Going to be a Super Super Tuesday

Behind The News
February 4, 2008 1:20:08 PM PST
If he were around today I suspect Marx would edit his theory about religion. Sports, I suspect, would replace religion as the opiate of the masses. Super Bowl 42 was the most-watched ever; more than 97 million people -- or about 81% of the number of people who voted in the last Presidential election. (Sorry for all the numbers.)I'm not here to berate football or sports. Alas, I watched the game, and got pure pleasure out of seeing my kids sucked in, and embrace the emotion of what ended up being an incredibly emotional game.

But only one thing kept playing like a broken record in my head: the victory of the Giants over the until-Sunday undefeated New England Patriots means that on the second most-important political day of the year, a million or so people who might otherwise be talking and debating politics, and voting, will be at a victory parade for the football team.

Super Tuesday is, I submit, far more important than the Super Bowl. But let's just say for a second that we shouldn't match up the importance of the two events - that each is important. I'll accept that. Still, why in the world would New York City, a government entity that depends on people participating in the system, do anything -- ANYTHING -- to give people the opportunity NOT to vote?

There are a lot of people who believe that is indeed what the City is doing. We hear that this isn't the City's call -- that because of the Pro Bowl, the players have to get to Hawaii. But the Giants have only one Pro Bowler - defensive lineman Osi Umenyiora. Why not delay the parade for a week? Why risk tainting the election process, no matter how slightly, no matter how remote the possibility? Don't we want as many people as possible voting? So, then, why schedule an event that is surely to distract some otherwise willing voters?

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Having said that, though, there's no question many people in the area are nutso tonight over the Giants' win. Tonight at 11, we'll have the ongoing positive reaction to the Giants' victory, and the plans for the parade tomorrow, which we will carry, because that's what we do, to quote a popular TV ad.

Oh, and Mayor Bloomberg today says the victory booty from Boston's Mayor will go to charities throughout the City. The loot includes: 100 cups of New England Clam Chowder, 42 pounds of Dunkin Donuts coffee, 12 dozen Boston cream pies, 12 dozen Parker House rolls (the number 12 is because of the Patriots' quarterback's number), 100 "Old Tyme" hot dogs, 100 Fresco chicken sausages, 20 pizzas, five cases of Brigham's Boston "You're My Home" ice cream, five cases of "Cherry on the Top" frozen yogurt, and 100 servings of Stony Field Farm Organic Yogurt.

Speaking of Mayor Bloomberg, his star as a potential Presidential candidate seems to have dimmed considerably, and, experts say, will likely dim even further tomorrow, if the polls are correct and John McCain does well and can lock up the Republican nomination.

There's a good chance that Super Tuesday will not secure a Democratic Party candidate, however. It's not an overstatement to say that Barack Obama is on a roll. He raised $32 million last month -- an enormous amount for a Presidential candidate - and if you believe the polls, he has cut into the once commanding lead of Hillary Clinton in most of the important states

Because the Democrats, unlike the Republicans, do not have winner-take-all primaries, the candidates get delegates that are in proportion to their vote counts.

It changes the nature of the playing field. Close races suddenly matter.

And hasn't it been fascinating this past week -- watching families squabble about whom to endorse? The splits have likely made for some interesting dinner-table and family-gathering discussions. Even the New York Times seems to be a bit torn. Check out the Editorial Page Editor's Op-Ed piece, in which he marvels at the Obama express train -- this from the man who wrote the editorial endorsing Hillary Clinton.

We have reporters with all the major candidates -- and we'll preview Super Tuesday, tonight at 11.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11, right after a special 20/20 on the dramatic new developments in the case of missing college student Natalee Halloway.

BILL RITTER


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