evening, T. and I went to a fundraiser for Darcy Burner, Democratic congressional candidate in Washington's 8th District. Two-term incumbent Dave Reichert, described by conservative pundit Robert Novak as "a former sheriff of King County, Wash., who has not distinguished himself during three years in Congress," is a walking, barely breathing definition of the term "empty suit." (Check out this video, in which he has no answer to...well, you have to see it to believe it.) Burner, on the other hand, is knowledgeable, passionate, and energetic. She's raised more money than Reichert, will outwork him, and stands poised to knock him off his perch.
Now is the time for your tears: We're so desperate for troops that we're pulling Iraq veterans out of psychiatric care and sending them back to Baghdad. Read it and weep.