Barack Obama earned enough delegates Tuesday—both pledged and super—to become the Democratic nominee for president. His speech announcing the fact offered gracious praise of his former opponent Hillary Clinton. Except that Clinton’s not ready to be the “former” opponent it: She’s still in it until further notice. On a media day that saw the first African-American major-party nominee, Clinton is omnipresent.
Liberal Steve Benen at the Carpetbagger Report is jubilantly defiant: “Tell me that this doesn’t make you feel like anything is possible in the greatest country on earth. Tell me that this ripple of hope won’t capture the imagination of people who still look to the United States as a beacon. Go ahead. I dare you.”Scarecrow at Firedoglake reflects: “It was fitting that each won a primary on the final night. I wrote months ago that no matter who won, the Democrats’ challenge was to conduct their campaigns in such a way as to leave no doubt that the country was prepared to have either/both break through their respective barriers. We are not there yet, but that outcome is still possible if the coming days and weeks are handled wisely.’
Conservative Ed Morrissey at Hot Air basks in the historical import of the moment—up to a point: “In watching and reading some of the reaction, many reveled in Obama’s nomination for the same reason. They want to feel good about America rather than have an experienced nominee. In fact, they not only want to feel good about America, they want to feel good about themselves. They wanted to be part of that historical moment, and that was their first priority—and that’s not limited to Obama supporters, either.” Quoting Morrissey, Sister Toldjah says that the media’s love affair with Obama clouded their vision: “[They] expected Hillary Clinton to give more than just a passing nod to the significance of Obama’s win last night because, well, it makes them feel good that they helped Barack Obama become the first black person to head a major party’s ticket in American history. A wall has been torn down thanks in no small part to them, and in their minds Hillary Clinton as a woman should be ecstatic as an ‘inclusive Democrat; to see it happen in her lifetime.”
Mar y * at Freedom Eden is also a little put-off by the focus on Obama’s race: “The media and elected officials keep reminding us that for the first time a black man has secured the nomination of a major party. I wonder how many voters look at Obama and think ‘black guy.’ … Are we supposed to care about skin color? I thought we weren’t supposed to concern ourselves with something as superficial as that.” At the New Republic’s Plank, Cinque Henderson also has mixed feelings about Obama’s triumph: “I was on the phone with two black friends and I couldn’t help feeling what they felt: real happiness and racial pride to see him there. Then Barack reminded me of why his change and hope speech can be quite cynical—the perfectly unnecessary description of McCain’s Iraq position as staying in Iraq ‘for 100 years.’ Everyone knows that’s not what McCain meant—and in Barack’s moment of triumph, his public act of graciousness, he might have told more of the truth about his opponent, who was making a legitimate point about the use of troops abroad.”
At Commentary’s Contentions, Abe Greenwald notices that Clinton wasn’t around to take Obama’s phone call Tuesday night. He makes the obligatory “3 a.m.” joke and wonders what that will mean for a future dream-team: “What kind of plan to nab the VP spot involves blowing off the gracious nominee at the apogee of his triumph? She has a plan, all right, and the vice presidency is one branch of the decision tree she’s considering.” And at Comment is Free,the Guardian’s Michael Tomasky is pissed at Clinton’s refusal to go away: “Once again, it’s all about Hillary Clinton, who delivered the most abrasive, self-absorbed, selfish, delusional, emasculating and extortionate political speech I’ve heard in a long time. And I’ve left out some adjectives, just to be polite.” And Matthew Yglesias tells us how he really feels.
Clinton supporter Big Tent Democrat Talk Left responds to a Politico item that Obama will not be heavily courting offended Hillary fans with this: “Makes sense to me. Why worry about 18 million voters? So it turns out the Obama campaign has some not too smart people on his campaign too. Expect a swift rebuke from Axelrod over this.”
James Joyner of Outside the Beltway lays aside Clinton’s personality and weighs the merits of her advertised reasons for staying in the game this long: “It may well be that the weak points Clinton identified, which didn’t quite work with a Democratic nominating electorate, will go over better in a general election campaign. … Clinton continued to win states right up until the last night despite the media having (rightfully) declared her campaign dead weeks ago. For all his oratorical skill, he’s a flawed candidate.”
Read more reactions to Obama’s triumph and Hillary’s nondeparture. In Slate, John Dickerson covered Obama’s speech declaring himself the nominee and also called the time of death on Clintonism. Meghan O’Rourke explains where Clinton went wrong, and O’Rourke and other XX Factor bloggers weigh in on Clinton’s speech.