February 11, 2008

They Bomb Tokyo, We Bomb Washington

Considering Sen. Obama's sweep this weekend of Lousiana, Washington, Nebraska, Maine and the Virgin Islands, I am reminded of a World War II cartoon in the New Yorker. Two Japanese men overlook the ruins of Tokyo, and one says to the other something like, "Well, that's war. They bomb Tokyo, we bomb Washington."

That's the sense I get from the Hilary camp's reaction to these Obama victories in a rather diverse collection of states. They knew they would lose and have taken it into account. The problem is, Obama has a lead in number of delegates and number of states, a lead that will grow when the vote from Maryland, DC and Virigina comes in this week.

Hillary's not a quitter, and will soldier on, but the chances of her winning keep dropping. Obama's just a lucky guy.

The unspoken reluctance of many to vote for a woman President is also a factor. We have various ready-made styles of leadership for men, but not for wormen. McCain's the old soldier, putting on his armor for one more battle. Huckabee's the democratic guy next door, man of the people, and so on. Each woman has to reinvent her own leaership style, which will inevitably rile some people, including women. So many women don't want to work for a woman boss.

I don't know whether there's a "Bradley effect" meaning that a certain number of voters who will tell pollsters that they intend to vote for a black candidate, but in the privacy of the voting booth, can't bring themselves to do so. A similar effect may also exist for a woman candidate, at least for maximum leader.

As Democrats realize that Obama will be more effective against Sen. McCain, the Obama bandwagon may begin to accelerate.

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