Obama Can't Close the Deal

Sen. Barack Obama — after winning Oregon’s Tuesday’s primary — gave something resembling a victory speech in Iowa where he won in the very first caucus held in this erratic election cycle.  It would have been altogether appropriate if Obama had actually won the nomination.  But now?

Barack Obama ain’t no Kyra Sedgwick.  Sedgwick’s deputy police chief Brenda Johnson is a tough cop known as “The Closer” (a hit TNT original series) for the cases she manages to solve that no one else can.  Obama is stumped:  he can’t close the Hillary Clinton case.

Five months ago Obama shocked us by beating the then “inevitable” Hillary in Iowa.

“The skeptics predicted we wouldn’t get very far. The cynics dismissed us as a lot of hype and a little too much hope. And by the fall, the pundits in Washington had all but counted us out. But the people of Iowa had a different idea,” boasted Obama.

Yet as much as Obama and his campaign allude now to have secured the nomination, has Obama really closed the deal? No.

Hillary is holding on tightly with no sign of letting go before the Democratic Convention and Florida and Michigan’s delegates have still not been seated — a task that the DNC rules committee will decide on May 31.

"We cannot claim we have a nominee based on 48 states," Clinton said this morning.

Obama may have won Oregon 58% to Clinton’s 42%, but Clinton won Kentucky with an overwhelming 65% to his 30%. A Fox News exit poll states that “only 50% of Democratic voters in the Kentucky contest said they would vote for Obama if he faced presumptive GOP nominee John McCain in the fall, while 32% said they would vote for McCain and 15% said they would stay home.”

Is this the candidate that the Democratic leadership hoped for? A candidate that cannot claim outright to be the clear choice of Democrat voters after four months of primaries and caucuses?

“Some may see the millions upon millions of votes cast for each of us as evidence that our party is divided, but I see it as proof that we have never been more energized and united in our desire to take this country in a new direction,” said Obama last night.

If this is true, then why would only 33% of Clinton voters in Kentucky vote for Obama in the fall?

In West Virginia where Clinton won with 67% of the vote, the New York Times reported that “more than half of the Democrats said Mr. Obama did not share their values, and 47% said they would not vote for him if he were their nominee.”

In recent months Obama’s campaign has been setting these same trends of weakness.

Last night exit polls in Kentucky show that 53% of voters still think Obama shares the values of his controversial pastor Rev. Wright. Clinton won 74% of white voters without a college education, proving that despite his newly donned flag lapel pin and endorsement from John Edwards, he still cant win the blue collar vote.

Obama now stands with 1,961 pledged delegates, Hillary with 1775. Clinton said this morning that “part of our challenge is making sure that we nominate the person most able to win.” Despite attempts by the media to make America think so, Barack Obama is not yet this person.