Monday, March 31, 2008

Clinton's Self-Defeating Campaign?

Every week, there's a new take on what Clinton's road to the nomination is. Is it superdelegates? Something else? The answer this week seems to focus on Michigan and Florida (again). Yes, the states that 5 months ago even Sen. Clinton agreed were "not going to count for anything" seem her rationale for keeping this fight going all the way to the convention (meaning, of course, Democrats couldn't start a general election campaign until Labor Day).

Clinton now insists that, if a solution for those states isn't reached, she will take it to the convention's credentials committee to demand that the delegates be fully seated. A cynic might think that this is just an excuse to drag this out until August while she a) strongarms superdelegates, and b) prays for the Obama implosion that has yet to come. But you know me, totally not a cynic.

Furthermore, considering that even with Michigan and Florida counted, Obama would still be in the lead, it seems that sowing uncertainty has to be her goal.

I noted earlier this month that Howard Dean had been going above and beyond trying to find solutions to the Michigan and Florida dilemma, many of which the Obama camp was receptive to. It was the Clinton camp that kept turning down plans (ie. the proposed Michigan caucus) that didn't suit their needs. Moreover, the Clinton camp's activities of late-- having her donors blackmail both the DNC and the DCCC, her praise of McCain, etc-- is what is largely responsible for why Dean and others have thrown their hands up in the air, and said "fuck it". The party leadership had been going out of its way to help the Clintons resolve all of this, and they received nothing but headaches in return.

Is it any wonder why Howard Dean is now just letting the process play itself out?

Yes, things have certainly not gone Sen. Clinton's way so far in this primary race. But that is not Obama's fault. Or the media's. Or the Democratic party leadership. The culprit is staring the Clintons right in the mirror... and rather than dial things back to make their case more appealing to party elders, they continue to dig in deeper and make nervous Democrats stare at the calendar and wonder when this debacle will be put out of its misery.

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