Wednesday, February 6, 2008

And the winner is ...

OK, so by now everyone knows that Sens. John McCain and Hillary Clinton won the California presidential primary. But no one scored a knockout punch (McCain landed a haymaker on Mitt Romney's chin but didn't take him down).

McCain will still have to defend himself from Romney attacks in the coming weeks if Romney's Tuesday night pledge to keep on fighting all the way to the White House is for real. Even though McCain appears to be in an unassailable position and on the way to the GOP nomination, it's still a long road.

But if the road to the Republican nomination is long, the Democrats' road is marathon-esque. Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama are, for all intents and purposes, still on equal footing. They'll be fighting for the nomination possibly all the way to the convention.

I see this as a great thing for the Democrats, as it means both Clinton's and Obama's supporters are still going to be very interested — and invested — in the process. There are no disaffected clothespin crossovers throwing their support behind Clinton or Obama because "They're better than the old white guy" (that would be whichever candidate the GOP decides on).

So there's a chance that the Democrats will have two viable candidates with lots of support and interest headed into the convention, while many Republicans will likely have heard more attack ads leveled at McCain and still decided that he's the lesser of two evils.

Of course, it could also mean the GOP has time to rally around McCain while the Democrats pick themselves to pieces, leaving them vulnerable, unprepared and depleted for the general election.

Either way, this is a real campaign with real choices. And that's almost enough for now. Almost.

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