South Carolina was a notable and decisive victory for Barack Obama and it is a difficult defeat for either Hillary Clinton or John Edwards to spin. Up until now, in the contested states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada) the results have either been very close (New Hampshire) or a plausible second choice spin narrative was available such as the Obama Delegate Math charge after Nevada. Yet last night the networks called it for Obama within seconds of the polls closing as he pretty much doubled up on Clinton and tripled up on Edwards.
I am impressed, especially the way that he has been able to parry and reflect back the attacks over the past couple of weeks. I am still very suspicious of Obama's policy and political instincts, but a concern that I had after New Hampshire in 2008 and one after Iowa in 2004 for potential coalition transformation candidates is not there. Can a creative class backed candidate at the national level get beyond his/her high intensity support and create a majority coalition within the Democratic Party? Obama is the first Democrat in a competive situation to gain a majority of votes, so I think this concern has been allayed.