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March 3, 2008
Not Supporting Hillary Clinton? I Guess We’re Just Morons
Hillary Clinton’s terrible campaign for the Democratic presidency last
week provided reinforcement to the biggest criticism of her before the
race got under way – that she is motivated primarily by ambition, and
that it was more important for her to win the presidency than it was for
her to govern.
the nature of her campaign that’s been responsible for turning so many
people off. It’s been a campaign built on the apparent belief that the
nomination was really just hers for the asking from the get-go; and that
the other Democratic challengers should really do everyone a favor and
find a nice, quite corner in which to die. States that she lost weren’t
important. If people just gave their vote more than a passing thought,
they would realize that she was the right person for the job.
Those who didn’t . . . well, they’re just morons. They really did
believe their own self-generated hype of inevitability, which stood
strongly until people actually started casting votes.
week, Clinton made good on her promise to throw everything at Barack
Obama, which included reminders of why she tends to aggravate negative
feelings among so many of her critics.
Rhode Island rally over the weekend, Clinton mocked Obama’s campaign of
hope and unity, suggesting that it wasn’t something that real adults
would buy into. It might be a legitimate point, but Clinton charged
right through the line between reasonable argumentation and insufferable
arrogance like a bull through a red cape constructed entirely of tissue
paper, raising her arms and looking into the sky to mock the idea that
mere words can inspire.
Tuesday, at the Democrats’ final debate before tomorrow’s vote in Ohio
and Texas, Clinton spent time demanding that Obama not just denounce
Louis Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism, but also reject it. To most people, the
difference between the two is about as great as the amount of
interpretation you can read into the words “is,” and “alone.” Clinton,
however, demanded a rejection, and Obama gave it to her.
reason? Well, to break apart African-American support for Obama by
forcing him to reject an African-American leader on national television.
It’s a page right out of the Karl Rove playbook – attacking a
candidate’s strengths – and one that showed that Clinton is willing to
break apart communities to win the presidency.
might seem like the smart way to win the nomination, but it’s also why
Clinton as the nominee would pose such fundamental problems for the
Democratic Party. Most rank-and-file Democrats would be happy with
either candidate. On the other hand, Clinton’s powerful ability to turn
people off strongly negates her strengths in other areas.
Democrats are expected to have a good year, including widening their
majorities in the House and Senate. The potential that Clinton will
de-energize her party’s volunteer base could put that in jeopardy. And
it’s worth noting that Obama’s victories haven’t come because he is an
inspiring speaker, but because he has built an organization. In other
words, he’s won because he’s outworked Clinton.
There is a message in there for the Democratic Party, but it’s probably
best if they figure out what it is on their own.
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