As The Smoke Clears

Reading the email in-tray and absorbing the latest news from Wyoming and looking at the delegate totals and the popular vote, it seems clearer to me that we Obama supporters for the Democratic nomination need to chill a little. Under the rules everyone agreed to in advance, he's winning the nomination. RCP has his delegates at 1588 to Clinton's 1465. Counting only pledged delegates, his lead is even bigger. No one disputes this. Whatever the psychological games the Clintons are playing - largely a threat to sabotage the Obama1timsloanafpgetty winner if they don't get their way - this is the core reality. Even the Clintons' big recent "wins" - Texas and Ohio - came after the much bigger Clinton leads of a few weeks previously were cut in half or to as little as 3 percent as the public engaged and assessed the two candidates. In the end, Obama won Texas in the delegate count - which is what this primary election depends on. And he gained support as the campaign proceeded, barring a last minute spasm of doubt and fear sown by the Clinton camp in Ohio. Since March 4, he has won more super-delegates than she has. It now seems that he won Texas as well, if you go by delegates. And what else are we supposed to go by?

I see no clear reason why the Michigan and Florida primaries should be re-done. Why should a party switch the rules halfway through a game? If Clinton were ahead by the amount Obama is, no one would give the argument for a re-do any credence. Just because the Clintons do not believe the rules ever apply to them, we don't have to acquiesce to their self-serving arguments.

Obama has essentially won this thing already. He should use the next few weeks to demonstrate what a tough campaigner he can be; to broaden his appeal as he has done in every major primary as the campaign has gone on. The good news about the kitchen sink is that you can only throw it once. He just won Wyoming after being battered by a barrage of negativism and refusing to throw a much larger kitchen sink back. He should now focus on Mississippi. And on reality.

The Clintons just got into our heads. We need to get them out. Keep going; keep focused; remind people why only Obama can provide change in a way the Clintons never have and never will.

(Photo: Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty)