Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Hillary Two Step

On the one hand, Kevin Drum is right: The paranoid rantings by Obama supporters that Hillary Clinton is only staying in the race to damage the Illinois Senator enough so he loses in 2008, clearing the path for her in 2012, are crazy. There is nothing to suggest that Clinton would do something so suicidal, or that she doesn't recognize how it would crush her own ambitions four years down the road. Clinton's running a tough campaign, maybe too tough, but she's not in it for sabotage.

On the other hand, there's Jerome Armstrong, who's really been on an anti-Obama tiff recently: "I can't help but recognize that the call to shut down the nomination battle before all the votes are counted, hopefully a position held by a vocal minority, is unfortunately reminiscent of the Bush supporters mantra against Gore in Dec of 2000.", anymore than calls for Huckabee to leave the race when he was getting walloped by McCain were akin to Bush/Gore. Clinton is certainly closer than Huckabee was, but all parties seem to agree that she has a very scant shot at winning. It's perfectly rational to say that it's now time to bow out gracefully, before this fight drags on any longer.

For a long time I've been of the position that the protracted primary fight between Obama and Clinton wouldn't hurt Democrats, because fundamentally it's because we have two stellar candidates to choose from and it's a tough choice. But these last few weeks have seemed to give us a turn for the worse, with a lot sharper exchanges -- not so much between the candidates themselves, but between their allies. If it keeps up like this, it's going to be tough to unify in time for the general, and that does worry me. Only Democrats could blow an election because of too much talent to choose from.

1 comment:

PG said...

Of course, the Republicans are convinced that we're divided not because we have two talented candidates whom many people had a difficult time deciding between (as opposed to the Republicans, a large chunk of whom couldn't stand McCain until the NYT attacked him), but because one candidate is a white woman and the other is a black man and identity politics is tearing the Dems in half.