Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton for the ninth and tenth straight time last night, with blowouts in Wisconsin and Hawaii. Needless to say, this means nothing. As Clinton strategist Mark Penn explained yesterday, Wisconsin has a lot of independent voters, so it doesn’t really matter. And Hawaii is practically Obama’s home state, so it obviously doesn’t matter. Anyway, as Penn said recently, “winning Democratic primaries is not a qualification or a sign of who can win the general election.” It’s apparently not even a sign of who can win the Democratic nomination — at least not when the victories are Obama’s.
The Clinton spin machine has been consistent about this. Nebraska, Idaho and Utah didn’t matter because they were deep-red states. South Carolina, Louisiana and Georgia didn’t matter because they had large percentages of black voters. Maine and Washington didn’t matter because caucuses aren’t truly representative. Maryland and Virginia didn’t matter because Obama was expected to win there. For a moment, it looked like Missouri might matter when the networks called it for Hillary — her campaign quickly bragged about winning a “closely contested toss-up state” — but the networks were wrong. On the other hand, it looked like Nevada wasn’t going to matter at all because there were polling stations in casinos, but it ended up huge because Hillary won.
It turns out that the only state Obama won that could have mattered was Illinois, his real home state; unfortunately, home-state victories don’t really count, except when they take place in New York. “Could we possibly have a nominee who hasn’t won any of the significant states outside of Illinois?” Penn recently asked.