Thursday, May 08, 2008

say goodbye, hillary

Much in the press about North Carolina and Indiana and how Hillary Clinton, like a blonde-coiffed lesser Terminator, keeps on dragging herself forward in the Democratic nomination fight, despite the fact that Barack Obama has an insurmountable lead.

Clinton says she'll stay in the race "until there is a nominee." Well, there would be a de facto nominee if she quit right now...

I don't quite understand. Look, the only way Clinton can win now is if Obama is hit by a bus, or is caught having sex with a dead boy, or his mask slips and he is revealed to be Fidel Castro in disguise. But Clinton doesn't have to be an active candidate to win in that case. If something unforeseen takes Obama out of the race, Clinton's delegate totals dwarf John Edwards and anybody else. She is clearly the back-up, the "vice-nominee" already.

So please Hillary, make a graceful withdrawal soon. While you still have some respect. So you don't have to make outrageous claims like the one you made in West Virginia, about being "very excited about our come-from-behind victory in Indiana." That's pure crap - she led in Indiana from day one and had to hang on for a much-narrower than expected finish. When you have to lie (this goes beyond "spin") like this to try to maintain a shred of life for your campaign, it's already dead.

And you won't have to play act any longer if you quit now. David Broder is far far past his best days, but he gets a great line in his column today about Clinton: "(Clinton) flooded North Carolina and Indiana with phoniness -- playing a drag version of Dennis Kucinich, a beer-drinking populist, not the honors graduate of Wellesley College and Yale Law School that she is."

So as I occasionally admit, today I agree with George Will that Clinton should go home. Actually, Will's column today is very funny, about how Clinton's team is playing with the math any way they can because the real numbers - delegates, popular votes, and contests won - are all solidly against her and with Obama.

But after dismissing Clinton's quest for some sort of numerical fantasia that makes it look like she can win, Will sums up Obama in a way that obviously demonstrates Will's concern.

Tuesday night must have been almost as much fun for John McCain as for Obama. The Republican brand has been badly smudged by recent foreign and domestic policies, which are the only kinds there are, so McCain's hopes rest on the still-unattached cohort called "Reagan Democrats," who still seem somewhat resistant to Obama.

McCain's problem might turn out to be the fact that Obama is the Democrats' Reagan. Obama's rhetorical cotton candy lacks Reagan's ideological nourishment, but he is Reaganesque in two important senses: People like listening to him, and his manner lulls his adversaries into underestimating his sheer toughness -- the tempered steel beneath the sleek suits.

Remember - when Will compares calls somebody Reaganesque, it's a compliment.



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