|It’s just like the SATs all over again! Eli is to Tom as Barack is to Hillary.|
Hillary Clinton spent part of Sunday night watching the Super Bowl at a bar called Dixie’s in St. Paul MN. Of course, her enthusiasm for the Giants was about as authentic as the tears she’s been known to shed on cue (do you think she even knows who Eli Manning is?) and she whooped and hollered with the best of them when Manning’s already legendary drive defeated the sure-bet Patriots in one of the biggest upsets in NFL history. But I wonder if the irony of the situation was lost on her? Her putative hometown team aren’t the only guys making late drives at formidable opponents: CNN [released a poll today] showing that Barack Obama has not just caught up to Clinton in nationwide polls going into Super Tuesday, he may have surpassed her. The storied game plan from the Clinton camp has been that the rush of contests on Tuesday, coming so soon after Obama’s big win in South Carolina, will benefit her because her established name and reputation will trump his nascent momentum. But they may have underestimated the depth of Obama’s appeal and the dissatisfaction level toward Clinton’s candidacy within the party.
If Obama pulls off an upset the contest will drag on to the convention. That’s a long time for allegiances to settle into stony loyalties that will not easily switch come general election time. Some people are muttering about an eventual “dream ticket” of Clinton-Obama, or vice-versa. That’ll never happen — whoever wins the nomination will have to start running to the center to beat McCain and will need to pick a centrist running mate. Someone like Evan Bayh.
Meanwhile, just across the aisle, McCain looks to put a lock on his nomination on Tuesday, giving him plenty of time to shore up his right flank and prepare his assault on the eventual Democratic nominee. Alas, no Giants-like come from behind upset for Mitt Romney. He’s done.