Last night I finally had a chance to sit down and follow the primaries. And what a night it was!
First we learned that John McCain clinched the GOP nomination. Huckabee gave a fine concession speech — until he started talking about the Battle of the Alamo. Its connection to a presidential election was lost upon me, personally.
McCain's acceptance speech was a bit bland and he was obviously reading a teleprompter like a bad Saturday Night Live guest. His crowd wasn't too lively either, but that's because his nomination came as no surprise, and the Republicans are already rallying the troops and preparing to beat the Democratic nominee come fall. W. is expected to endorse McCain today.
The GOP has gained an advantage in identifying a nominee so early. While Democrats continue to divide themselves between Obama and Clinton, and dump tens of millions of dollars into those campaigns, the Republicans are uniting, fund raising and organizing. By the time we learn who the Democratic presidential nominee is, Republicans will have a campaign underway and Democrats will face the challenge of reuniting under one leader after a brutal, expensive and personal primary season.
Clinton won big yesterday, clinching Ohio, Vermont and Texas, which revitalized her campaign and poised her for a victory speech last night that felt like she had actually won the nomination.
“No candidate in recent history — Democratic or Republican — has won the White House without winning the Ohio primary,” she said.
She still has a ways to go. Obama won Vermont yesterday, and still has the delegate lead with 1,477 pledged delegates compared to Clinton’s 1,391. He gave a speech late last night reminding his supporters that he still has the lead and reiterated the same on news programs this morning.
"Senator Clinton barely dented the delegate count yesterday," he said. "We have just taken it one state at a time and we feel very confident that by the time we get to the convention we are going to have the most delegates and we are going to be the nominee."