Hillary Clinton: it's me or no one
As the delegate gap between Senator Hilary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama grows wider in the latter’s favour, Sen. Clinton has declared that she is “in for the long haul.” With only a few more primaries left in the coming weeks, there isn’t much of a “long haul” to be in for.
But she isn’t referring to 2008, she’s referring to 2012.
One Clinton advisor says “we don’t want an October surprise” from Sen. Obama’s past. One assumes he is referring to the fear (hope?) that some in the Democratic party hold that a porn video exists from Sen. Obama’s University days, which Republicans will release to YouTube or YouPorn.com in the month before the November 7th Presidential vote. For Sen. Clinton to hang around solely for that reason is an awfully cynical rationale.
When former President Bill Clinton’s senior House Advisor, Vince Foster, shot himself in the head one day in a park on the banks of the Potomac River, who was sent – alone – into his office first to check for a suicide note and to see what papers he was reviewing prior to deciding to end it all?
The First Lady’s Chief of Staff. Sen. Clinton has reasons to believe in cynical, even if they’re of her own making.
If she can’t beat Sen. Obama and receive the Deomcratic nomination for the 2008 Presidential Election, the next best thing for her is to leave Sen. Obama so wounded by the ongoing internecine attacks that Sen. John McCain will be well positioned to win the election in November.
In the Indiana primary, for example, 50% of Clinton voters told exit pollsters they wouldn’t vote for Sen. Obama if he won their party’s nomination. It is Sen. Clinton or no one. Actually, that would mean it’s Sen. Clinton or it’s Sen. McCain. That is how bad the blood has become between the Clinton and Obama camps, primarily because the race has gone on far longer than Democrats can stomach. Which has provided far too many opportunities for shots back and forth; eventually, folks can no longer brush them off as being “just politics”.
That’s why Sen. Clinton is staying in. The longer she drags it out, the better her chances are to be able to try again in 2012, with Sen. Obama falling into the same quicksand as Senators Kerry and Gore. Having been losers in their first big show, they were therefore inelligible for the following Presidential election season.
Once Sen. Obama loses a tight race to Sen. Clinton, she’ll have a few years to rebuild her brand while President McCain deals with the Iraq war, a weak U.S. financial system and an even weaker economy/housing market. Much like President Bush #41.
Sen. Clinton will be able to say: “see, I told you he [Obama] couldn’t win those key industrial states.” And she’ll be right. The irony that she was a prime reason why those states went Republican will not be lost on the Clinton camp.
If you are asking yourself why she’s still in it, I can think of no better reason than 2012.
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(op-ed piece in NYT worth reading)