Hillary canceled her interviews with the morning talk shows and is hunkering down in the war room reassessing the new situation.
The election did several things for the Obama campaign:
1). It defeated the myth that Barack Obama is an "elitist" because he received 36 percent of the white working-class vote in North Carolina and an impressive tally among white voters in Indiana.
2). The fact that 93 percent of African-American voters in North Carolina cast their ballots for Obama repudiates any notion that his association with Reverend Jeremiah Wright casts a pall over his judgment in the eyes a black electorate steeped in the traditions of the black church. And these are voters who are also steeped in the history of the civil rights movement. (Remember, it was in Greensboro where the lunch counter sit-ins ignited the civil rights and black student movements.)
Obama won North Carolina 56 to 41 percent.
3). In Indiana, a traditional blue-collar state that is at least 85 percent white with a strongly conservative bent Obama has fought Hillary Clinton to a standstill. He has denied her the "game changer" victory that she needed. Indiana surprised everybody by showing that neither Reverend Wright nor Hillary's gas tax "holiday" had any real traction with voters.
4). Also in Indiana, it is poignant that Gary is the city that really came through for Obama since it played a crucial role in paving the way for advancing modern African-American urban politics. It's the same city that elected Mayor Richard Hatcher (a strong ally of Robert F. Kennedy in 1968), and the first black mayor of big city, and also hosted the "Gary Convention" in 1972, which catapulted the movement for black empowerment. Obama is standing on the shoulders of a powerful history in Indiana.
On February 20, 2008, in a blog titled: "It's Over," we wrote:
Barack Obama is going to be the Democratic Party's nominee for president of the United States in 2008. His strategy must now fully engage John McCain and the record of Republican misrule he represents. He must not allow Hillary to distract him with her desperate negative attacks. Obama is defending himself on two fronts. Hillary should bow out gracefully after March 4th for the health of the party. It's time for Democrats to focus on the general election.
Ditto that sentiment tonight -- better late than never.
(Special thanks to my friend and colleague Dr. Stan Oden for collaborating on this one as with the February 20th piece.)