Thursday, May 22, 2008

Will Clinton carry her fight to the the convention floor?

It seems more and more that Hillary Clinton is not going to stop anytime soon. In fact she may take her fight for the nomination to the Democratic convention. Here's how AirAmerica's Rachel Maddow sees it:
After the primary calendar has ended, Clinton's campaign can only justify or explain her staying in the race if she makes the case that the Democratic Party still has not chosen a nominee conclusively. Clinton needs an argument that the game should go into extra innings. Overtime. Bonus round. Detention. Whatever. Clinton has now found that argument -- she says she will not stop campaigning until the issue of the Florida and Michigan delegates is settled to her satisfaction.

The Florida/Michigan issue get settled, of course, by the Democrats' Rules and Bylaws Committee... unless of course that committee's decision gets appealed to the Credentials Committee... unless of course that decision, too, gets appealed... to the floor of the convention.
As I have said before, it is her right to do exactly that. That is after all what democracy We have gotten used to the conventions being little more than an extended commercial for the party's candidate. But in the past, many conventions have actually chosen the final candidate. Of course in most of these instances there were real differences between the contenders, usually in some form of the moderate v. right-wing positions. This doesn't seem to be the case between Sens. Clinton and Obama. It seems to me that Clinton just can't give up, even though her chances are virtually non-existent. She seems more and more like Sheridan Whiteside in The Man Who Came To Dinner. She came to the party and refuses to leave, even though it's over and everyone else has gone home.

Many people are arguing that Clinton is losing the nomination because she is a woman and is being defeated by a man. Although there have certainly been instances of sexism. Perhaps the best known instance was the person, at a McSame rally who said, "How do we beat the bitch?" McSame, of course, laughed. But few reporters mention that the question was asked by a woman. The real cause of Clinton's downfall has been a terrible campaign strategy. It began with the assumption that the campaign would be a coronation rather than a nomination. In other words, she didn't have to worry about the nomination and could go right to the general election. So in 2003 she voted to give the presidential Bush the power to invade Iraq in order to show, in the words of one of her key supporters, her "testicular fortitude." This kind of decision making has brought her to the present unhappy situation.

There also seems to be quite a bit of hypocracy in her arguments. She wants to stay in the race to give everyone a chance to express their opinion. She wants to seat the Michigan and Florida delegations, not because it would enhance her delegate count, but because she is the champion of democracy. Then she tells the Super Delegates: forget the delegates who were elected through the primaries, pick me because I am more electable.

One of the key questions we need to ask is: If Clinton can't even manage a political campaign, how will she run the country (from day 1)?

Anyway we can derive some solace from the fact that even Sheridan Whiteside eventually decides to leave.

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