Closed Deal Or No Closed Deal

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Memo to the human race: STOP SAYING "CLOSE THE DEAL".

I beg you, stop doing this shit. No sooner did we establish, as of late Monday evening, that "Call Me Hillrod" was the most hideous, shambling verbal creation to crawl from the bubbling vat that is the 2008 presidential election, when wham, bam, thank you Hillrod, it was steamrolled over the very next day by "close the deal".

This closing of the presumably currently open deal is, as far as I can tell, some mythical feat that Barack Obama must perform to make Hillary Clinton quit and prove himself worthy of facing off against John McCain. Something above and beyond winning more state contests or winning more delegates. It's always presented in the context that he can't do it - Obama can't close the deal.

I'm led to believe that winning in Pennsylvania, in defiance of the odds, the polling, Clinton's history there, and its reputation for being chock full of rural rednecks, would have "closed the deal". I'm not sure how that would have worked - Clinton's win there gave her a ten delegate bump out of the two thousand-plus needed to win. A narrow Obama victory would have resulted in maybe a one or two delegate bump out of, again, a coupla grand.

So clearly, this metaphorical sword Obama needs to pull from a nonexistent stone, in full view of Chris Matthews and Brit Hume, follows no actual logic or reason. Freed from logic and reason, we can therefore engage in the kind of rank speculation that would make Wolf Blitzer blush. Or would, if he'd ever pick his shame up from the dry cleaners.

Given the dynamics of the coverage, my first thought was that Obama would have to make Clinton cry, but he did that once already, in New Hampshire. And that didn't close the deal then, that's for damn sure. In fact, if I recall correctly, it opened the deal up like the Jaws of Life.

I can only assume they don't mean that Obama and Clinton have to go to a bank together, where one of them signs over the nomination to the other and gives the bank five percent. And if so, this better not be one of those sub-prime presidencies that ends up costing you a hell of a lot more than you thought it would a few years later. Those things are fucking dangerous.

Maybe the WWE appearances from Monday had a bigger impact than we all thought. Maybe the media is under the impression that political fights can't be over until someone hits their finishing move. Or worse, what if Brit Hume has been playing Mortal Kombat, and he's waiting for the disembodied voice of ectoplasmic Ronald Reagan to shout "FINISH HER!".

Of course, the truth is probably even more horrifying. Given the frat-boy sausage-fest mentality that pervades the modern media, it's much more likely that they mean "close the deal" in its traditional, icky, colloquial sense. So if Obama can't "close the deal", it means he's a weak, effete, possibly homosexual dude unwilling to do what it takes to score his conquest.

Whatever they think they mean by it, it took about half an hour to be so utterly sick of the concept that I could use it for aversion therapy, if there were something I needed to be averted from other than presidential politics. They need to fucking stop right now, which means what'll actually happen is a swooping animated graphic, complete with theme song, that says: CLOSING THE DEAL: AMERICA VOTES 2008.