Clinton needs to make swift, graceful exit so Obama can focus on McCain
In the wake of her trouncing in North Carolina and her skin-of-the-teeth win in Indiana, it’s abundantly clear that Hillary Clinton should embrace reality and drop out of the Democratic presidential race.
It’s highly probable, indeed, that the junior New York senator would have lost blue-collar Indiana, if Rush Limbaugh had not persuaded tens of thousands of Republicans to join his mischievous Operation Chaos and crossover to vote for her.
Her hopes of seating the renegade Michigan and Florida delegations at the Denver convention in late August clearly were a pipe dream whose bubble has long since burst.
Seating delegations from states that were banned because they violated party rules would have been an act of cynical chutzpah almost unrivalled in the annals of American politics.
Michigan and Florida rightly were taken to the woodshed by the Democratic National Committee for ignoring party rules and moving their presidential primaries to earlier dates than allowed.
In the wake of that ruling, Clinton, Obama, and the other major Democratic candidates solemnly pledged not to campaign in those two states and it was understood that the 350 delegates from those states would not be seated in Denver’s Pepsi Center.
Moreover, there is mounting evidence that Florida moved up its primary as part of a ploy by the Sunshine State’s GOP to embarrass their Democratic counterparts.
State Democratic Chairwoman Karen Thurman’s backroom deals with the Republicans to approve the earlier Florida primary and her relationship with the Clinton campaign, indeed, should be the focus of a party probe. If proved, the DNC ought to level sanctions on both Thurman and Clinton for trying to game the system and undemocratically corral most of the state’s 210 delegates into Hillary’s pen.
Although Obama and all the other Dem contenders withdrew their names from the Michigan primary ballot, Clinton deviously permitted hers to remain.
After finishing first in those uncontested elections, Hillary began to fall further and further behind Obama in legitimately contested states. That’s when her strategists shamelessly decided to try to seat the Michigan and Florida delegations.
Clinton continues to divide the Democratic Party at a time when it should be marshaling its forces to defeat John McCain in the November election by capitalizing on the public’s utter disgust with the Bush administration’s failed economic and military policies.
Hillary and her now sycophantic husband, Bill, are tarnishing whatever legacy they had left from their eight years in the White House. Over the years, the Clintons have shown a propensity to sidestep the rules and then try to change them after they find themselves behind as the game reaches the late innings.
Now the paramount question is about to become: Do Hillary and Bill have the sportsmanship to acknowledge defeat and do the honorable thing by working hard to back Sen. Obama and their fellow Democrats in the fall election?
Already there are indications from some Clinton insiders that Hillary’s personal ambitions would be best served if her Senate pal John McCain were to win in November. That could still leave the White House door ajar for her in 2012—probably the last year she could reasonably expect to run for the presidency.
It’s commonly accepted that a thinly veiled signal from Hillary could send millions of her supporters to the sidelines this November—in effect, allowing McCain to overcome the Democratic Party’s huge advantage in registered voters.
Such an action—even if not publicly acknowledged—would create a huge riff inside the Democratic Party and perhaps send anti-war advocates, environmentalists and blacks scurrying to form a new, more progressive party.
That would be a stunning tragedy for America by delaying the healing process the nation so desperately needs before it can once again take its place as an admired leader in the family of nations.
Wayne Madsen is a contributing writer to the progressive Online Journal (www.onlinejournal.com). Readers may write to him c/o National Press Club, Front Desk, 529 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20045.