>OP ED: Why is she still running?

>Why is Hillary continuing to fight for a nomination most observers believe to be lost?

One of the most popular assumptions should be the first to be eliminated. It is the theory that suggests that she is driven by madness – an irrational and obsessive lust for power allowed to run wild by demented denial. Perhaps it is her formative years devotion to the Chicago Cubs that has made her believe that “all but certain” victory is never certain.

I think these are not the reasons.

Clinton & Co. is far too shrewd to become the victim of such gross self deception or unreasonable expectations — and even if SHE has succumbed, it fails to explain the support she receives from savvy party leaders, seasoned political aides, much of the voting public and a crafty “been there/done that” husband. If it is just the matter of a crazy lady, why are there still so many super delegates withholding their daggers? There is more to Lady Hillary’s tenacious quest than personal blind ambition or unbridled optimism.

First and foremost, despite every attempt to cajole her out of the race – to seal the victory – Barack Obama does not have it yet. Close, maybe. All but certain, arguable. But still no cigar. The declarations of demise have been premature. There is still a pulse – weak and fading – but still there. There is always that long-shot possibility and SOMETHING will happen between now and the convention.

If Obama is nominated, as seems most likely, it will be by the slimmest of margins – more of a technical or circumstantial victory than a mandate of any sort. Her popular vote and delegate count are within a hair’s breath of Obama. Despite the popular consensus of inevitability, it is obvious to every politico and pundit in the world that Obama’s calculated lead languishes within the traditional margins of error. The Democrat party is a house divided. Obama is the candidate of only half the party faithful. A sea change based on some shocking disclosure is always possible – and with numbers so close, it may not take a very big shocker to crate that sea change. It would appear that out of 300 million Americans, it will only take about 150 super delegates to decide on the Democrat candidate.

Though her maladroit allusion to the assassination of Bobby Kennedy was never intended to mean that she included Obama getting knocked off as a victory strategy. It is true, however, that with months to go before the convention’s coronation, many things other than assassination can happen. Obama’s Chicago political machine background is far from fully vetted. There are other issues and other “friends” that can bring revised judgment on the junior senator from Illinois. Maybe there is a blockbuster scandal hidden beneath a rock that Clinton has uncovered.

But even that seems too little of a hope to warrant the expending of both cash and political capital at rates necessary to maintain forward motion. What makes the most sense is 2012.

In all likelihood, Clinton and her people know that she is not going to get the nomination this year. They also know that there is not likely going to be some dramatic event to pull the rug out from under Obama. Never know, but odds against.

It is safe to assume that Clinton still wants to be president, and if 2008 is not going to put her into the race, then the next best thing is to go for it in 2012. Suddenly her seemingly Quixotic campaign makes sense. She builds political infrastructure – lists, donors, endorsements, friends, knowledge, new registered voters.

She also shows political muscle. How many candidates can win primary after primary against the “inevitable” candidate. Several pundits suggest, to their bewilderment, that she is losing bargaining strength with the Obama folks. The prospects of a vice presidential nomination have diminished as she pressed on. She may have put her self out of consideration for Secretary of State of Attorney General. She may have lost Obama’s clout to make her head of the Senate – replacing Harry Reid. What these pundits fail to appreciate is that Clinton has absolutely no interest in bowing to bargain with Obama. She is going after independent political strength.

A lot of Democrats express concern that the never ending Clinton campaign is hurting Obama’s chances in the General Election. Exactly! An Obama defeat would mean an open nomination in 2012. And who would be in the strongest position to take that nomination? You got it. Lady Hillary.

I think Clinton shares my view that Obama is not electable in November – so what harm in making that a bit more certain. In fact, the more decisive the defeat, the less likely she will have to battle him again for the nomination four years hence.

Clinton knows that a signification portion of her voters are never going to vote for Obama. He is too liberal and too black. Many of those new voters she is recruiting in the latter primaries will be McCain voters with Obama heading the ticket.

If it is McCain in 2008, the next presidential election is a good opportunity. Not only will the Democrat nomination be up for grabs, but the normal second term prospects for an incumbent president are altered by McCain’s age. He could easily be a one termer.

So, methinks rather than being mad as a hatter, Clinton may be sly as a fox. While Obama campaigns for 2008, Clinton has already begun the 2012 campaign.

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: