The only thing I can tell definitively after the South Carolina Democratic primary is that John Edwards is out, but I thought that before. But not winning in the state of his birth pretty much seals the deal that Edwards will not live in the White House, at least not next year.
Barack Obama had a big win in South Carolina. For those who support him -- this victory was huge. Some are saying he took and handled everything the Clinton machine threw at him and prevailed. Maybe so. When I see that 80% of the African-American vote went to Obama, I can't help but think that this may be a negative in attracting Hispanic votes -- and it is the Hispanic voter that is increasing in weight in the country. Some suggest that a candidate who draws heavily from the African-American vote will lose the Hispanic vote, and vice versa.
We'll see. And the Hillary Clinton people say that they knew this was going to happen in South Carolina and thus sent her off to prepare for February 5th.
I think that the battle is looking very close -- and that Denver should be fun. I'm going to get my accommodations lined up now.
One last note on something that makes me feel very uncomfortable. Caroline Kennedy endorses Barack Obama today in an op-ed titled "A President Like My Father" and promulgates more of the ethereal mysticism about Obama being the new JFK. I won't challenge Kennedy's own preferences or her own assessment of her dad's contributions to national life.
But I will say that JFK, as significant a leader as he was, was a hard core Cold War hawk. He approved the invasion of other nations and approved of regime change as a tool of American foreign policy. While in the end, his intellect and the assembled high quality intellectuals he had around him kept the world from falling into a nuclear catastrophe with the Soviet Union, it was Kennedy's youthfulness and his combination of hawkishness and Wilsonian rhetoric that helped precipitate a number of crises.
Messing with the memory of any icon like JFK has its dangers -- but while Caroline Kennedy may not want to feature these parts of her father's legacy in her endorsement of Obama, I feel I must note them. Obama is a compelling candidate who must know that gravity operates even in the White House.
Mysticism and gut will not assure our allies, deter our foes, restore confidence among our citizens, or make America regain its unique national and international character again.
Steve Clemons publishes the popular political blog, The Washington Note