Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hillary Will Win

For quite some time, I have been privately forecasting a Hillary Clinton victory in the Democratic presidential nomination contest.

Today, I am going public - I anticipate that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic Party's 2008 nominee.

It is comments like this one, from Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean, that convince me the tide has turned:

[Superdelegates] have every right to overturn the popular vote and choose the candidate they believe would be best equipped to defeat John McCain in a general election. . . If it's very very close, they will do what they want anyway. . . I think the race is going to come down to the perception in the last six or eight races of who the best opponent for McCain will be. I do not think in the long run it will come down to the popular vote or anything else.

The numbers are now close and very clear.

Neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama will emerge from the primary elections with a decisive advantage in elected delegates or popular vote. The primaries will not break the current deadlock.

In spite of months of relentless spin from Mr. Obama's surrogates - spin that has had much traction in the political media - that purported to narrow or bind the free votes of superdelegates at the actual convention, Mr. Dean's comments speak the truth.

Superdelegate votes will ultimately be cast based on what is happening on the ground at the time of the convention.

While anything can change, and it still may, it seems most likely that the Clinton campaign will continue to build momentum and peak in the final weeks of the primary season, just in time for the party's August 25 -28 convention in Denver.

The increasingly desperate and divisive pronouncements of Mr. Obama's supporters are not helping. Yesterday's attacks by House Majority Whip James Clyburn, as reported by CNN, are a case in point:

Clyburn told the newspaper that many African-Americans believed the Clintons were trying to damage Obama to the point where he could not be elected. He also made similar comments in an interview with Reuters Thursday.

"There are African Americans who have reached the decision that the Clintons know that she can’t win this," he told Reuters. "But they’re hell-bound to make it impossible for Obama to win.”

Speaking with the New York Times, Clyburn said such actions could lead to a longtime division between the former president and his once most reliable constituency.

“When he was going through his impeachment problems, it was the black community that bellied up to the bar,” Clyburn said. “I think black folks feel strongly that this is a strange way for President Clinton to show his appreciation.”

Efforts by Mr. Clyburn and others to play a 'race card' against Mrs. Clinton and her husband are a shameless insult to history.

Beyond that, such tactics are likely to backfire by further alienating the very Democrats that Mr. Obama has, to date, had so much difficulty convincing.

As the certainty of an Obama nomination declines, his campaign must temper the temptation of some surrogates to employ their own a 'scorched-earth' game plan that sullies and undermines an ultimate Hillary Clinton candidacy, and in the process, instigates dangerous racial discord in the nation.

And while Mr. Obama should by no means be conceding defeat at this point, perhaps he must begin considering the Audacity of the Vice-Presidency.

For it is Mr. Obama alone that will be in position to unify the party and the nation, if, as I now expect, he emerges from the Convention as a very close, but much-admired, runner-up.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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Scott Tribe said...

Hah, this the most humourous blogpost I've read so far today. Nice Clinton supporter bravado though.

There's no way Clinton wins - she will not catch Obama in pledged delegates, and there's no way the Supers will overturn the will of those votes - the Democratic Convention will become civil war otherwise.

If Obama beats Clinton in both Indiana and North Carolina in a couple of weeks, the pressure on her to stand down will be immense. I don't expect it, because Clinton and her followers believe 'she deserves the Presidency", but I believe you'll see the undecideds move to end this quickly by publicly supporting Obama, if she won't

I've said it for a couple of months now, and I'll say it again: Obama is the nominee - book it.. bank it.

Steve V said...

"I've said it for a couple of months now, and I'll say it again: Obama is the nominee - book it.. bank it."

And since Scott said that, Clinton has won every single major primary ;)

That is quite the quote from Dean, much different from what he was saying prior to Pennsylvania. Interesting.

Scott Tribe said...

Not quite, Steve. ;) Clinton has won 2 states.. and Obama has won his share as well.

Anyhow, even you, as a neutral observer, have to admit that this column by Garry is just some spinning by a Clinton partisan.

