The Obama campaign indeed would appear to be presumptuous if it was intending to declare “victory” in Iowa on Tuesday night. In the end, however, Larry Rohter strikes me as being just a little more presumptuous.

Truth be told, I’ve long since been of the mind that the primary contest was really over at the end of February. The only thing that has changed much in the delegate math since then has been the steadily shrinking pool of available delegates.

But we’re in a different place now, a place where the Democratic race for the nomination ends when it ends. Which makes the headline for the article linked above so potentially upsetting. Obama will declare victory Tuesday night?

Only if he wants to piss off a slew of Clinton supporters.

Actually, I think those Clinton supporters will be angry at Obama no matter what he does. Even if he steps aside and hands the nomination over to Hillary, there will likely be some shortcoming on his behalf that will have to be drug out and beaten to the point of making glue.

Regardless of when you think the primary is over, or if it’s been over for a while, it doesn’t seem like a good move for Obama to go ahead and dub himself the Democratic nominee (even if Tuesday night’s contest provide an even more compelling argument that he has won on every reasonable metric), the state of the race at this point is what it is; Clinton’s in it until she isn’t in it anymore.

Which is about where I gave the NYT article a second glance. The closest we get to a confirmation that Team Obama is going to declare victory on Tuesday night is a Press Secretary that confirms the campaign is preparing itself for the General Election.

Which isn’t exactly earth-shattering news.

I just don’t see it going down like that without one added qualifier; Hillary drops out. I don’t think it wise, nor do I think it likely to happen, for Obama to anoint himself the Democratic party’s nominee unless Clinton gives him the go ahead first.

Could that have already happened? It’s more than possible. Even while supporters for both candidates continue to grow more antagonistic towards each other and the opposing candidate, Clinton and Obama have both retooled their messaging towards reconciliation. Neither candidate has delivered direct blows towards each other in what is an eternity in the 24 hour news cycle of an internet full of strung out political junkies, and staffers from both sides have admitted that the end of the contest is near, and the winner won’t be much of a surprise.

But without Mrs. Clinton’s blessing I think we’ll still hear a lot of victory talk, but not THE victory talk.

More at Memeorandum: American Spectator, The Trail, Open Left, Taylor Marsh, The Confluence, The Jed Report, Degree of Madness, Redstate, Jeff Mapes on Politics, TalkLeft, The Iconic Midwest, Political Radar and The Page

One Response to “Presumptuous”

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