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The Tide is Turning

The tide is turning.
 - Hillary Rodham Clinton


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The primary for the Democrats in Pennsylvania is over. And Hillary Clinton's won by double digits. By at least 10%. And she announced 'the tide is turning'.

That 10% is the same 10% she won by in New Jersey and the same 10% she won by in Ohio. After all this campaigning - after the Axelrod carpet bombing of Pennsylvania with the most costly campaign in the history of the party - nothing's changed.

Hillary's still on top.

Once upon a time Hillary's then campaign manager planned everything - including the financing - for a decisive Super Tuesday win. With evidently no contingency option. Swedish observers noted this might be a bad thing - it was what Rudy Giuliani did on the road to Florida. And look at where he is today.

Hillary wrote a cheque to her own campaign, switched campaign managers, and started trying to raise cash again. In the meantime Obama who it's rumoured is being financed by (strictly speaking illegal) offshore interests went to all the small 'Republican' states on the road to Ohio and Texas, admonished Republican voters to participate (and this unbelievably enough was allowed) and ended up winning small victory after small victory.

But those victories don't count. Those states go Republican anyway in a general election. Yet not everyone remembers this all the time and Axelrod was able to hype the idea Barack Obama had 'MO' (momentum). When it actually was more like nobody else was on the playing field.

Hillary bided her time and was patient. And concentrated on Ohio and Texas. And despite over 2,000 reports of brutal tactics by Obama supporters in Texas was able to carry both states by decisive margins.

All along the survey results for Pennsylvania have told a simple truth: in an election where race - according to Obama - is not supposed to be an issue it's mostly blacks who vote for him. That and first time voters in the lowest possible demographic who simply don't have a clue and unfortunately are easily duped.

But the older voters - those who've seen the bamboozling and okey dokey before - aren't so easily lured. Just as with outsiders looking in it's easy for them to see Barack Obama is a fake. They resent somebody trying to win them over with vapid monosyllabic slogans and (deliberately) no content to their campaigns.

Indeed it has been David Axelrod's contention from the get-go that campaigning against Hillary the traditional respected way - with issues or 'policies' as he calls them - was doomed to failure: Hillary was Obama's better by a mile.

Taking out a page from the Karl Rove playbook, Axelrod decided his candidate Barack Hussein Obama would campaign with vapid sentiment - the 'hope' and 'change' Axelrod chose were the exact slogans he'd used to get the current Massachusetts governor into office.

Where coincidentally the only 'hope' or 'change' the people of Massachusetts have seen so far is a proposal to open a casino in the state. Which is probably why the voters of Massachusetts - despite endorsements from both the state's senators Kerry and Kennedy for Obama - gave Hillary a decisive victory.

The people of Massachusetts don't buy the okey dokey and the people of Pennsylvania ostensibly don't buy it either.

Although the evening has been mostly one of celebration in the Clinton camp there have been incidents - as per usual from the Obama supporters. Obama supporters were again (it's not the first time) found out trying to bamboozle Pennsylvania voters into believing the Democrats had already endorsed their candidate; at least one site was hacked and defaced; and several others were through most of the evening under denial of service attacks.

Clearly first time voters haven't yet learnt the meaning of the word 'democracy'.

And Hillary spoke in her victory speech of a tide that is turning; but looking at things in the broader perspective it's really a question of whether the tide's ever been against her. For so much is clear: that Hillary's won almost all elections she's set out to win. And Obama's won only Illinois.

No US president in modern times has made it to 1600 Pennsylvania without Ohio; Hillary won Ohio. Winning California is also crucial - it's the biggest state. She won that too. As she's won New York. And so forth.

And her husband Handsome Bill, renowned expert on voting trends, said long ago that if she won Ohio she'd take Pennsylvania too. And that if she won Pennsylvania she'd win the nomination. And a 'friendly campaign' between her and her good friend John McCain can realistically go only one way.

Barack Obama's already fled Pennsylvania. As per usual he's too arrogant to ring Hillary and congratulate her. (She's always rung him.) Barack's increasingly under pressure. Now the latest is he goes out in public to eat breakfast but then tells reporters he won't talk to them unless they promise to 'behave'.

'Can I just eat my waffles?' he bites off to them. But dear Barack: you could have taken your breakfast in private if you'd wanted. You went out because you wanted to. It was a publicity stunt. If you can't talk to your constituency already what's it going to be like at three in the morning?

Barack won a few states because Hillary was strapped for cash and concentrated instead on the states she knows Democrats need for victory in November. Barack picked up a lot of Republican votes that are once again going to be Republican votes in November. Saying 'the tide is turning' implies there's a sea change underway but everything indicates nothing's changed.

It was only the okey dokey of Barack Obama and David Axelrod.

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