Wednesday, May 7, 2008

It's over

The Democratic Primary is now over.

We'll probably go through the motions in West Virginia and Oregon but Barack Obama is now the nominee. Of course the race has been over mathematically for quite some time but now the Clinton campaign has lost control of the narrative. All over the TV last night the pundits were declaring that Obama had now secured the nomination. Now that that has occurred it is impossible for Clinton to continue as a challenger to Obama.

It's a shame that in our political process the seemingly arbitrary judgments of the elite media carry more weight than actual votes by actual voters but that's the way the system is currently stacked. So long as the Russert's of the world were willing to go along with the Clinton spin she could perpetuate the narrative that she still had a chance. That narrative died last night, somewhere in North Carolina or possibly in Lake County Indiana.

1 comment:

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Our system is not terribly unusual in that regard and indeed is rather formalistic, actually.

In many parliamentary systems, the incumbent executive branch officials are expected to take a caretaker role as soon as an election is scheduled, and power is routinely transferred in practice by informal agreement between the outgoing and incoming prime minister as soon as the party that will take a majority become clear, even prior to a formal inauguration. In contrast, in the U.S. it is not unusual for lame ducks to exercise considerable initiative and power.

The tradition of conceding to a sure winner in primary season predates modern telecommunications in American politics.