Friday, February 22, 2008

February 19: Wisconsin primary; Hawaii caucus (D)

Wisconsin primary:

Obama 58
Clinton 41

Huckabee 37
Paul 5

Hawaii caucus (D):
Obama 76
Clinton 24

It's over.

Wisconsin was Hillary's last chance to blunt Obama: Midwestern, industrial, union-heavy, older. I half expected her to win. Then the results came in: 54% Obama... 56% Obama... and ever-widening to 59.5% Obama. When people see Obama and listen to him, they vote for him. Hillary wishes she had the same effect.

At the post-election party at Bar Louie on Water Street (where I met Mayor Tom Barrett and a couple of Wisconsin state representatives), the atmosphere was electric. News cameras crowded the back bar that had been reserved for the Obama party. At its peak, about 200 people filled the room, no doubt in violation of the fire code.

The next morning, the Teamsters endorsed Obama - a critical endorsement for Ohio and Texas, but, symbolically, a sign that Hillary's "base" has irrevocably crumpled.

Obama's big win in Hawaii, where he was born and went to high school, surprised nobody.

Among the Republicans, John McCain kept trudging towards the nomination with another win in Wisconsin. Mike Huckabee, who has chosen option #2 (see my "What's Next" post from Feb. 7), is having a ball running for President on the cheap and gaining national visibility, though he is not likely to become McCain's VP nominee.

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