Thursday, April 24, 2008
Hillary may pull it off
Aside from that, we are left to watch the maneuverings of the two candidates, Clinton and Obama. Clinton seems to be better at back-room gutter-level politics than Obama. Take the case of Michigan. Michigan broke the rules set by the Democratic National Committee by voting before February 5. Clinton and Obama at the time agreed to the rule. Obama honorably did not enter his name in the balloting that did take place. Clinton had her name on the ballot. Michigan voters were given the choice of "Clinton" or "Other." Of course "Other" could have been any of several candidates: Obama, Kucinich, Edwards, Gravel, Dodd, etc. "Clinton" received about 55 percent of the votes cast. Nobody believes that the vote represents a clear choice of Michigan Democrats for Clinton. If other names had been on the ballot, her vote would probably have been lower. According to the rules of the Democratic National Committee, the vote in Michigan shouldn't count.
Now Senator Clinton is insisting that it should count. She claims that she "won" Michigan and delegates chosen by the process in Michigan should be seated at the convention. To me, agreeing to ignore the vote in Michigan, then insisting that it be counted amounts to an example of underhanded gutter politics. More than one Democrat of my acquaintance is disgusted with Clinton.
The real reason for holding the primary elections early in the year, with several large States voting in February was to select the candidate early. The various Democratic elected officials favored Clinton early on and agreed to the early vote with the expectation that she would be able to gather enough delegates in February to clinch the nomination. It didn't work out that way. Upstart Obama came along and acquired a lot of delegates, too many to let Clinton claim the nomination after the February primary elections.
It's clear that the Democratic "machine" favored Clinton and probably still does. Democratic voters incline toward Obama. Clinton spent years working the "machine" and massaging the elected officials to grease the skids toward the nomination. She is one tough, determined lady and isn't going to give up the prize without an awful fight. She will do whatever it takes - reneging on promises and agreements, among other things - to gain the right to campaign against the Republican opponent in the fall.
All of this gutter politics may not dissuade dedicated Democrats like myself from voting for her if she does indeed become the Party's nominee. It will turn off some of the independent or non-partisan voters that we must depend on to win the general election next fall. Will enough of these independent voters support the presumably squeaky-clean and honest McCain rather than Hillary Clinton? This is a thought that I wish Hillary herself would consider and do some soul-searching about.