On the Media looks at whether or not the idea momentum in a nomination campaign is anything other than a steaming pile of media fantasy:
Go to the website or listen to the story here:
Talk of the Nation explores the question of “experience.” The guest pretty much concludes, as I did, that it is irrelevant. From the website:
Presidential historian Robert Dallek talks with guest host Robert Smith about the experience previous U.S. presidents had before they took office. Callers weigh in with what they would like to see on the next president’s resume.
Meanwhile, Dick Polman does the math:
Notwithstanding the Clinton camp’s attempts to paint last week’s primary victories as evidence of “momentum,” and notwithstanding their latest flurry of attacks on Barack Obama (he’s not ready to command, he’s just like that right-wing blue-noser Ken Starr, he’s not a Muslim “as far as I know”), I wish to provide, as Hillary herself would put it, a reality check:
In the competition for pledged delegates last week, she gained almost no ground on Barack Obama. And she will probably lose ground again tomorrow.
No spin can mask that fundamental fact. For instance, the latest CBS-tabulated results show that, for all her electoral success in Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island last Tuesday, she has managed to trim Obama’s lead by only six delegates. Then, when you factor in the results of Saturday’s Wyoming caucuses (where she lost by another landslide), her net gain over the past week stands at four delegates. And when you factor in tomorrow’s Mississippi primary (where African-Americans will vote heavily), and the resulting delegate allocations, Clinton’s March gains are likely to evaporate completely.
But enough of that. The most significant moment yesterday came when Tim Russert asked (Pennsylvania Governor–ed.) Rendell whether he thought that Obama was qualified to be president. Rendell replied, “I think he’s qualified” – certainly qualified enough to be vice president, and, moreover, if Obama turns out to be the nominee, Rendell said he would work his heart out for him.
Well, those were certainly inconvenient remarks – given the fact that Clinton during the past week has suggested precisely the opposite about Obama’s creds. Here she was last Monday: “I think it’s imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the commander in chief threshold, and I believe that I’ve done that. Certainly Senator McCain has done that. And you’ll have to ask Senator Obama with respect to his candidacy.”
Rendell was then asked to square his assessment of Obama as “qualified,” with Clinton’s intimation that Obama is not.
His response: “Well, I, I think he’s ready. He’s not nearly as ready as Hillary Clinton is, there’s no question about that. But, look, make no mistake about it, he’s a talented, dynamic politician and, and a, and a good senator, and I think he would make a fine president…”