Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Hillary-ous: The Tortured Logic of the Clinton Campaign

From Daily Kos:

Clinton's campaign has one premise -- victory at all costs. If that requires sundering the Democratic Party, so be it. She doesn't care. Therefore, there is no logic that applies. The popular vote only matters if it favors her. The pledged delegate lead only matters if it favors her. Michigan and Florida only matter if it favors her. States only matters if they vote for her. Groups and communities in this country only matters if they supports her. Super delegates only matter if they cast their lot with her.
The central problem is this. Barring a double-digit sweep of every remaining state, Clinton will finish the primaries behind in the pledged delegate count. Still, she has argued that she should remain in the race because the votes of the people matter.

"There are some folks saying we ought to stop these elections." "I don't think we believe that in America," she said. "The more people that have a chance to vote, the better it is for our democracy." - Hillary Clinton
at a recent campaign speech
However, her senior campaign advisor Harold Ickes has confirmed that the campaign will try to woo super-delegates even if she loses the popular vote. So the campaign is at once trying to convince people that:

1. The primaries should go on because the popular vote matters.

2. If the popular vote favours Obama, it should be overturned by superdelegates.

To even a casual observer, this is an absurdly hypocritical position. But unfortunately for Clinton, it's the only one she has left. Personally, I think she should stick around for the upcoming primaries. Her campaign has already invested enough time and money. She will likely win Pennsylvania by a reasonable margin, but at the end of the day she will probably not be able to catch Obama in pledged delegates. Both Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean have indicated that they want this race to be over by July 1st, the obvious implication being that whoever is behind in pledged delegates at that point should drop out. This would make the the most sense, and would avoid the discomfort of forcing superdelegates to be the ultimate arbiters of a supposedly democratic nomination process. It would likely also spare Clinton the task of explaining to people why their vote was so important in the spring, and less so in the fall. Again from Kos:

So we have a campaign that is losing by every metric imaginable. And now that campaign says that it doesn't care if she's losing by every metric imaginable. Her campaign will carry on regardless. No one can say that Clinton doesn't play to win. In some circumstances, that is admirable. The only problem is that she already lost.


MD said...

I don't have a problem with Hillary fighting on. The entire nomination process, with its caucus votes vs popular votes vs superdelegates and its unintelligable math is bizarre. I don't think anyone really cares if her strategy for overall delegate support is intellectually consistent. What bothers me about Hillary is her suggestion that the Republican nominee is better suited to be commander in chief than Obama. She has every right to fight as long she wants, but she's giving off the scent of putting her own ambition above the Democratic party's interest. Anyways, Howard Dean has no right to arbitrarily pick a date by when the contest should be decided...the rules were in place before the contest started and if and if it goes all the way to the convention floor, so be it.

Savvy said...

I agree with md. However complicated and flawed the American election process may seem, Hillary has every right to go to the end. I just wish she would do it with a little more honesty and class.

Savvy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
asd said...

I think Hillary is desparate and wants to win the nomination by fair or foul means. To top it all, the entire nomination process is so bizarre that it is almost non-democratic!

Red Canuck said...

I'm not sure where July 1st came from, but I think it just represents the end of the primaries. I do think that it would be a mistake for the Dems to have this thing go to the convention if one candidate has a pledged delegate lead beforehand. It would leave the 2 candidates fighting for the superdelegates, and heaven forbid if the superdelegates were to overturn the popular vote, there would be significant ramifications within the Democratic Party. I couldn't see it ending in a good way...

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