Yesterday, I laid out what I thought constituted victory for both sides. I believe Obama did what he had to last night, a convincing rout in North Carolina, for all intent and purposes a draw in Indiana. The gap is larger now, and last night represented the biggest delegate haul left. I thought David Gergen explained the process best, and why last night might mean the end of the campaign:
But the critical point is, four times now in this campaign, we have come up to the brink and each time she's been successful. Tonight, we came up to the brink, and she was not successful in the way she needed to be successful.
That explains why the race has continued on, because Clinton has won every time it was required. Last night was another one of those make or break scenarios, this time she fell short and as a result the sober truth is unavoidable.
I had the sense last night, that there we will now see increasing pressure for Clinton to accept the reality, people will argue it is time to close ranks around Obama. Last night will surely bring more superdelegates off the fence, leaving Clinton to play the role of spoiler. Fact is, Clinton will probably win next week’s primary in West Virginia by a landslide, ditto for the following week’s contest in Kentucky. However, those will be more moral victories than “game changers”. It was last night that provided the last opportunity, and the results effectively sealed her fate.
I think the time has come for Clinton to suspend her campaign and support Obama as the nominee. I don’t subsribe to the view that she has hurt the party by continuing, because in reality it was the voters that allowed it to occur. If Obama would have just won, then she would be gone, it’s as simple as that. However, her central thesis is now gone, she didn’t “win” last night, but any measure she “lost”, which doesn’t allow for anymore “tomorrow’s”. It is from this moment on, that the Clinton campaign is an objective negative for the Democrats, her continued presence hurts Obama’s chances in the fall.
I am now in the “it’s over” camp, the results have finally supported the arguments, Obama did what he had to, “closing the deal”. McCain vs Obama, let’s get on with it, time for Clinton to do the right thing.