Just relish today.
First was last night's huge win and the record turn out, then Caroline Kennedy's endorsement, as sweet and straight-foward as silk billowing off a bolt, and now Ted Kennedy making it a hat trick. Does a hat trick have something to do with the number three? How about a trifecta? Whatever, what an exhilerating 24 hours it's been.
But, can we beat the Republicans in November? In some way I worry that we have a bigger problem than they do.
For one thing, Republicans squabble, but they come together more easily than we do because they don't think all that much or they acquiesce to a higher power or something. John McCain seems likely to emerge from the snake pit as the Republican nominee, even though conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and George Will hate him.
If Hillary manages to win the nomination -- and she's expected to do well in NY and NJ and CA next week -- it would be divisive. (You know why and I'm tired.)
Although McCain is a weasel, he manages to appeal to moderate Republicans and independents. They would go for Obama over a Huckabee, but they take McCain over Obama. And none of them would go for Hillary no matter what.
Depressingly, current polls show McCain beating both Obama and Hillary, but beating Hillary by more. (Polls don't cover the time of the S. Carolina victory and Kennedy endorsements, which will change things.)
McCain -- "we're in Iraq for 100 years" -- will surely bang the war drums and run on the fear of Islamo-facism. (That and cutting taxes with Gov."Fees-not-taxes" Pawlenty as his running mate. Ugh.) And in some truly creepy snake brain way, people like to be afraid, I think. Or united by fear. Common enemy and all that.
And who better to do it that a former POW?
So on our side we have two (sorry Sen. Edwards) distinct candidates, but both carrying the major risk factors of gender and race, and in Hillary's case, the baggage of Bill. (Or is he carrying hers?)
If Hillary is nominated, her -- stuff, will turn off the new voters and independents we need to put us over the top. And all the old attacks, and some new ones, will be trotted out. And let's not forget sexism, with groups like "Citizens United Not Timid" (get it?) forming to "educate the American public about what Hillary Clinton really is." (And why did Karl Rove really quit the White House if not to get an early start on all this?)
If Obama is nominated, he'll attract the new voters and independents, but the sliming about his "Muslim" past will stick like lint on velcro, as we've already seen, and the fear factor will set in. And let's not forget racism, which despite his wins, doesn't feel entirely out of the picture yet either. To wit, Bill Clinton's Jesse Jackson comment. And that's tame.
But people also like to be united by hope, by a fresh voice, a new style, as Caroline Kennedy has written. And as my son Max who lives in LA emailed me last night:
"I'm watching Hillary. Just not the same energy and excitment as Barack. Makes me hope for him more than ever. He's the best candidate I have seen in my short time. Nervous and excited for super Tuesday. Caring is so much more fun!"
So don't start thinkin' about tomorrow. Yet. Because it's been a very good day. But when tomorrow comes, the choice is clear. We go with Obama because Hillary Clinton --sadly for me as I used to like her -- is sagging under the weight of her own history and husband and ambition and cannot lift the spirits of this nation. And because there's an obligation to move on, I think. And because Barack Obama is very good at proving worriers like me wrong. Because we can win in November, yes we can.
(And now, for an antidote to this little chirp of late night blather, read what I really think: Marty Kaplan, writing in the Huff Post.)