I'm listening to Obama speak now as I start this post, and I've been skimming some of the blogospheric reaction. Lots of good, happy feelings now. Obama makes people feel good, and everyone seems to get it. But before we start breaking out the champagne, let's remember that this is an election, not a reality show. Everyone knew Obama was going to win in SC and while the margin was surprising, this doesn't change anything.
Everyone has the same data: California (Hillary up by 15%), NY (+25%), and NJ (+22%) are looming in Tsunami Tuesday. Hillary won't have to break a sweat to win the lion(ess)'s share of the delegates there. And, much as Iowa is a distant memory, so too will be this glowing moment in South Carolina. The meme will change course faster than a school of fish (but in no less synchronicity).
Neither candidate has the money or time to campaign in all the states, so they'll choose the ones they think they can win and depend on surrogates to do the campaigning for them in states they can't visit/place ads in. And since surrogates--elected governors, mayors, congresspeople--will be looking to curry favor with the ultimate nominee, they'll blanch at the feel-good story of '08. HIllary and Bill are the Democratic Party. They will have the juice to flip surrogates, in large part because everyone will see the same numbers I do for Feb 5. And those surrogates will be important and effective. I'll look at the numbers tomorrow or Monday so you can see why I'm alarmed.
Obama has some cards left to play. But South Carolina is no "game changer" (as Sullivan calls it). This is business as usual.