Sunday, February 10, 2008


Is it safe to say that, if Hillary Clinton were the presumptive Democratic nominee right now, but she still faced quite a bit of resentment within her party's base, and if she embarrassingly lost two contests over the weekend to a challenger, then was declared the winner in a third contest by a razor-thin margin with 13% of the vote still uncounted, that would be a huge political story? Is it safe to say that pundits would be fixated on it, speculating endless about the possible dirty deed that spared Clinton further humiliation?

Well, the scenario I described is precisely what happened to John McCain and Mike Huckabee this weekend -- and as far as I can tell, the only mentions of this at the New York Times Web site are in this wire-service story and about a third of this story, which suggests that it's debatable that a winner was declared prematurely. (It isn't.)

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo is all over the story, as is Fox News. But the Times, I guess, considers it irrelevant and boring.

The Times simply doesn't think McCain and Huckabee are as fabulous as Clinton and Obama -- which means that all the nastiness and rancor in the GOP race -- the anger of the base at McCain and now, possibly, the skulduggery involved in trying to make him look like a widely accepted standard-bearer -- get less coverage than the Democratic struggle to pick a nominee.

This should be an embarrassment for the GOP. At the Times, it isn't. This neglect is a gift to McCain and his party.

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