April 23, 2008

The Penn-sieve

And so we beat on.In the end, after the weeks of manufactured drama, negative ads, and cheap-shots at people who shop at Whole Foods, the Pennsylvania primary was ultimately as inconclusive as the long line of primaries that came before it. What was supposed to be the biggest thing to hit the state since the immaculate reception instead ended with a whimper, Senator Clinton's 9.3-percent margin of victory meeting expectations but failing to break the deadlock. Or at least that seems to be thinking.The reality, I think, is a bit different, and goes back to something I wrote before about basketball teams' tendency to foul in the final minutes of games. Hillary cut into Obama's delegate lead a little bit yesterday, but much more important that is the foreboding road ahead, and the total number of delegates that were just taken off the board for good. In a vacuum, the win is a big win, but viewed in its proper context as her last chance to make up pledged delegates, it's a real blow.All of which relates back, somewhat tangentially, to a column I have in Tuesday's Maroon about Obama's "brush your shoulders off" moment in North Carolina. While primary results and mundane controversies might dominate the airwaves and public discourse, their impact pales in comparison to the unspoken truths (i.e. delegate math, organization, money) that make an Obama victory all but inevitable.