Hillary Clinton, Chutzpah and the November Election

by Jeff Siegel

There's an old joke about the son who murdered his parents and asks the judge for clemency because he's an orphan. It's the answer to the question: What's chutzpah (a Yiddish word meaning nerve or gall)?

Thanks to Hillary Clinton, it's time to rewrite the joke.

Her behavior at the end of the Democratic presidential campaign elevated chutzpah to new levels. First, Sen. Clinton (D-NY) sent her supporters to the streets to demand that the primary results in Florida and Michigan be counted, even though she knew they would not be counted when the primaries were held. That was the same tactic the Republicans used so effectively in Florida during the run-up to the 2000 presidential election recounts. How much lower can a so-called Democrat sink than to use Bush-Rovian methods?

Second, if she has not made it impossible for Barack Obama to beat John McCain in November, she has made it that much more difficult. Mrs. Clinton injected race into the campaign in a way it had not been injected before, using it to appeal to the Reagan Democrats she hoped would salvage her campaign, and used it repeatedly to pander to Hispanic voters. She has even managed to alienate Jews from the party, an amazing accomplishment. All this did was show McCain how to beat Obama.

Third, Mrs. Clinton continues to insist she is the best candidate, even though her party's voters didn't think so. This is despicable. The voters voted. That's it. That's how the system works. This isn't revolutionary Russia, where Lenin annulled an election he lost because he didn't like the result.

And fourth, after all of this, Mrs. Clinton wants to be vice president. “In the coming days I’ll be consulting with supporters and party leaders determining how to move forward, with the best interest of my party and my country guiding my way,” she said Tuesday night (June 3), after Sen. Obama (D-IL) became what the pundits are calling the presumptive nominee.

As my grandmother used to say: "Oy vey."

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

(Political graphic by Frederick; you can see more of Frederick's graphics at the blogs Guys from Area 51 and MCCS1977. This graphic is made available through a Creative Commons License.)

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