Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Three for the show

A sweep of the so-called mid-Atlantic primaries (Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia) today have made Barack Obama the official frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States.

Also, presumptive GOP nominee John McCain survived a scare from Mike Huckabee in the Commonwealth of Virginia to score three wins and close in on the 1,191 delegates he needs to secure the Republican nomination.

The evening's losers, Hillary Clinton and Mike Huckabee, insist that the losses aren't as weighty as it may seem. Clinton campaigned tonight in Texas, a March 4 state, seeming to add credibility to pundits' speculation that she will go through the rest of February without scoring any victories. Clinton's senior campaign officials have sought to quell such speculation by reminding donors and volunteers that although she may not win any states, she will be picking up delegates even in loss, an important distinction that will keep her competitive until March 4.

As for Huckabee, he maintains that he will stay in the race to give Republican voters a choice until one candidate -- presumably McCain -- amasses the necessary delegates to sew up the nomination.

In this weekend's column, we'll consider Clinton's strategy of looking ahead to March 4. In comments, give me a feel for how you think that strategy will play out.