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 Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hillary's Dilemma: Damned If You DO, Damned If You DON'T

  From Federick News-Post: Read here

Despite Sen. Hillary Clinton's tenacious attitude, all indications point to Sen. Barack Obama being the Democratic nominee for president.

Whether that will be a done deal before the August Democratic National Convention in Denver remains to be seen.

Earlier predictions that Democrats would avoid going to Denver with the party still divided get a little shakier with every passing primary. Still, who knows what kind of maneuvering and deal-making is going on behind the scenes. The only difference between party politics today and a century ago is that now the back rooms are smoke free.


But should Obama get the nod, Clinton will be pressured, out of necessity, to support him -- even if he denies her the second spot on the ticket.

That support will be critical to his chances of winning the White House, and the degree and sincerity of Clinton's support will be scrutinized and analyzed by her as well as Obama's supporters.

Some political pundits have theorized that if Obama passes on Clinton as his running mate, she will then set her sights on the 2012 campaign. But that strategy would depend in large part on Obama losing to Sen. John McCain in the general election.

Some conventional wisdom holds that if Clinton genuinely and enthusiastically encourages her devoted followers to support Obama -- disappointed and exasperated as they may at that point -- he will beat McCain in November.

But that, of course, would almost certainly destroy any Clinton strategy surrounding the 2012 presidential election.

And while in past months there has been a lot of talk and speculation that the Obama-Clinton "dream team" might materialize, in recent weeks the Obama camp seems to be distancing itself from that possibility.

Many wonder whether, realistically, there has been too much rancor between Obama and Clinton for such a partnership to work, whether she would be happy playing second banana, and how former president Bill Clinton -- known to relish the limelight -- would fit into the equation if his wife were vice president.

All this leaves Hillary Clinton with quite a dilemma.

If she successfully steers her supporters to vote for Obama and he wins, her presidential aspirations for the future will likely die in the process.


If Obama loses, and his loss is attributed to her failure to convincingly support him, she may well be labeled as selfish, or vindictive, or one whose personal ambition outweighs all other considerations -- including the good of the nation.

That likely would also spell the end of her political career.

To say that this Democratic primary has been interesting so far hardly does it justice. And its most compelling days -- for voters and Hillary Clinton alike -- may well lie ahead

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