by Todd Beeton, Wed May 07, 2008 at 03:23:57 PM EDT
During its coverage last night, the MSNBC anchors and panelists were the most reality-based about what the results meant for the endgame of the Democratic nomination so it's funny to see their new promo for Countdown adopt the Clinton formulation of what happened, calling it a Split Decision.
ANNOUNCER: Sometimes victory's a two-way street.
HILLARY CLINTON: Thanks to you it's full speed onto the White House.
BARACK OBAMA: We answer with one voice: Yes we can.
ANNOUNCER: Now after the latest Clinton/Obama split decision, Keith asks, "where does this road end?"
Which tells me that as far as MSNBC, and perhaps the media at large, is concerned, a tipping point did not occur last night. Or at least they feel that they can continue to credibly claim the nomination battle has legs so they can continue to attract huge ratings for at least the next two Tuesday nights. To this extent, the media may end up being among Hillary's greatest allies in enabling her continued pursuit of the nomination. The reason: Florida and Michigan.
As Mike Viqueira put it on Hardball earlier today:
As we know, her fading hopes do hang on whether or not some arrangement can be made to seat those delegates in a way that's in her favor.
And as proof that this now continues on, Viqueira went on:
On the House side, the tipping point after Indiana that a lot of people were looking for in terms of superdelegates doesn't appear to be here yet. Haven't seen a lot of movement. Senator Obama has picked up some superdelegates, about four across the country.
He then went on to tout the announcements that Reps. Heath Shuler and Brad Ellsworth would support the candidate who won their districts and that was Hillary Clinton.
Assuming this "it's all about Florida and Michigan" narrative wins out, it would seem the next obvious benchmark in this campaign will be May 31st when the DNC's Rules Committee will meet to settle the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegations. The Obama campaign's new willingness to compromise on seating these delegates tells me that they no longer feel a compromise would be a factor in either the delegate count or the popular vote, although I don't see them conceding everything Hillary is asking for. But no doubt the Obama campaign would like this to be over before then, say on May 20th when he's likely to cross the majority of pledged delegates threshold. Look for the Obama campaign to push that as a new metric of "winning." Neither of these campaigns has the monopoly on trying to redefine what it means to win.