Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Clintons: Ready To Self-Destruct On Day One

Keith Olbermann reserves his greatest fire for the crimes and misdeeds of the Bush administration, so if you're a Democrat and have invoked his wrath, you know you've crossed a line. Here's his special comment from last night on the Clinton campaign, in particular the Ferraro flap and what Will Bunch calls the Archie Bunker strategy-

Now Ms. Ferraro has resigned from a campaign that she was claiming she didn't work for.

In addition to this racial dog-whistle politics-- which, as I noted Tuesday night, will continue through Pennsylvania-- the level of ridiculousness from the Clinton is now becoming a national punchline among political junkies, with her loyal supporters now spinning themselves in circles. Most Democrats had no issues with Sen. Clinton before this primary season; this is a self-inflicted wound.

I want to post an Obama campaign email as it sums up the circles the Clintons are spinning-
When we won Iowa, the Clinton campaign said it's not the number of states you win, it's "a contest for delegates." When we won a significant lead in delegates, they said it's really about which states you win. When we won South Carolina, they discounted the votes of African-Americans. When we won predominantly white, rural states like Idaho, Utah, and Nebraska, they said those didn't count because they won't be competitive in the general election. When we won in Washington State, Wisconsin, and Missouri -- general election battlegrounds where polls show Barack is a stronger candidate against John McCain -- the Clinton campaign attacked those voters as "latte-sipping" elitists. And now that we've won more than twice as many states, the Clinton spin is that only certain states really count.

And let us also not forget the flip-flop/spin on Florida and Michigan. Explaining to an NPR host last Fall why she was keeping her name on the Michigan ballot, Hillary said it's because "It's clear, this election they're having is not going to count for anything." Except, of course, until Hillary "won" those contests she cheated on in her favor, now she is fighting tooth and nail to make them count. As for the earlier reports of a mail-in do-over primary... apparently, that's a bust (or maybe not; who knows). And now the Clintons are insisting that the original contests were "fair" and should be "honored". So we're back to square one there.

Look, I can appreciate what the Clintons did for America in the '90s (with a few too many 'compromises' for my tastes). Which is why it's a shame that this is what they have reduced themselves to. Hillary's attempt to blame everyone else for her failed campaign-- and to burn the Democratic house down on her way out-- keeps her in the media spotlight where she wants to be, but can't change the electoral reality of Obama's path to the nomination.

[UPDATE: Since so many seemingly reasonable folks insist there's validity in Ferraro's original point-- that Obama's lucky to be black; that he only got this far because of that 'novelty'-- I want to address this. The notion that it's "lucky" to be running for President in America as a black guy named Barack Hussein Obama is a joke. The funny thing is that many of my friends here in NYC think his race could be a detriment to his campaign, not an asset. Obama got where he is by running a solid, inspiring campaign. Race was not an issue in the early part of this campaign (around Iowa) and has only become so due to the increasing efforts of Team Clinton. It must end.

UPDATE #2: Time's Joe Klein says what I was getting at here, but better.]


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