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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Winning ugly

By, Michael Tomasky, Guardian


Well, it wasn't big and it sure wasn't pretty - in fact it was downright ugly - but Hillary Clinton's win in Nevada gives her an advantage now over Barack Obama in the Democratic contest.

The effect of the result is perhaps most easily grasped by envisioning the counterfactual. Let's say Obama had won. In that case, the media would have been full of reports about how the underdog (which he assuredly is) had regained momentum, had knocked the powerful Clinton machine back on its heels a second time, and seemed primed to win next Saturday's match-up in South Carolina. In that state, and in the 22 states voting on February 5, sit hundreds or thousands of political operatives who, if Obama had won, would be on the phone with one another right now asking if they should go ahead and get with Obama, emboldening one another to buck the mighty Clintons. But now Clinton has held that effect off - at least for a week, perhaps for more, perhaps for good.

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