5.21.2008

Will Hillary Clinton Get the Message This Time?

by Jeff Siegel

Finally, after almost five months of caucuses and primaries, the pundits are hedging their bets about the Democratic presidential nominee. The New York Times reported this morning, in an impressively cautious bit of writing, that "Mr. Obama’s showing in Kentucky and his victory in Oregon appear to be enough to allow him to secure a majority of the delegates up for grabs in primaries and caucuses."

That Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is now almost certainly the nominee just reinforces the point that the media have not had much of an idea about what was going on during this campaign.

That Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) has not yet conceded, despite almost no chance of winning the nomination, points to nothing other than her hubris and contempt for the party and its primary voters. That she doesn't have the delegates is irrelevant to her, which is a distinctly Republican frame of mind. George Bush didn't have the votes in 2000, and the GOP had protesters in the streets shouting that he should be president. Maybe Mrs. Clinton expects the Supreme Court to intercede on her behalf. It's certainly the elitist thing to do.

And do not read this as an endorsement of Obama, who has crawfished so far to the right so quickly that I'm surprised he hasn't been boiled, shelled, rouxed and etouffeed. He got the most delegates, so he will be the nominee, and only Mrs. Clinton doesn't see that. This doesn't mean Obama is good for the party or the country. I'm still waiting for a someone to give me a compelling rationale for his votes to continue funding the Iraq War, and he has not covered himself in glory with his support for the Bear Stearns bailout and his failure to support any of the common sense, progressive measures I've outlined here before.

Obama, in fact, is about to go even further to the right. I talked to a reasonably well-connected Democratic Party fundraiser last week, and he said Obama's running mate will be as conservative as possible. He mentioned Florida Senator Bill Nelson, Virginia Senator Jim Webb (who was Ronald Reagan's Navy secretary, of all things), and, horror of horrors, former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn. Each of these could run as John McCain's vice president and it wouldn't raise too many eyebrows.

But the choice will be Obama's, and not Mrs. Clinton's. Not that those of us who care about social justice will be able to tell the difference.

For more background on the 2008 campaign, please see these archival posts:

(Political graphic by The Culture Ghost; you can see more of The Culture Ghost's graphics at the blogs Guys from Area 51 and The Culture Ghost. This graphic is made available through a Creative Commons License.)












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