Super Tuesday was make-or-break time for Democrats and Republicans. So who got made and who got broken?
- Hillary Clinton. Say what you will about Hillary, she pulled out some big ticket victories on Super Tuesday, and even came from behind or near behind to do it. That includes a win in California, where Hollywood has been less than thrilled with Clinton in recent years. Although she barely beat Barack Obama in the delegate count for the contests yesterday and Obama has taken the lead in the delegate count, she's still seen as the frontrunner, which gives her a boost over her rival.
- Barack Obama. The fact he stayed competetive with Clinton in many states and managed to get 8 fewer delegates than she did shows Obama is a real threat to the Clintons...and to the Republican candidate. The Democratic nomination may still be up in the air after Super Tuesday, but Obama's performance last night guarantees he will be in the hunt for it for a long time yet.
- John McCain. From also-ran to front-runner. At this point, the "Straight Talk Express" is pretty much unstoppable, due in no small part to what appears to be backroom deals with Mike Huckabee's campaign to be a block to Mitt Romney. But he also seems to have built a coalition of liberal and moderate Republicans who want a change from the way the GOP has been run in recent years. To them, McCain represents both change and promise of victory in November.
- Mike Huckabee. He stands no chance of winning, but his actions have put him in a position where McCain owes Huckabee for being a firebreak against Romney. That will help him get a place at the table when McCain starts putting together the ticket or if he gets a chance to put together a Cabinet.
- Mitt Romney. Romney needed to win big to stay viable, and he didn't. But what's more maddening is that the Romney campaign didn't do more to break up what is now seen as the McCain-Huckabee coalition and the media's lack of coverage of Romney's victories. At this point, McCain has a commanding lead and I don't think Romney can pick up enough steam to run the rest of the states to be the nominee. If there is any upside to this, it may set the table for a run in 2012, provided McCain either loses in November or does so horribly that the GOP wants to dump him.
- The Republican Party. This may seem a bit melodramatic, but I don't see how the Republican Party can win in November. I've said that the only way the Democrats can win is through the nomination of John McCain, and lo and behold, that's what Republicans seem to be willing to do. Even with the internal problems being ignored by the Democrats, the Republican Party's problems are only beginning, and they will be magnified by the media.
- Talk radio. The jury's still out on how much talk radio's anti-McCain sentiment hurt Romney, but knowing the mainstream media, it won't matter because they'll say talk radio hurt Romney and proved how ineffective it has become. It's total spin, but it cannot be denied that talk radio may not have done itself any favors prior to Super Tuesday. Ideologically, they were being consistent with their beliefs, which is admirable considering the man they were criticizing has been anything but consistent. From a public relations standpoint, though, it will prove to be a boondoggle for so many talk radio hosts to go after McCain and fail to move the electorate like they used to do.
As promised, I'm going to step away from these types of blog posts at this point because things are pretty much settled for the Republicans and going to be settled for the Democrats soon enough. Now, I'll go back to my true strong suit.
Writing blog posts making more references to "Gigli" than there were people who actually saw the movie.