For the past week or two I've been musing about writing something about why John Edwards's organizational imperfections were going to keep him — despite his good ideas and good speeches — from winning the race to be the “ABC” candidate, that is the person around whom all the “anyone but Clinton” factions would coalesce. My hypothesis was that things were getting to the point where, even though stately, boring, Senator Dodd had somehow turned into a fire-breather, the timing of early primaries and the need for serious campaign cash, all meant that Senator Barack Obama had become the only realistic contender for the ABC title. And even for him, time was running short.
Seems like the folks in the Obama camp were thinking something similar. But their reaction to that tactical observation has been so incredibly, well, stupid, that you have to wonder if there will even be an ABC candidate at all. Among the silly things were Obama's speech in which he promised to attack Senator Clinton, rather than actually doing much of it, and the inept 'gospel tour' of South Carolina.
Could it be, however, that these are not errors of execution, but the inevitable results of a fundamental strategic error on Obama's part? That's the surprisingly convincing argument of the observant Chris Bowers in his provocatively titled Obama Campaign Post-Mortem.
So here's my question, if Obama isn't going to be the ABC candidate, is there anyone who can grab the mantle and make this a horse race, or is it over already?