It might be more of a whimper.
This morning in his Radio Factor, Bill O’Reilly asked his listeners to call in and explain to him who was going to win Pennsylvania tomorrow and why. That was the important catch. The caller had to specify why he or she felt that way. I never heard anyone call in to take on his challenge. Most people just believe what the polls say. But if you rely on polls, you will find yourself fighting in the Supreme Court over hanging chads in Florida. Being as that I was at work, calling in to Mr. O’Reilly was not an option (although I may e-mail this column to him anyway).
My answer to the question is that Barack Obama will pull it out but it’s not going to be a sweep or a landslide. It is going to be merely a residual effect of his popularity and the numbers are going to be very, very close. Here’s how I figure.
Obama has been riding on a wave of popularity. The funny thing about waves is that they eventually strike a seawall of some sort and turn back the other way. Good or bad, the publicity of Obama’s Jeremiah Wright and William Ayres associations seem to have been that seawall. The tide is turning back toward Hillary. Most Americans will overlook someone lying before they overlook someone whose accomplices have publicly and openly condemned America or have openly supported terrorist attacks against America. If you don’t believe me, look only back to Hillary’s husband and the bullet dodge he pulled off in Congress when he was impeached for perjury. If his crimes had been something that called his patriotism into question, the outcome might have been very different.
Whether or not Wright and Ayres are anti-patriotic, no one but them can say. If you take them at their word, they seem to fully believe that they were acting in the best interests of America. But regardless of their true feelings, the old adage, “actions speak louder than words” is shaping opinion right now and more people are beginning to lean toward Hillary Clinton. Even Obama believes this to be so with news outlets falling all over themselves to report that he is predicting his own defeat in Pennsylvania.
One thing I admire about Bill O’Reilly is that he gives Wright and Ayres the benefit of the doubt. He doesn’t rush to judgment about either man. I agree because we cannot always judge someone’s motives by his actions. There does seem to be evidence to suggest that Wright and Ayres are unpatriotic – Ayres’ involvement with the Weather Underground and Wright screaming from the pulpit of his church “NO! NO! NO! Not God bless America, God Damn America” among others but there is no proof that these men are 100% guilty. Therefore, Obama’s guilt by association may not be as applicable as Hillary supporters desire. But there is certainly a large amount of Americans wiling to make that leap and I will let them. I’ll stay on the terra firma for a while longer.
I am willing to go out on a limb here and speculate that even as Obama’s tide wanes, the residual wave will still keep him afloat enough to pull off a Pennsylvania win. But it may be his last stand. If Clinton is smart, she will stay in the race after Pennsylvania because no doubt she will see a large enough vote count in the Keystone State to begin momentum toward Denver this summer. But I really don’t think she will come out on top. I would be surprised to see either candidate win by more than ten percent.