Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What is Hillary Doing?

I don't want to add to the narrative that the Clintons just won't stop. That's unfair because all politicians campaign to win, and they only stop when they must. But it is nevertheless peculiar that we seem to be operating in two parrallel universes. In the mathematical one, Barack is close to wrapping the nomination up. In what others have termed a "psychological" war on the remaining unpledged superdelegates, Obama's Reverend Wright controversy has made the nomination race too close yet to call.

I think the real world is the mathematical one. Obama only needs about a third to half of all remaining unpledged superdelegates to go his way. So I join Dick Morris in saying that it is over. If so, then we need a reason for why Hillary is waging what others have deemed a psychological war with the remaining unpledged superdelegates. Surely, though she must not show signs of realizing it, she must know that her chances even with the Wright windfall are abysmal.

It is rather too sinister to think that Hillary Clinton is trying to ensure Obama's defeat to McCain in November, so I offer instead a slightly less cynical evaluation. Hillary Clinton simply wants to end on her terms: and that is to force Barack Obama to offer her the VP slot just like everyone knows that if she wins, she would be obliged, on pain of a repeat of 1968, to offer the slot to Obama. Now she'd probably not take it, but to secure her position as heir apparent in 2012/16, Obama must be forced to offer it. The psychological war isn't about winning the present nomination any more; it is to find a way to "concede" the present battle in order to win a future war. It is precisely at the point at which she threatens the dissolution of the Democratic party that she will pull back and stand behind Obama. At this brink, others will say that she has been maximally destructive; she will think she has been optimally positioned. Both sides will be correct.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Come on now, Elvin. I don't understand why all the pundits are writing off Hillary.

Just a few weeks ago Obama was leading North Carolina by 21 points, and Indiana by 8. When Hillary won PA we said that Indiana was the "tie breaker", and last night she won Indiana(given, by a modest margin).

Nevertheless, she won the "tie breaker". And she cut that 21 point margin down to 14 points, in a state with nearly 1/3 of the electorate being black (92% of which went for Obama).

The numbers are also trending towards Hillary. She was losing in the national average of polls by over 10 points just a few weeks ago, and now Hillary and Obama are statistically tied.

She beats McCain in the key states that Dems MUST win to gain to win the general election- states like Florida, Ohio, Cali, and PA. Not to mention that she could bring other states into the fold like Arkansas. Obama, conversely, is barely winning in California (CALIFORNIA!), is losing in Florida, Ohio, and PA to McCain in hypothetical match-ups. Is that a good formula for the dem party?

Obama has created a Dukakis coalition. He has blacks, left-wing liberals, latte liberals, and college students--- you can't win a general election with that kind of coalition. It just doesn't happen.

Factor in the fact that only 50% of Hillary supporters in Indiana and NC said that they would consider voting for Obama in the general (50%!!), and others polls show that over 30% of Hillary voters will vote for McCain if Obama is the nominee. Now, assuming those numbers are inflated and come down to say 10%, Obama will still lose the general.

The numbers, the stats, and the polls are in Hillary's favor. It is only the Obama-biased media that seeks to steal this from Clinton. Granted, Obama has won more states and has earned more pledged delegates, but does a win in the great democratic state of alabama and utah really mean anything? Those states will go red, so Obama can win them 1,000 times and it won't matter.

The Democratic Party has positioned itself for failure. And personally, I will laugh as it sinks faster than the Titanic in the general election if the DNC and the likes of MSNBC rob Hillary of the nomination.

Besides... let's wait until June 3. Hillary will win WV, Kentucky, maybe Oregon, and Puerto Rico. Things will start looking better for the Clinton camp.