About Last Night

Pretty exciting, no?

Obama had a huge night. No, he didn’t run the table, but considering where he was a week ago, he’s did incredibly well. His people played the expectations game rather well.

I continue to marvel at David Axelrod’s ability to manage the momentum of the Obama campaign. He’s locked in the rhythm of the campaign-news cycle like Mike Huckabee groovin’ on the bass guitar.

To wit, back in November, Obama was getting criticized for not going after Clinton more forcefully (he never mentioned her by name, only obliquely). But in retrospect, Axelrod nailed the momentum of the campaign, bringing Obama’s Iowa support to a crescendo just in time for the caucuses, not a moment too soon (lest a backlash develop).

And again, in the leadup to Super Tuesday, he peaked at just about the right time. Would another day or two helped put Obama over the edge? Maybe, but it also might have allowed Clinton to battle back. Timing is everything.

On the Republican side, it’s interesting to see John McCain rack up a ton more delegates while continuing to not be the choice of the majority of Republicans in a Republican primary. Huckabee and Romney are dueling it out for 2nd, and the longer they both stay in, the more likely it is that McCain will win.

One other point, which applies to the Democrats as well as the Republicans, is that it’s there’s been a lot of misleading talk about what last night implies vis-a-vis the general election. On the Dem side, some folks are saying that Obama is doomed because he can’t win in big blue states (CA, MA, NY). Likewise, McCain is considered damaged because he only wins in big blue states. To which I say: hogwash. The kind of person who wins the CA primary in either party tells you very little about who will win that state in the general (hint: a Democrat).

Update: Brendan Nyhan has more on this.