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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Let's party!

At this writing (about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday), Barack Obama has won 13 of the Democrats' 22 Super Tuesday contests, Hillary Clinton has won eight, and one state (New Mexico) is too close to call.

What Clinton lacks in state victories she more than makes up for in delegates -- because she won such large prizes as the California, New York and New Jersey primaries. But Obama reeled in a few big ones, too -- namely Illinois, Missouri and Georgia.

Put simply, when the dust settles Wednesday morning, the race for the Democratic presidential nomination will be anything but decided.

Is this fun or what?

At this rate, neither Clinton nor Obama will go into the party's convention in August with enough delegates to lock up the nomination on the first ballot, and then all bets are off.

For the first time in decades, it appears we'll have have a convention that's more than just three days of choreographed speeches and an anti-climactic roll call. This gathering of the Democrats very well could wind up being what a political convention was meant to be: an all-out, gloves-off fight to carry the party's banner. Outstanding!

None of this is assured, mind you -- given that about half of the states have yet to hold their primaries or caucuses -- but if the current trend of Clinton and Obama alternating victories continues, the summer of 2008 is going to be one of the most exciting periods in U.S. political party history.

I, for one, can't wait.



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