Ted Kennedy's history lesson for Pa.
Kennedy's 1980 Pa. win foreshadows 2008
Last night I was doing some research for an article and stumbled across this. Let's make a few redactions and see if it reminds you of anything:
It may sound like it was ripped from last month's headlines, but the Washington Post article actually appeared on April 24, 1980. And so the Hillary Clinton-esque X is really Ted Kennedy, Y is not Barack Obama but Jimmy Carter (and Carter's chairman Q was Bob Strauss).
And so we all know how that story turned out -- Kennedy did fight on to the convention, fought a futile floor fight aimed at prying loose delegates, and delivered a well-regarded speech that undermined nominee Carter, who went on to lose the presidency to Ronald Reagan. Some 28 years later, it's not clear what lessons the Democrats have learned from that debacle, although I think it does explain those calling for Clinton to leave the race sooner rather than later.
On the other hand, there's a huge difference -- Obama will be facing the would-be heir to a highly unpopular president, while Jimmy Carter was the unpopular president. That may minimize Clinton's ability to hurt Obama's chances -- but it is still fascinating to see how often American political history repeats.
By the way, it was just reported that Kennedy is leaving the hospital this morning, which is good news, although the broader outlook is not.