Comeback Codgers

Yes! What a night for AARP! Two of its members, seventy-one year old John McCain, who as late as a few weeks ago, was written off as (politically) dead, and sixty year old Hillary Clinton, who just yesterday was believed to be crushed to death under Omnibus Obama… have both emerged to win their respective parties’ primary in New Hampshire.
On the Democratic side of the roster, Hillary edges out Obama around 39% to 37%, though CNN projects each will get 8 delegates, with Edwards out of the money at around 17%, and frankly, out of a particular reason to remain in this, other than, I suppose as a spoiler. [And so that he can show us all that he’s still a mean-spirited ambulance chaser whose first instinct is be a sexist prick. Frankly, for that bit of gratuitous meanness and sexism, I hope he drops out of the race tomorrow; he’s only in it on the premise that somehow neither a Black man nor a woman can win. Well, they’ve just one the first two contests… so there. The only PROVEN LOSER in this race is none other than John Edwards. Did I say that out loud?] Richardson, at 5%, should give up any day now. Dennis Kucinich got around 3000 votes– around 1000 more than Fred Thompson, who, I’m sorry, cannot be considered a viable candidate.
As Kos said, Hillary’s huge comeback (polls showed her down by over a dozen points this morning) makes this a national race again, and all of us– at least in 22 states, including NY, CA and NJ, will get to count– on February 5th. THAT is huge– as now, tiny IA and NH are no longer “the deciders” for the rest of us. That’s a victory for all of us–not just Hillary.
The short answer is that the kind of crossover votes that helped Obama in IA stayed with the GOP tonight, to vote for McCain; worse for Obama, on net, some independents and Dems switched to McCain; in any event, whatever Hillary’s organization did– or maybe it was her moment of inadvertently demonstrated she was actually a human being– who the hell knows? But it means that Obama– who to his credit, did not pretend any of this would be easy– is no longer in the driver’s seat, and must slug it out in NV, SC and FL, ahead of super-duper Tuesday.
On the Republican side, it seems that the Establishment did its job for McCain, who won here in 2000 over Establishment fave Dubya. Well, they like him, even at 71. Romney, from neighboring MA, comes in second; many feel that his campaign strategy– of having to win IA and NH, and winning neither, means he’s toast. Well, yes, by rights… but he has a lot of money, and will probably fight in (and he’s at least finished second, tonight, a closer second than in IA). Huck comes in 3rd at 11%, Rudy improving to 4th with 10%, Paul at 9%, and Thompson at 1%. Let me say… he is just not a viable candidate. Get rid of him. He really should be considered a national joke… not even up to Wesley Clark’s late arrival… Just get out Fred… you’re taking up space on the stage. Rudy, who has made FL his firewall, is polling no better than 4th there… Swirling the bowl is Rudy… frankly, he was the one candidate, either party, who had to be stopped… and his own personal corruption seems to have stopped him, along with insanely stupid strategy.
And so… McCain, who himself was written off as dead, emerges as the GOP Establishment favorite, going into MI, SC, FL and NV; Romney, who won WY, and will probably win his native MI, is still in it, and Huck is still a movement of his own, though in the 22 state melee on February 5th, not having any money or real organization may be a problem for him (though if he wins SC, and wins or does well in FL… again, whoa Nelly, though the GOP Establishment will promise him McCain’s veep spot to keep Evangelicals interested in the general).
And aside from the big winners tonight being old people, the other big winners are old money, as in “Grand Old Party”. Not only do the Republicans place their own strongest candidate back in play (despite their bizarre visceral hatred for him), but the Democratic candidate they would most like to face has emerged as the NH winner from a five-day maelstrom of doom… as ready for prime-time.
What a night! This has been… Comeback Codgers.