Friday, February 8, 2008


A scant five weeks ago, Dawg fans were reveling in Georgia’s Sugar Bowl victory over Hawaii, the Iowa caucuses loomed on the political horizon, and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani was considered the national frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination. How things have changed.

Giuliani, whose “Sunshine State” strategy backfired, did not even make it to Super (Duper) Tuesday. Former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson, regarded by many as the GOP’s best choice - right up until he entered the race, that is – is but a memory. Even Mitt Romney, despite some successes in early primaries and caucuses, has “suspended” his campaign.

Thus, the Republican contest is down to John McCain, given up for dead as recently as a month ago, and Mike Huckabee, a candidate previously unknown on the national stage and with hardly any money (and, of course, Ron Paul, who has not a snowball’s chance in Hades – which is not to say that his candidacy is without value – but he is irrelevant to the nomination process).

By my calculation, even after his Super (Duper) Tuesday successes, John McCain’s 724 delegates amount to only about 60% of the 1191 needed to win the Republican presidential nomination. Romney’s 281 delegates place him second. Huckabee occupies third place with 196 delegates.

McCain’s situation, and perhaps that of Huckabee, could improve dramatically within the next week, though, as the pachyderms hold three caucuses and three primaries with a total of 245 delegates at stake.

Saturday, 09 February:
Kansas (closed caucuses, 39 delegates)
Louisiana (closed caucuses, 47 delegates)
Washington (open caucuses, 40 delegates)

Tuesday,12 February:
District of Columbia (closed primary, 19 delegates, winner-takes-all)
Maryland (closed primary, 37 delegates)
Virginia (open primary, 63 delegates, winner-takes-all)

The fat lady has yet to sing and she will not do so for a while, but she is warming up.

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