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The Democrats have a big problem on their hands. Their frontrunner is in serious trouble with Independent voters, and doubts about his electability have begun to surface in party circles.
In addition to this, Democrats appear headed towards an ugly battle on the convention floor in Denver which could tear the party apart, not only between supporters of Clinton and Obama, but also along racial lines.
It’s obvious that Hillary Clinton still wants the nomination, but it would be nearly impossible for her to acquire a delegate lead at this point.
The arguments which her supporters put forward in attempts to justify a Clinton nomination without a pleged delegate lead, are extremely weak.
One such argument states that Mrs. Clinton could potentially have a lead in the popular vote by the end of the process and that Democrats should abide by the will of the people and nominate the candidate with the most votes.
Of course, even if Clinton does surpass Obama in the raw vote total, Obama has been victorious in most of the caucuses. These caucuses don’t rely on raw vote totals. Therefore, there is no way of telling how far ahead Obama would actually be in the popular vote had these states gone with a primary system.
Another issue floated by Clinton suporters is that Obama has benefited immensely from Republicans and Independents, voting in Democratic primaries. The fact that Clinton leads among registered Democrats is an issue among party loyalists who don’t care for what they see as outsiders hijacking their process. Clinton's people argue that these Democratic votes are the important ones and that she is the true choice of Democrats for the party's nomnation.
This is a very dangerous line for the Clinton people to put out there, because it allows Obama to counter by saying that he has attracted Republicans and Independents into the party with his message.
These Republicans probably cast their ballot for Obama as an anti-Hillary vote, or because the GOP nomination was sewn up early and they wanted their vote to make a difference.
Still others were likely taken in by Obama’s charm, but are now abandoning him as they realize that he doesn’t share their ideological leanings and that some of his close associates are less than reputable.
It doesn’t matter. The arguments made by Hillary's surrogates simply won't cut it.
Obama has followed all of the rules, something that Hillary can’t really say, with her campaigning and victories by default in states that she knew perfectly well weren’t supposed to be involved in the process.
Despite this, Clinton still has a lot of delegates and a ton of power. This gives her several options.
If she feels that Obama will lose in the fall, she could just let him take the nomination and get slaughtered by John McCain. She will then run in 2012, forgiving Democrats who abandoned her and easily snagging the nomination. It will be an “I told you Obama was unelectable but you didn’t listen to me” candidacy.
Another option is to use her super delegates, and float the ‘unelectablity of Obama’ concept at the convention. If this happens and the party awards her the nomination, without a pledged delegate lead, every black city in America will burn.
Blacks will not come out to vote for Clinton in the general election and no Democrat can win the white house without the black vote. Once again, the result is a John McCain presidency.
Finally, Hillary could make a deal with Obama and release her delegates to him, giving him the majority needed to clinch the nomination. In exchange Hillary could demand that she be put on the bottom of the ticket as the Vice-Presidential nominee.
While this would ensure that no devisive floor fight would occur at the convention, such a ticket would likely lead to a huge defeat for the Democrats in November.
Conventional wisdom says that the when selecting a VP, priority number one should be picking someone who doesn’t hurt your candidacy.
Mrs. Clinton has very high negatives.
These negatives go up when she talks.
She has no charisma.
Every American knows who she is and has made up their mind already as to whether they like her or not.
She does not deliver a state which the Democrats would otherwise have difficulty winning.
White men would feel snubbed by the Democrats who have decided on a black man and a woman to represent their party.
Republicans who are not enthusiastic for McCain and who were thinking about sitting '08 out, would flock to the polls in order to stop the Clintons from regaining power.
Questions would rage in regards to who would actually be in charge of the nation. Is it Barack Obama in the White House or are Bill and Hillary making the calls from the Naval Observatory? This is a concept that will be completely unappealing to independents.
Hillary Clinton is probably the worst possible person for Obama to put on the bottom of the ticket, but Obama might have to.
The Democrats really don’t have any good choices at this point.
Jerimiah Wright has severely wounded Obama. It appears that he has managed to stop the bleeding, but keep in mind that the American people really don’t know where Obama stands on the issues. They only know that he is an incredibly charismatic figure who spent God knows how many Sundays in the pulpit of a viciously Un-American, racist pastor.
I’m guessing that many evangelical Christians, who were not thrilled when McCain wrapped up the nomination, have been motivated by Wright’s angry sermons and will turn out in the fall to stop Obama. They will hold their nose and vote for McCain in high numbers. Perhaps not in the enthusiastic way that they came out for Bush in ’04, but enough to secure victories in places like Ohio and Florida.
When they add to the equation that Obama is to the left, politically of the vast majority of Americans, the Independents who stuck with him through “Pastorgate” will trickle away to the reliable, moderate, war hero.
This may be exactly what Hillary is hoping for.
- Dan Joseph
Saturday, March 22, 2008
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Posted by Falling Panda at 4:52 PM