As for Dean, that may be just public posturing to keep the whiny Clinton supporters at bay. This report suggests that he and Reid and Pelosi will intervene if this goes into June.

I will expect full and public recants from all Clinton supporters when she finally is forced out or sees the light (not much hope with that, but weirder things have happened) and Obama is the official candidate for the Dems for President of the US - Garry is at the top of my list who I will be reading looking for said recant. ;)

Garry J. Wise, Wise Law Office, Toronto said...

Whatever you say, Mr. Tribe... as long as you keep reading.

Garry (not spinning, just reading the tea leaves....)

Steve V said...

Actually it's three major states, and they've both won the non-contests.

The thing about Dean's comments, they are much different from what he was saying just a week ago. This is the first time I've heard him say that people might make up their minds based on the last few primaries.

On the poll front, Gallup now has a tie, with Clinton actually doing better in the head to head with McCain. Last week Newsweek gave Obama the largest lead we've seen, a full 19 points, today the gap is just 7. Pennsylvania has clearly put some wind in her sails.

I think Indiana is the key, it is basically an even contest at the moment, both have their share of kind constituents. Obama has already referred to the state as a "tiebreaker" (not a smart choice of words politically), so Indiana may just be a bigger prize than first blush would suggest.

Saskboy said...

I beat you to this prediction, 2 years ago :-) Nice try though ;-)

NA Patriot said...

Since this is so well-written, I had to read it twice. Why? I guess I am just fascinated by folks who otherwise seem perfectly intelligent not understanding that the nomination race is over. It has been since February. There is no chance in hell that the superdelegates will overturn the will of the people, especially in light of the kamikaze tactics of the Clintons. There is no viable path to the nomination for HRC. Please mark my words - it's done. Now, I suppose you might have some Clintonian definition of "win" that I have not thought of...but in the conventional sense, she has already lost and will continue to lose and humiliate herself in the weeks ahead.

The sad, really tragic part is, her legacy will be Monica Lewinski and an ill-fated, eventually crazed Presidential run. Had she done the right thing and dropped out months ago she would have secured herself influence and power, literally for the rest of her life. With what she has done since February, she's rendered herself obsolete, irrelevant.

Can you imagine just how "bitter" things are going to be in the Clinton household in the years ahead?

Psychols said...

Your prediction seems more like wishful thinking than an objective extrapolation of the facts. Pennsylvania is a state that was tailor made for Clinton and she was the hometown favorite. A 9.2% win is hardly convincing. She started with a 16% lead in the polls and Barrack Obama closed that gap at the same time as deaing with Rev. Wright, lapel pins and the "bitter" comment.

If the Super Delegates do anything at all, it will be to put an end to Hillary Clinton's bid because her sense of entitlement will prevent her from stepping down gracefully.

Vlad Glebov said...

Well so far the predictions are around 150 pledged delegate difference by June, that isn't close enough. Close would be 20-30 delegates and that isn't happening.

I think Clinton supporters should realize that if the appointed super delegates overrule the pledge delegates, the democratic party will fall apart and the November election will be lost.

Whatever the feelings may be towards Obama from Clinton supporters when he wins the pledged delegate count, democrats will be considerably worse off if they don't respect the democratic process.

Sharon said...

I'll take wishful thinking. I'll take far fetched ideas. I still think that if Obama should win the primary, Democrats are going to regret their votes for him. He has way too much controversy spinning around him and no chance of winning the White House. Yup, call that wishful thinking too....

Take Care, Sharon

Daniel said...

Obama is going through rough times and he may get derailed. But my prediction is that beneficiary won't be Hillary, but rather Al Gore. Here's my take on it:

Anonymous said...

It will be Mr. Obama's unique opportunity to reunite a party he has, either directly or indirectly, seriously divided.

The 90% of African-Americans who chose to back a candidate solely on account of his race are in danger of finding themselves marginalized. Had they instead abandoned racial politics and voted for the best candidate, they would have cemented themselves more firmly in the mainstream of American politics and helped heal rather than exacerbate the country's racial divide.

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