Clinton’s long defeat

March 25, 2008 at 8:58 pm | Posted in Democratic Party Presidential Primary, Hillary Clinton, U.S. Politics | 1 Comment
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I wouldn’t normally link to David Brooks for anything more than another example of worn-out right-wing orthodoxy, but for a hollowed-out Beltway hack, he writes better than most.

A few days ago, a Clinton aide confided to the Politico that Hillary had no more than a 10% chance of securing the Democrats’ nomination for President. Brooks argues that those odds have since halved and ponders the full extent of the harm she’s inflicting on her own party by doggedly pursuing that 5 percent chance:

Let’s take a look at what she’s going to put her party through for the sake of that 5 percent chance: The Democratic Party is probably going to have to endure another three months of daily sniping. For another three months, we’ll have the Carvilles likening the Obamaites to Judas and former generals accusing Clintonites of McCarthyism. For three months, we’ll have the daily round of résumé padding and sulfurous conference calls. We’ll have campaign aides blurting “blue dress” and only-because-he’s-black references as they let slip their private contempt.

For three more months (maybe more!) the campaign will proceed along in its Verdun-like pattern. There will be a steady rifle fire of character assassination from the underlings, interrupted by the occasional firestorm of artillery when the contest touches upon race, gender or patriotism. The policy debates between the two have been long exhausted, so the only way to get the public really engaged is by poking some raw national wound.

For the sake of that 5 percent, this will be the sourest spring. About a fifth of Clinton and Obama supporters now say they wouldn’t vote for the other candidate in the general election. Meanwhile, on the other side, voters get an unobstructed view of the Republican nominee. John McCain’s approval ratings have soared 11 points. He is now viewed positively by 67 percent of Americans. A month ago, McCain was losing to Obama among independents by double digits in a general election matchup. Now McCain has a lead among this group.

For three more months, Clinton is likely to hurt Obama even more against McCain, without hurting him against herself. And all this is happening so she can preserve that 5 percent chance.

When you step back and think about it, she is amazing. She possesses the audacity of hopelessness.

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1 Comment »

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  1. I am honestly worried that we might actually lose this race; and you’re right, Hillary is bringing us down.


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