The shouting in and about the Obama and Clinton campaigns continues, but the basic context remains and the quest for the Democratic presidential nomination unfolds within it. All the tactical decisions, the evaluations of those decisions, all the campaign ads, all the surrogates’s advocacy, etc., are subordinate to the larger question of whether a cultural and political shift is occurring – one that as some commentators have noted is at least as profound as the one that gave Ronald Reagan his greatest role.

I continue to espouse that this is the case. The shift, as I noted in an earlier post, is from the everyman and everywoman for his/herself ethos of the greed is good halcyon days of the 80’s to Obama’s gyral return to the cultural ground of “I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper.”

Why do I think this remains the case? Because Hillary’s campaign has indeed thrown the kitchen sink at her opponent, hit him with the garbage disposal, and it has made no difference. Take the Pennsylvania primary, for example. With the flap about Rev. Wright taking stage center in the attack of the sink, the polls (on average and courtesy of RealClearPolitics.com) showed Obama moving from 6 points down to 7. By the time of the election, he was back at 6 points down. He lost by 10 (after having been 20 points down a month before). In the elections thus far where he has started far behind, e.g., Ohio, he has closed the gap and then lost by an additional 4 percent as the late deciders voted for Hillary.

So the net effect of hurling the sink was zero. The rest of the campaign will, I do believe, play out as it has been with Obama getting the nomination on the basis of more superdelegates breaking for what they see as the future rather than the past. The times they are, again, a-changin’.

(As I write this, Rev. Wright is again making news as he defends his career. I predict that the inevitable attacks on Obama will have no lasting impact on his campaign. Time, of course, gets the last word.)

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