Date: Wed, 22 May 2013 14:00:56 +0200
It's time to hang up the stump, Hil'
- Given what has been happening here in China the past week and a half, it's hard not to think and write about all things earthquake. However, I thought I might just take a moment away from China to throw my two cents in on the Democratic Presidential nomination race in the United States.
Politicians, much like movie stars and sports figures, have never really been known as introspective. Some may call it shallow. However, I personally do cut them a bit of slack. When you're surrounded 24/7 by sycophants and fans who consider you the second coming of Lennon (that would be John, not Vladimir Ilyich) it's most likely difficult to be able to see through the fog of crap these people encase you in. But that said, there has to come a point in everyone's career where you just have to step back and say "enough is enough." There's nothing more pathetic than an aging sports star who keeps clinging on hoping for one last shot at glory, or an actor who may have had his or her 15 minutes of fame who is now relegated to supporting roles or the occasional cameo. Same thing applies to politicians. In any election, a politician - generally speaking - once the polls are closed and the numbers start flowing, will know very quickly whether or not he or she has a shot of winning. And when the numbers become inevitable, most politicians generally concede victory to their opponent gracefully and move on. However, it's becoming readily obvious that Hillary Clinton is not one of these politicians.
Despite a recent turnaround in the last few primaries, Mrs. Clinton still trails Barrack Obama to the point now where she can no longer get more delegates than he can. The best she can hope for, on the narrowest of outside chances, is that the Democratic Party flips its decision and allows the votes that were cast in Michigan and Florida to be added to the overall tally. This would still not give Clinton enough delegates to win the nomination outright. All this could potentially do is give her the lead in the popular vote, which her campaign hopes, would be enough to convince Superdelegates that she's the horse to bet on in the Presidential campaign against John McCain. This scenario has, in my estimation, about a 2 percent chance of actually succeeding. And if it did work, it would put the Democrats in a particular disadvantage. Here's why, as I see it:
For this unrealistic outcome to work for Mrs. Clinton, Superdelegates would have to turn against Obama, a politician who has run a somewhat cordial campaign (though not without its mudslinging, of course) and has kept his nose clean politically (minus his yappy former preacher). As such, if Clinton wants to turn the SD's her way, she'll have to get particularly nasty and drudge up some sort of scandal against Obama and ride it all the way to Denver. I can just see the Republicans salivating at this prospect. As well, if the Democratic party reverses its original decision not to allow the Florida and Michigan votes to stand because they violated party rules, again it gives ammunition to the Republican Party, which would be well within its rights to begin pointing out that if the Democrats can't follow their own rules, how can they be trusted to keep their promises and play by the rules if they got into the Whitehouse. Basically, if the stars align for Hillary, the Democrats are essentially going to have to run a defensive Presidential campaign. And look how well that worked out for John Kerry in 2004.
It's time for Mrs. Clinton to take a step back and face the reality of the situation. If she actually cared about the fortunes of her party, and not her own inflated sense of self-worth, she would gracefully bow out of the race now and allow the Democratic party time to get itself cohesive enough to take on the Republican machine, which, despite what you might think about the crap that has gone on the last 8 years under Bush, still has the power and support in the United States to snatch up what should have been a virtual cake walk for Democrats this go round.
This is a post in a series focusing on the US Presidential race. As the 2008 campaign has global implications, the writers at Zhongnanhai will be occasionally posting on this topic. You can read more of our coverage by clicking here.