Despite the habit of the mainstream news media of treating the nomination process as a series of blockbuster heavyweight bouts with names such as "Super Tuesday", the object of the game of winning the nomination in one of the two major parties is that of collecting the pledges from a majority of the delegates to the parties' National Conventions held during the summer before the General Election.-- RICHARD E. BERG-ANDERSSON (yes, that's right-- I'm quoting myself!), from 'HOW DID WE GET HERE, ANYWAY?: an historical analysis of the Presidential Nominating Process.
Yet, here *I* am, utilizing a title for this very Commentary purposely evocative of just such a "blockbuster bout" (more usually seen on 'Pay per View' ["Don't miss it!" ;-)])
But that is, basically, what it has come down to on the Democratic side as we head into the 4 March 2008 Presidential Primaries known collectively as 'Super Tuesday II'!
Hillary Clinton cannot at all knock Barack Obama "out of the ring" this week. At best, should she do well (or, at least, well enough [for her own campaign has been putting forth the notion that the former First Lady won't even consider dropping out of the race unless Obama sweeps all 4 States- Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont]), we will merely be back to where we were after 'Super Tuesday I'- the 'Super Duper' Tuesday four weeks before, on 5 February, that was supposed to have- so the conventional wisdom once proclaimed- determined things once and for all. And then, Mississippi's Primary on Tuesday 11 March aside, we will all have a long wait until Pennsylvania votes on Tuesday 22 April (thus- even if Senator Clinton manages to slow, if not outright stop, Senator Obama's post-'Super Duper' Tuesday momentum- she will not herself gain any real momentum because the visible presidential nomination campaign will pretty much then go on sabbatical [literally!-- it's another 7 weeks from 'Super Tuesday II' to delegate-rich Pennsylvania's Primary]).
Barack Obama, however, could put the "big hurt" on Hillary Clinton with a sweep of all 4 'Super Tuesday II' States, if not even potentially "knock her out of the ring" with just such a result.
Thus, this will be an unusually short Commentary from me, if only because there is not all that much more that can be said until we know just what the results of 'Super Tuesday II' actually are!
On the Republican side, meanwhile, Senator John McCain continues what appears to be his inexorable march towards clinching the 2008 GOP presidential nomination. As of this typing, 'The Green Papers' has McCain with an, admittedly, estimated 907 pledged delegates with 958 Republican delegates still "out there"; Mike Huckabee, meanwhile, has an estimated 233 delegates pledged to him and, since 233 + 958 = 1191 (the majority needed for nomination if the Party's sanctioning of 5 States holds come the Convention), this means that Governor Huckabee is hanging onto gaining the nomination outright by just his fingernails. (Then again, Huckabee did say he was in it until "someone reaches 1,191"; note well that he did not say he would necessarily be out if he could no longer reach that "magic number"!)
By the same token, if one assumes that the sanctions will, in fact, be lifted once the GOP Convention is gaveled to order in St. Paul (and all accounts we at 'The Green Papers' have been getting indicate that the sanctioned States are putting together full, unsanctioned delegations [the "bouncers" at the doors of the "club" will, apparently, have their work cut out for them! ;-)]), then Governor Huckabee is already mathematically eliminated from claiming the nomination directly (since his [estimated by us, as of this typing] 236 pledged delegates plus the 976 still available only would gain him a maximum possible total of 1,212-- 47 delegates short of the 1,259 delegates that would be needed to nominate were the sanctions to no longer be in force at the Republican National Convention).