Thursday, June 5, 2008

In For A Penny Not For A Pound

Hillary Clinton's campaign advisors and Ms. Clinton herself continue to make unwanted noise within the Democratic Party. And, once again, the noise being heard is precisely the opposite of the talk that should be emanating from the Clinton camp.

In a Wednesday press release, Ms. Clinton announced that she would be giving a speech on Saturday regarding her candidacy for President. In the release, Ms. Clinton suggested that she would be using the speech to thank those who supported and worked on her campaign and to endorse Barack Obama as the Democratic Party's nominee for President.

That would have been a good starting point for Ms. Clinton on Tuesday evening when, despite having several weeks to digest the reality that she could not overtake Mr. Obama in the race for delegates, she, instead, opted to use the platform of a pre-announced speech to further her campaign designs.

But what would have been a good starting point on Tuesday evening was not even that by Wednesday. And when Ms. Clinton made clear that, while she would be endorsing Mr. Obama she would nevertheless not release her pledged delegates, it became evident that Ms. Clinton remains in denial, at the least.

The only conceivable advantage that Ms. Clinton stands to gain by refusing to release her pledged delegates is that she would be the presumptive front-runner for the Party's nomination for President should something happen to Mr. Obama between now and the time that the Party holds its nominating convention. For Ms. Clinton's supporters, that slender reed of hope might be some solace.

The rest of the Democratic Party, meanwhile, is left to guess at how a candidate that ran on a platform of party unity is now doing everything in her power to ensure that the Party remains divided. And the longer this drags on, the worse it will become for all involved.

Though, prior to Tuesday night, it was unlikely that Mr. Obama would have even offered the VP role to Ms. Clinton, it is now a near certainty that no such offer will be forthcoming.

In the final analysis, Democrats and, in fact, all Americans probably ought to feel fortunate that the primaries fell as they did. On the Republican side, John McCain perservered despite an unpopular message, thwarting candidates bent on reverting the United States rule by the Old Testament. Given his campaign, there is little question but that McCain will stick to his word.

Like McCain, Obama rose from well behind in the polls, ultimately overtaking a well-financed and well-connected Ms. Clinton. From the moment he began campaigning from the rear to unofficially receiving the Democratic Party's nomination, Obama has remained steadfast in his campaign message of disentangling the United States from the war in Iraq and working to unite rather than divide.

Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama thus offer Americans a choice of two candidates who appear both scrupulous and well-meaning. It will be left for the voters to determine which candidate's policies are better suited for the current climate.

In stark contrast to Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama stands Ms. Clinton, who first supported penalties against Michigan and Florida--but refused to take her name off of the ballot in Michigan, then strenuously opposed the penalties when they appeared to be to her disadvantage, spoke about unifying when she had the lead, but resorted to division when she fell behind, and now refuses to do what others before her have done--concede defeat for the good of the whole.

Whatever prospects Ms. Clinton had for being named the Party's VP surely are gone. But her recent boorish behavior makes even her future within the Party virtually nil. That, too, might be a good thing for America.

Up Next: Earth to Minnesota DFLers. Plus, Obama's mandate.

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