Barack Obama is heading to St. Paul on
Wednesday Tuesday, after the last of the primaries makes it clear he’s probably got almost enough delegates to be the Democratic nominee. At the same time, there are reports that Hillary Clinton is summoning her top donors to her speech tomorrow night; that’s said to be a sign she mayl suspend her campaign. We’ll see.
Obama’s site selection is a political metaphor, according to several political scientists. The Xcel is where the Republicans will hold their convention late this summer.
But you can take a metaphor too far… as in this story from the Associated Press:
“It’s a metaphor for the fact he’s going to be in the same states, in the same media markets talking about the same issues,” said Burden, who specializes in American politics at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. “There’s no issue or place he’s going to run from maybe as Democrats have done in the past.”
Minnesota is only barely a “battleground state” in 2008, unlike 2004. And if you really wanted to show that there’s “no issue or place he’s going to run from as Democrats have done in the past,” wouldn’t you head for Florida? Or Texas? Or any any state along the Mississippi River south of Iowa, which haven’t been won by Democrats in years.
Minnesota, while no longer a “gimmee” state for Democrats, is still generally friendly territory as this historical map of Minnesota votes shows. Even Mike Dukakis won here.
This, of course, isn’t the first time Obama has tried some political theater to portray himself the victor of the primaries. Two weeks ago he set up shop in Des Moines, with an apparent plan to claim victory.
But the site of Tuesday’s speech in St. Paul, is not just linked to a future event at the Xcel. The site — or at least the ground beneath — is where Walter Mondale conceded to Republican Ronald Reagan in 1984, in one of the biggest electoral flops in presidential history.