Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Why Hillary Slogs On

The Indiana and North Carolina primaries went about as well for Senator Hillary Clinton as did her Derby. She squeaked out a win in a State she should have won handily (Indiana) and was walloped in a State where her campaign had claimed she was closing the gap (North Carolina).

The numbers now are clearly against her. There is no way she will win a majority of the States' primaries and caucuses, and barring an astounding miracle, she has no chance of winning a majority of the votes cast by Democratic voters when all the contests are added up, even if Florida and Michigan are included.

But the news this morning is that Hillary will press on. As the Associated Press reports:

Politically wounded and financially strapped, Clinton plunged back into the presidential campaign Wednesday even as Barack Obama declared that Tuesday's primary results left him with a "clear path to victory."
. . . .
But even as Obama planned to take the day off from the campaign trail Wednesday, Clinton showed no public signs of easing her pace. The campaign added a noon Wednesday appearance in Shepherdstown, W. Va., to her schedule. On Thursday, she planned to campaign in West Virginia, South Dakota and Oregon.
Clinton backers appeared on early morning television programs to stress that she was still in the race and to urge party leaders and elected officials known as superdelegates not to flee to Obama.
"This candidacy and this campaign continues on," Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson said Wednesday on CNN.

Why does she continue? Ego is a good answer. But here's another guess: Hillary recognizes what Republicans are increasingly coming to understand, which is that the Democrats are setting themselves up for disaster in November by nominating Senator Barack Obama.

Though we once thought Hillary would be the easier one to beat, many factors -- including Barack's ineptness in dealing with the Reverend Wright, Michelle Obama's vitriolic statements on the stump, and Barack's inability to articulate any policy other than vacuous assertions of "change" and "hope" -- have old-school Democrats like the Clintons fearing that Barack is another left-of-center loser like George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis and John Kerry. Republicans are going to have a field day with Obama, who doesn't seem to have the fire in his belly to fight back like the Clintons would, and the Clintons to their credit are smart enough to know this and want to do something about it before it is too late.

Hillary is no conservative, but she is married to someone who understood the need to adopt -- or as they called it, triangulate -- conservative ideas in order to govern effectively. Though they may be fooled, voters have come to view her as a more moderate candidate than Obama, which likely explains why she has better numbers than he does when matched up against McCain.

So Hillary is hanging in there, hoping she can convince enough superdelegates to vote for her before the party nominates another leftist candidate whom voters will reject in November. It will be fun to watch whether the superdelegates can be persuaded to vote with their heads or not.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ding, Dong the witch is dead. She just doesn't know it yet.