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 Thursday, June 05, 2008

Jay McDonough's Review of the Democratic Presidential Nomination Campain

  From Progressive Politics Examiner

Hillary Clinton's Speech

Things Hillary Clinton DIDN'T do last night:

  • Failed to acknowledge the historical significance of Barack Obama's accomplishment

  • Congratulate Barack Obama on having secured the Party nomination

  • Acknowledge her own campaign was ending

  • Make any attempt to reconcile with the winning campaign
Things Hillary Clinton DID do last night:

  • Continued to claim Barack Obama is the illegitimate nominee of the Democratic Party

  • Provided no timetable for her ultimate concession (in fact, one of her supporters said today it may be a couple weeks before she's "adjusted")

  • After Obama took the initiative to reach Clinton last night and asked for a meeting, she reportedly replied "I'm sure that will happen"

  • Chose to play Tom Petty's "Won't Back Down" before her speech
If Senator Clinton is angling, as some have suggested, to secure the Vice Presidential slot on the Democratic ticket she has a funny way of showing it.

In addition, Jake Tapper at ABC News offers up some potential roadblocks to Mrs. Clinton's pursuit of the VP nod:
* Bill's finances
* Donors to the Clinton Library (as yet undisclosed)
* Bill's gazillionaire rat pack pals Bing and Burkle et al
* Bill's trip to Kazakhstan
* Bill's ties to the Saudis
* Anything about his personal life that might not stand the light of day...
It seems to me the hardcore Clinton supporters, in their zeal to announce all the ways Barack Obama was a flawed candidate who would be submarined by Republicans, failed to fully consider the liabilities the Clinton team brings to the game.

I would argue Tapper's list is far from complete, and Republicans and the vast majority of Democrats could easily add a couple more big bullets to the list.
    Clinton To Concede Friday

    Proving there is, indeed, sanity in the ranks of Hillary Clinton supporters, Congressional Democrats leaned hard on Senator Clinton following her defiant speech last night. It looks like they had an effect.

    The New York Times is reporting this evening Clinton will suspend her campaign, and endorse Barack Obama on Friday.

    Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is moving to suspend her campaign and endorse Senator Barack Obama on Friday after Democratic members of Congress urged her on Wednesday to leave the race and allow the party to unite around Mr. Obama, according to a senior adviser to Mrs. Clinton.

    Her decision came after a day of telephone conversations with supporters on Capital Hill about what she should do now that Mr. Obama has claimed enough delegates to secure the nomination.

    Mrs. Clinton had initially said she wanted to wait before making any decision, but her aides said that in conversations, some of her closest supporters said it was urgent that she step aside.

    We pledged to support her to the end,” said Representative Charles W. Rangel, a New York Democrat who has been a patron of Mrs. Clinton since she first ran for the Senate. “Our problem is not being able to determine when the hell the end is.”

    One wonders why she was unable to make the gracious concession last night when it would have meant so much and, instead, have to be brow beaten into conceding by her most loyal and trusted supporters today.

    The Deal Breaker

    The Wall Street Journal is reporting tonight it's unlikely Hillary Clinton, despite signaling interest, will be the vice presidential choice of Barack Obama. Both the Obama and Clinton campaigns are referring to a "deal breaker":

    But close advisers to Sen. Obama signaled an Obama-Clinton ticket was highly unlikely. People in both camps cited what several called "a deal-breaker" -- Bill Clinton may balk at releasing records of his business dealings and big donors to his presidential library.

    Clinton library donations have been a ticking time bomb throughout this campaign.

    The Clinton's continued refusal to divulge details about these donations is a red flag, and would have been a significant liability had Mrs. Clinton been the Party nominee.

    Clinton's Other Loss

    Senator Clinton has a responsibility not to hold those 18 million Democratic supporters hostage, hoping to negotiate some special deal for herself, but to do the right thing and convince them to vote for the Democratic Party nominee in November.

    I wrote the other day about those Clinton supporters threatening to vote for John McCain should Barack Obama be the nominee of the Democratic Party.

    One can only hope those folks were expressing frustration at the turn of events and, come November, will reconsider and decide it makes more sense to vote for what might not be their first choice, but the candidate that best reflects their views.

    Some may not. And nothing Barack Obama can do will dissuade them.It's probably important to keep in mind those folks are few and far between.

    The media loved to interview them because the were LOUD and controversial.

    And we sure saw alot of them in the final days of the primary campaign.

    But their wide exposure painted an unbalanced and, frankly, unfair portrait of the average Clinton supporter.

    Hillary Rosen is a well known Democratic Party operative and a loyal Clinton supporter. She reflected today on her disappointment over Senator Clinton's address last night:

    She had a chance to surprise her party and the nation after the day-long denials about expecting any concession and send Obama off on the campaign trail of the general election with the best possible platform. I wrote before how she had a chance for her "Al Gore moment." And if she had done so, the whole country ALL would be talking today about how great she is and give her her due.

    Instead she left her supporters empty, Obama's angry, and party leaders trashing her. She said she was stepping back to think about her options. She is waiting to figure out how she would "use" her 18 million voters.

    But not my vote. I will enthusiastically support Barack Obama's campaign. Because I am not a bargaining chip. I am a Democrat.
    Loyal Clinton supporter, Rep. Charles Rangel said this today:

    "I would agree that after the math was in before her speech, that she could have been far more generous in terms of being more specific and saying that she wants a Democratic victory," Rangel said in an interview on MSNBC.

    "I don't see what they're talking about in prolonging this," Rangel added. "There's nothing to prolong if you're not going to take the fight to the convention floor…I don't know why she could not have been more open in terms of doing up front what she intends to do later."

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