Why Pennsylvania Matters

The primary has become a classic battle of the old politics and the new. My take in the Sunday Times:

If Obama keeps her lead to single digits, if he goes on to win in North Carolina and Indiana, if the momentum of the race does not change, something else will be shown.

It will show that the crisis America is in now has made the kind of tactics of the past two decades moot. It will show that the issues of the Iraq occupation, the teetering economy, the unsustainable debt, the collapsing dollar, the constitutional disarray and the moral collapse of the torture programme are now more salient than cultural identity. It will show that the voters actually want to debate something more than lapel pins and who is or is not a secret Muslim or patriot. It will show we are in a new era.

Maybe we’re not. Maybe the old politics and the old patterns have one more turn of the screw to go. Maybe the Clintons are right. And that’s the beauty of democracy. On Tuesday, we will go a long way towards finding out.

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