POLITICS

Pundits React To North Carolina, Indiana Primaries

05/15/2008 05:12 am 05:12:01 | Updated May 25, 2011

With Senator Obama's double-digit victory in the North Carolina primary, and Senator Clinton eking out a very narrow win in the Indiana primary, the pundits have been reacting furiously to the state of the race. The consensus seems to be that Hillary is down, if not out. A roundup of pundit reactions to the state of the race is below.

Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic: Obama Wins; How Does Clinton Lose?

Barack Obama is, by almost every measure and by almost every unmeasurable impression, on the precipice of being able to declare victory and have his declaration be accepted by the media and his party. Hillary Clinton needed to find a way to give superdelegates their "Holy Moly" moment, and she failed. Absent an extraordinary intervening event, the question for Hillary Clinton now is how she ends the race. Obama has made it clear that he will not pressure her. It's her decision.

Ben Smith, Politico: Clinton's Path

The campaign goes on, but the chatter today has already begun on the truce Obama appeared to offer Clinton last night with his conciliatory, forward-looking speech, and whether Clinton will more or less embrace it. There's no imperative that she actually drop out, but it now becomes hard for her to sustain a full-out, combative campaign -- to stay on offense, and to raise the money it takes to do so.

Rick Klein, The Note: The Long Goodbye

The question that is now astoundingly close to being the most urgent one in the presidential race: Does Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton see a distinction between the good of the Clintons, the good of the Democratic Party, and the good of the country?

On the night that Clinton needed a resounding victory, it was Sen. Barack Obama who emerged on top -- and, by bouncing back from the biggest challenge to his candidacy, went a long way toward answering the questions that had left him battered and bruised (not even counting what happened on the basketball court).

Chuck Todd, First Read: The Game Changer

In a way, Clinton turned out to be prescient when she said that the North Carolina and Indiana contests would be a game-changer in the race for the Democratic nomination. What changed, however, was the story that Obama -- even though leading by every metric -- was on the defensive after losing Pennsylvania and after weeks of Jeremiah Wright and "bitter." But in winning North Carolina last night, his margin of victory (more than 230,000) was even larger than the amount that Clinton won Pennsylvania by (about 215,000). In fact, when you combine Clinton's narrow victory in Indiana and Obama's much larger one in the Tar Heel State, he ALMOST netted more votes than Clinton obtained from Pennsylvania. In short, we're right back to where we were on April 21, and that's something that won't be lost among Democratic superdelegates, especially after two weeks dominated by Wright.

Andrew Sullivan, The Atlantic: How Do They Take This From Him?

There is no calculation that currently gives the Clintons a majority of the popular vote. There is now no mathematical possibility of them getting more delegates. Obama has won by far the most states. He has raised far more money; he has 1.5 million donors, mainly small sums. He has crushed her among new voters and young voters; and as a black politician, his support spans all races and classes. And recall: he is a freshman senator with a very funny name against the biggest brand name in American politics and a worldwide celebrity whose chief campaigner was a former two-term president of the United States...

...The Clintons will have to realize some day that their time is over. I cannot pretend to know how they think or how much more damage to themselves, to their legacy and to their party they want to inflict. But I do know who has won this nomination, whether they try to steal it from him or not.

Steve Kornacki, New York Observer: The End Of The Clinton Strategy

Tuesday was a decisive night for Barack Obama.

Hillary Clinton won Indiana, barely, giving her as many states on the day as Obama got.

But the result made clear one thing: It doesn't matter anymore.

Joan Vennochi, Boston Globe: Clinton Needs To Accept Reality

It's decision time for Hillary Clinton.

Will she accept reality and Barack Obama's near-clinch of the Democratic nomination? Or will she embrace a "Sunset Boulevard" fantasy world, playing a political Norma Desmond who continues to dream of a triumphant return to the Oval Office?

Thomas F. Schaller, American Prospect: Is Clinton The Last To Know It's Over?

Though Clinton and Obama each technically won a state yesterday, the results clearly favored Obama. The question now is whether Clinton can see the increasingly obvious end of her campaign.

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