Barack: Two weeks to a finish
Barack Obama believes he's two weeks away from being able to get serious about his campaign to become the next President of the United States of America.
The magic date Obama's looking forward to is May 20. "If at that point we have a majority of pledged delegates -- which is possible -- then I think we can make a pretty strong claim that we have the most runs and it's the ninth inning and we've won," he insists.
Some estimates put Obama as few as 175 delegates away from an outright victory.
However, considering the Democrat practice of dividing delegates up proportionally, it's unlikely that Obama will achieve the 2,025 delegates by that date -- West (May 13) Virginia has 39 delegates at stake and Kentucky and Oregon (May 20) have 60 and 65 delegates, respectively.
Claiming the 175 delegates he needs to close the race basically depends upon Hillary Clinton throwing in the towel, which is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Recent estimates indicate that Clinton has sunk her entire Senate salary and all the proceeds from her book into the race.
"This is a little like déjà vu all over again," Clinton said. "Some in Washington wanted us to end our campaign, and then I won New Hampshire. Then we had huge victories on Super Tuesday. Then we won Ohio and Texas and Pennsylvania. And I was never supposed to win Indiana. Well, I am running to be president of all 50 states."
Meanwhile, Clinton has indulged herself in some potentially damaging political rhetoric.
"You know, there was just an [Associated Press] article posted that found how Senator Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans - white Americans - is weakening again, and how the whites in both states [Indiana and North Carolina], who had not completed college were supporting me," Clinton said. "These are the people you have to win if you're a Democrat in sufficient numbers to actually win the election. Everybody knows that."
It isn't too hard to look into that statement and read "white voters are going to decide the president". Those who are looking at this contest along racial lines are all too likely to read precisely that.
Racial tensions in the race have already exploded numerous times already. Most recently, on Tuesday, Clinton supporter Paul Begala insisted the Democrats "can't win with eggheads and African Americans".
This, of course, can't help but devastate the Democrats' claim that they are the party of "black America" and that they are the party of racial equality.
Certainly, Begalia, like Clinton, couldn't have intended the comments the way they sound. Unfortunately for them, however, those comments will all too often be treated the way they sound. And they don't sound good.
The Obama/Clinton contest has, at this point, been misplayed too entirely to benefit anyone but the Republicans. If Obama does manage to get this contest wrapped up in two weeks time, it will likely be to the benefit of the party.
Just don't expect Hillary Clinton to go quietly. She simply won't.