Define relevance. Nealy all the media started reporting after Indiana’s primary that Hillary Clinton was “Toast”. Is she?

Here’s a good roundup of what some of the big ones are saying.

Sen. Hillary Clinton scored one of the biggest victories
of the Democratic primary yesterday, defeating Sen. Barack Obama
67%-26% (with John Edwards, long out of the contest, pulling 7%).
However, the consensus in the media this morning is that the victory
means little, because Obama has already effectively sewn up the
nomination.

They’re virtually all saying the same thing.

The New York Times reports in a front page story that
Clinton won a “strong” victory over Obama, but with Obama “still
solidly ahead of Mrs. Clinton in the delegate fight, the West Virginia
results are unlikely to adversely affect Mr. Obama’s chances of winning
the nomination.” The Washington Post reports on its front page that
Clinton “routed” Obama, which “added fresh ammunition to her claim that
she is better positioned than Obama to capture critical swing states in
November.” However, the win “may have come too late to have a
significant impact on the trajectory of a nomination battle.”

Before the “However” line, there was an important point in there.
Clinton claims to be the stronger candidate for the November general
election against John McCain.

A second theme in the coverage of the West Virginia
primary is that while the results may not mean much in the primary,
they may presage difficulties for Barack Obama in the general election.
In a widely-distributed analysis piece for the AP, Nedra Pickler writes
that Obama “is in hot pursuit of general election voters, hoping
America won’t notice he got his head handed to him in West Virginia. …
At Obama’s Chicago headquarters, advisers said there was no reason to
worry” but “maybe the Obama camp should be more worried. The voters who
went against Obama Tuesday night – white, rural, older, low-income and
without college degrees – don’t just live in West Virginia. They live
everywhere in the country, in places Obama needs to win.”

As noted in a post below, Fox News’ Juan Williams (among others)
made the point that raising questions about Obama’s electability will
be considered racist (by the Obama campaign and supporters). But, as
Williams said, some voters see him as elitist. While Clinton is still
in the race, voters are weighing in on who they believe represents them
better.

Relevance depends on whose purpose is being served.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....