Hello Everyone,

Over the past seventeen months, I have written a number of Obamagrams, including ones entitled “Baseball Rules” and “Runs Scored,” using a baseball metaphor to explain the primary process. I have cautioned about changing the rules late in the game. And, I have likened Barack Obama to Ronald Reagan.

I want to share some fun news with you on all those fronts, but before I do, let me tell you why West Virginia should be no source of anxiety.

Blowouts

In anticipation of a lopsided loss in West Virginia tonight, it is important to remember how many times Barack has won in a blowout. So far, he has won 21 contests by 20 points or more, while Sen. Clinton won only 1 contest (Arkansas) and possibly a second (Oklahoma) by that margin. Obviously, that’s why Barack has already won the nomination.

The news media has never pointed this out, of course, so they will all be in a tizzy tonight. If they were doing their jobs, they would provide this additional context for their audiences:

a) West Virginia is only the 37th largest state in the union, so has few delegates, and
b) Eleven of Barack’s 21 blowouts were in states that are larger than West Virginia, so they had more delegates.

Keep in mind that Barack only needs to win 25% of the Pledged Delegates in the next three contests (WV, OR and KY) to achieve a majority of such elected delegates and rightly claim victory.

Baseball

Last week, it was good fun to see the unlikely combination of the presumptive Democratic nominee and the conservative Republican columnist, George Will, talking baseball.

Barack told Brian Williams of NBC that May 20 (OR and KY) “… will be an important day. If at that point we have the majority of pledged delegates, which is possible, then I think we can make a pretty strong claim that we’ve got the most runs and it’s the ninth inning and we’ve won.”

George Will followed with a column using a more elaborated baseball metaphor. (He wrote the best-seller Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball.) Tongue firmly planted in cheek, he echoed my warning that the Clintons, realizing they have no legitimate way to win, would try to change the rules – “pesky nuisances” as Will called them – late in the game.

Hillary Clinton, 60, Illinois native and Arkansas lawyer, became, retroactively, a lifelong Yankee fan at age 52 when, shopping for a U.S. Senate seat, she adopted New York state as home sweet home…

…After Tuesday’s split decisions in Indiana and North Carolina, Clinton, the Yankee Clipperette, can, and hence eventually will, creatively argue that she is really ahead of Barack Obama, or at any rate she is sort of tied, mathematically or morally or something, in popular votes, or delegates, or some combination of the two, as determined by Fermat’s Last Theorem, or something, in states whose names begin with vowels, or maybe consonants, or perhaps some mixture of the two as determined by listening to a recording of the Beach Boys’ “Help Me, Rhonda” played backward, or whatever other formula is most helpful to her, and counting the votes she received in Michigan, where hers was the only contending name on the ballot (her chief rivals, quaintly obeying their party’s rules, boycotted the state, which had violated the party’s rules for scheduling primaries), and counting the votes she received in Florida, which, like Michigan, was a scofflaw and where no one campaigned, and dividing Obama’s delegate advantage in caucus states by pi multiplied by the square root of Yankee Stadium’s ZIP code.

Or perhaps she wins if Obama’s popular vote total is, well, adjusted by counting each African-American vote as only three-fifths of a vote. There is precedent, of sorts, for that arithmetic (see the Constitution, Article, I, Section 2, before the 14th Amendment).

Reagan

Extending the fun, George Will ended that same column with a reference to Ronald Reagan. Some of you may recall that I have written that Barack reminds me of some combination of JFK, RFK and Reagan. Remember, too, that Barack was chastised for even suggesting that Reagan was an important president. So, conservative columnist Will wrote “…McCain’s problem might turn out to be that the fact that Obama is the Democrats’ Reagan. Obama’s rhetorical cotton candy lacks Reagan’s ideological nourishment, but he is Reaganesque in two important senses: people like listening to him, and his manner lulls his adversaries into underestimating his sheer toughness – the tempered steel beneath the sleek suits.” I would add that Reagan was and Barack is an optimist, and McCain is not. And, as someone else observed, optimists are the ones who bring about change.

Coming full circle, it is also fitting that Reagan’s first job out of college was announcing baseball games – for the Chicago Cubs.

Now, on to the real fun of the general election.

As always, please pass it on.

Chuck

adobe pdf file Click here to download this article in PDF format.

 

adobe pdf file Attachment: Delegate Count

 

Comments are closed.