Well. What have we learned from last night's primary results? Here's my take.
Negative, mean spirited and innuendo shaded campaigning works. Hillary has the fist without the velvet glove. She may not have enhanced her likability factor but she has proven she is tough. Not that there was much doubt. Does Obama have an iron fist within his velvet glove?
So what does Obama do to differentiate himself? If he can win Pennsylvania out from under her he will probably get the nomination. Here are two candidates who barely differ on the issues. It's a matter of approach rather than substance and it's not resonating with the voters. We still have that pesky "be afraid, be very afraid" mindset the Republicans have so successfully implanted. Hillary played it and it worked. Obama played catch up and it didn't work. The issues that are important to the working class - NAFTA, job loss, the economy, played right into that mindset. People are afraid. Not just of war or potential terrorism. They are even more afraid, I think, of how they are to live their lives. Hillary hit it right square on the head.
So far she did it by tearing down Obama. Maybe if he can get in front of her with his message of hope and change with matching solutions he can regain some of his damaged luster. I hope he doesn't resort to whining, or trying to tear her down in turn. I don't know. I do know he has to be ready for more of the same and worse in the march to Pennsylvania. If he can't prevent it, or at the very least beat it back, from within his own party McCain will eat him alive. But then if he can't he won't get the nomination anyway.
As for the often discussed "dream team" of them running together, I still don't see it. I can't imagine Obama taking it for two reasons. One, if Hillary is less of a president than anticipated she would take him down too. And there is the Bill factor. I cannot imagine Bill going away and I can't see Obama wanting to be second to him.
Reverse that as far as Hillary as Vice President. Why would Obama want two of them? I can't imagine Hillary settling for the number two spot. She'd be far more powerful as Senate leader - majority or minority.
One thing that might make it extra tough for Hillary is the possible loss of the young people who have gotten involved because of Obama's appeal. The only change she represents is gender. She's a product of the past, she uses techniques from the past and her support comes from those who most remember the past.
If the newly involved see themselves being left out of the equation they may fade away for another generation and that would be our loss.
If Obama has what it takes now is his time to rise to the occasion. If it's to be business as usual. Ho hum. I fell asleep listening to McCain's victory speech last night. It wasn't because it was past my bedtime. Same-o, same-o.
So here we go. The bell has rung beginning the next round. Mississippi and Wyoming will see them sparring a bit, jabbing and punching, both hoping for a knock out in Pennsylvania.
In the meantime watch McCain. And watch the world. It's still out there and ever changing. We really need to change with it.