On March 4, Barack Obama will win the Republic of Tejas with double digit margins. Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton will win Ohio by 5 or 6 points. Since she, not Obama, is actually the candidate “using tactics that are right out of Karl Rove’s playbook,” Hillary Clinton will follow this meek win with a barnburner of a speech, accepting her victory as ungraciously as she has accepted her defeats. She will act as if the Ohio win is a landslide national mandate for her to continue running. She will act as if that little primary over in Tejas never occurred. Obama will also pick off Vermont. I do not have an inkling about Rhode Island.
From then, the next remotely big contest is April 22, Pennsylvania (74 delegates), with Mississippi’s 39 delegates and the Virgin Islands’ 9 up in between. That means more than a month of dry campaigning, indeed, two months until Indiana and North Carolina offer up more than a hundred delegates on May 6. That’s two months in which John McCain gets to tool around the country looking presidential and accepting as much campaign dollar as is tossed at him, two months of relative peace on the Democratic side, for the Republigoats to grab the national spotlight, two uninterrupted months for McCain to kiss the asses of movement conservatives and to construct his coalition.
After the big Tejas debate, John Alter said Sen. Clinton had nothing left to do but to decide whether to go out classy, or to go out fighting. She has apparently decided, expressing fury Saturday that Barack Obama has opted to run on the issues. From the AP story:
“Hillary Rodham Clinton angrily accused her Democratic rival Saturday of deliberately misrepresenting her positions on NAFTA and health care in mass mailings to voters, adding, ‘Shame on you, Barack Obama.'”
She did. She actually said “shame on you.”
“Clutching two of Obama campaign mailings in her hand for emphasis, the former first lady said, ‘enough with the speeches and the big rallies and then using tactics that are right out of Karl Rove’s playbook.'”
As mentioned previously, the truth is that the one who’s seemed to stumbled onto that particular volume on eBay is Sen. Clinton. There are, however, multple problems: She’s not good enough at it; he’s too good at rising above it; and the voters are just too keen at discerning and despising such horseshit.
It is nearly ironic that Hillary Clinton is now attacking Barack Obama for insisting on running on issues. Would it have been better, Hill, had he placed fliers under windshield wipers with altered images of you getting it on with Sandra Bernhardt? No, of course not, because hyperbolic false outrageâ€”covered in Section Seven of the Rove Playbook, “Hyperbolic False Outrage and Terri Schiavo, A Case Study”â€”can be drawn from any situation.
But my favorite part of this story is thus: “‘Meet me in Ohio,’ she said. ‘Let’s have a debate about your tactics and your behavior in this campaign.’ The two are scheduled to debate Tuesday in Cleveland.”
This shit just makes me laugh. It’s like yelling out an open window at a bar, come on, bitch, let’s step outside, you punk bitch, at a guy who’s been pacing out there for ten minutes with his sleeves rolled up waiting for you. But, again, this poltical tactic is covered in one of the last chapters of the Rove manual: “The Bald-Faced Recycling of Previously Failed Political Tactics.” Nobody in Wisconsin gave a crap about the claim that Obama would not debate herâ€”he FACED her in Wisconsin. Now, here, she shadowboxes into the same argument, despite the fact that the debate is already set. Good show!
I do not like the Clinton campaign, and I do not think many voters do, either. She has lied, she has opporunistically mischaracterized her opponent’s position, she has used false outrage and false conciliation, she has shown a willingness to change the rules mid-contest, she seemed early to lean on inevitability and she seems now late to have been completely unprepared for a serious challenge that would require endurance. She has made the weird political calculation that it is a good idea to run against hope and change. I think that her campaign’s behavior and its continued drive for the nomination reduces the chances for Democratic success every single day. What’s more, I do not think that Hillary Clinton can beat John McCain in November, whereas I think that Barack Obama will beat his ass. I think Sen. Obama will eventually get the nomination, but, I think that thanks to Sen. Clinton, he’ll be showing up a little late and shaken.
Oddly enough, the man who has most succinctly summed up this race is Alec Baldwin, who recently wrote at HuffPo: “What Mrs. Clinton has that Mr. Obama does not have, Mr. Obama can get. What Mr. Obama has that Mrs. Clinton does not have, she can never get.”
I think (plagiarising now from Big Eddie Schultz) it’s time for some of the Democratic heavy hitters, such as Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Al Gore, some of the now vanquished candidates, and whoever else, to sit down with the Clinton campaign and to ask them very directly, how do you intend to defeat Barack Obama? And I think if the answer isn’t cohesive or believable enough, I think it’s time for the party to lean on the Clinton campaign to get the hell out and to throw support to the man who’s won the last 11 contests, who has won many of them largely with double-digit margins, who has won many of them largely with record voter turnouts. Barack Obama should be our nominee. Now.