Monday, June 2, 2008

Managing a legitimate result

For all the pundits, bloggers, and politicians who called on Hillary to quit, for all the tiresomeness of the endless primaries and their shallow coverage in the media, and for all the ridiculous complications of the Democrats' baroque procedure for selecting a nominee, I've come around to equanimity about Hillary's continuing in the race. It's best to see this process, however imperfect, to its end.

Think of the alternatives:

  • The superdelegates short-circuit the process and king-make - either way.
  • Either candidate drops out before actually being beaten.
Of course, Florida and Michigan bollixed up what would have otherwise been a clear procedural picture, and the DNC had to improvise. What they did was showcase an open process where everyone had a say. I'm sure there was some choreography behind the scenes, but they made a solomonic decision that didn't smack of one side cheating the other.

Wednesday, we Democrats will find ourselves here: The voters will have finished their say. The delegates they have already chosen are narrowly for Obama. The superdelegates have held back (enough!) from tipping the contest. They have let the voters choose so that the final outcome is legitimate. Based on Howard Dean's, Nancy Pelosi's, and Harry Reid's public statements, I believe that some Democrats in Congress decided to wait so that their votes would ratify the decision of the voters and not overturn it. Quite a restrained decision to be made in a smoke-filled room!

There's now a context in which to unite. That's still not guaranteed to happen. Whether it actually does hinges on Hillary's generosity and that of her core supporters. But to come out of the primary season in early June with a narrow but legitimate victory by one candidate is about all we could hope for.

Of course, all bets are off if Harold Ickes and Hillary take their beef to the floor of the convention.


Anonymous said...

Negotiations are understood to be taking place between the Obama and Clinton campaigns about the Illinois senator helping to repay some of the massive debt incurred by his rival. One of Hillary Clinton's donors said that the former First Lady's campaign was as much as $40 million in the red.
It's OVER for Sen. Hillary Clinton. She's NOT in any position to take this to the convention, she knows that would be suicide and end her Senate seat and all other political support would be destroyed if she attempts to destroy the party, the party will DESTROY her. It's that simple. Let's not get it twisted. The Clintons may be powerful, but the DNC and it's supporters would destroy the Clintons if they even suspected she was aimed at dividing the party!

The Huffington Post recently reported...
In a conference call with major donors this afternoon, contributors were told by Harold Ickes, a senior Clinton adviser, that she was unlikely to pull out of the race until the issue of her massive debts was resolved. The New York senator has lent her own campaign at least $11.5 million.

One source close to a major donor said: "It's not about the vice-presidency or any other position she might get. It's about the money.

It's NO longer about the VP slot or anything else. The Clintons just want their money back and want their debts paid, otherwise they will be stuck with their own campaign debts. Bottom line.

lovable liberal said...

I hope you're right.

I found this HuffPost story. Where did you hear $40 mill?

Anonymous said...

I wonder who spent the least? For all the candidates and their presidential campaign?

lovable liberal said...

Probably Alan Keyes.