Bloggers on the Richardson endorsement and Belmont's near upset.

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
March 21 2008 3:52 PM

Et Tu, Bill?

Bloggers are weighing in on two narrow victories: Barack Obama winning Bill Richardson's endorsement and Belmont's near upset of No. 2 seed Duke.

Et tu, Bill? Former Democratic candidate and current New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is endorsing Barack Obama after heavy lobbying from both Obama and Hillary Clinton. Obama aides hope the nod from Richardson, the only Hispanic governor, will boost the senator's support among Latino voters who have thus far tended to support rival Hillary Clinton.

DHinMI at DailyKos suggests that the choice could be motivated by a belief that Clinton is done: "Richardson's endorsement may be the beginning of a concerted push to pressure Clinton to acknowledge that she has fought a tough campaign but has come up short, that the race is over, and that it's time for her to recognize that our nominee for President will be Barack Obama." Liberal Steve Benen at the Carpetbagger Report writes that Richardson's endorsement will inevitably be seen as a rebuke to the Clintons, as he served in the Clinton administration: "Indeed, with the background in mind, the Clinton campaign will likely perceive today's endorsement as something of a betrayal." But Greg Sargent at Talking Points Memo's Election Central notes that Richardson tried to avoid completely torching his bridges with the Clintons: "Richardson has long been close to the Clintons, and was actively courted by Bill, and towards the start of his email he was careful to heap praise on Bill, Hillary, and the Clinton presidency."

Conservative bloggers tended to focus on the implications for Obama's support among Latinos. "[Y]ou'd think someone setting himself up as a Latino leader would position himself at the top of the Clinton food chain," writes Erick Erickson at RedState. "After all, Latino voters are heavily favoring Clinton over Obama and Richardson could make some leadership inroads there." And the National Review's Jonah Goldberg, writing at Corner, wonders how important the endorsement is: "But is there any person in the Known Universe who honestly and sincerely will vote for Obama now solely because Bill Richardson has endorsed him? Could such a person exist? If such a person existed would you feel better or worse about the world we live in? I can't fully articulate why, but even the thought of significant numbers of such people in our society fills me with a kind of existential dread."

Read more about the Richardson endorsement.

Blue Devils win on a prayer:No. 2 seed Duke eked out a win over No. 15 seed Belmont Thursday in what could have been the biggest upset in NCAA Tournament history, titillating sports bloggers hungry for an upset of this love-to-hate powerhouse.

Leitch, writing on Deadspin, rounds up how the underdog narrative played out, right up to the final seconds: "A No. 15 seed beating a No. 2 seed is one thing, but when that No. 2 seed is Duke, we'd be talking history. … But that's how these things go down; the right trey falls at the right time, the right turnover happens, and it all comes tumbling down." Others, like CriticalFanatic at Fan IQ, see the near upset as a sign that Duke's days in the tournament are numbered: "This goes to show you how vulnerable Duke has become. Last year it was an early exit versus VCU, this year they won't be around much longer. Have they become the Dallas Mavericks or Phoenix Suns of college hoops? Sure looks like it. The era of a post presence is not over."

Disappoint from Duke-haters wasn't hard to come by. With Leather, which has devoted considerable space to trashing Duke in the past, is devastated by the narrow win for the Blue Devils: "I don't care how far you have Duke going in your bracket, the sheer joy of them losing in the first round to 15th-seeded Belmont would have been too awesome for words." And College Hoops Journal suggests that a Duke loss was preferable to winning one's pool:  "Damn you, Belmont! What a game that was. Coach K looked as worried as I've ever seen him throughout that one, too. I hope you felt like me: Duke losing to a 15-seed is so much more pleasurable than winning a pool."

Read more about the upset that wasn't.

Alex Joseph is a Slate intern.

Chris Wilson is a Slate contributor.

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