Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Florida

Two massive pieces of news in the wake of the Florida primaries - the bowing out of the Democratic race of John Edwards and the pending Rudy Giuliani announcement that he will do the same.

I'll get to them in a moment, but first let me comment on the result.

With the Democratic race rendered meaningless by the disallowing of delegates to the Convention (Hillary won this non-race) it fell to the Republican race to deliver the headlines. And it did.

John McCain won the primary, narrowly, from Mitt Romney. But it didn't matter how narrow the margin was, as his victory was both symbolic and substantial. Symbolically, it was a chance for McCain to prove he could win the Republican vote in the south - and in a state with a large number of delegates. Substantially, because of Florida's winner take all system, McCain swept all 57 of the state's delegates, giving him a large-ish lead (93-59-40) from Romney & Huckabee going into Super Tuesday.

But that was overshadowed by how badly Rudy Giuliani performed. Pinning his hopes on Florida after skipping the early states, Giuliani has blown what was a double-digit lead as the Republican front-runner last year and now looks set to exit the race - and endorse his friend John McCain. Embarrassing times indeed for the man dubbed "America's Mayor."

John Edwards announcement that he will no longer contest the Democratic primary - a race in which he has been squeezed out of from day one by the two "firsts" Hillary & Barack - is unsurprising. What is unfortunate is that he is a man that had the potential to be the candidate that the Democrats could win with. Now the fate of the party lies with whether they think America is ready for a female or black male President.


John McCain must be smiling in his sleep.

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