For Whom The Bell Tolls
By Chris Talamo, Staff Columnist
Published on Tuesday, April 1, 2008
The machinery is slowly coming to a halt, and laborers who have put countless hours into maintaining it are starting to realize that the end is near. The managers are desperately trying solutions left and right, but in their panicked frenzy to rescue the operation they are only hastening its demise. The machine continues to wind down, squealing, cracking and scraping in an abhorrent cacophony as the momentum is slowly lost. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign is dying, and it's doing so in a very unpleasant manner.
With so few available delegates to win to make up her current deficit, Clinton has been resorting to a number of political maneuvers to rescue her campaign. Some accuse her of tearing apart the Democratic Party, but I don't believe this to be the main concern. In the last four years President Bush has made so many gaffs and blunders that this election should be even more in favor of the Democrats than the last (and four years ago Kerry was supposed to have a clear path to the White House). The only thing that Clinton is destroying is her own political career, revealing how far she's willing to go to win power.
Her recent public addresses make this all too clear. Over the past few months Clinton has been clinging to the policy of "resolving" the Michigan and Florida Democratic primaries, which were deemed invalid by the DNC for being held too early. She goes so far as to say that in Michigan, "when others made the decision to remove their names from the ballot I didn't because I believe your voices should count." Clinton won both races, though Obama and Edwards were not even featured on the ballot in Michigan.
What she seems to be forgetting is that she agreed with every other Democratic nominee not to campaign in the two states. What did she think of the voters then?
With a glaring deficiency in pledged delegates, Clinton has made attempts to undermine their loyalty to the popular vote, which is in Obama's favor. She has said, "Every delegate with very few exceptions is free to make up his or her mind however they choose." She denies attempting to win over delegates presently committed to Obama, explaining that she's merely reminding everyone of the rules.
It is an irrefutable fact that it's legal for many delegates to change their vote, but in encouraging this through constant reminders, she reveals her actual thoughts on the voters' power. Hillary has no interest in securing the rights of the slighted voters in Michigan and Florida. She claims to want everyone's voice to be heard and for every vote to count, but at the same time she is personally working to undermine the effect that voters have on the system by reminding pledged voters that they are not strictly pledged. She apparently believes in the right of every American to cast a ballot, but not in their right to have that ballot represented at the convention.
This is just one of many such contradictions, all of which are gradually destroying her chances at winning future primaries. Clinton is revealing her true colors as a stereotypical politician, willing to say the right words and shake the right hands to woo the right donors to get power. She's just not as good at hiding it.
Though she may be putting all of her hope in the final primaries, people are already noticing her tactics and are turning against her. Clinton won the California election on Super Tuesday, but with the recent developments in her campaign, her majority has already been lost to Obama. Clinton recently lost the expected endorsement of Governor Bill Richardson, a close friend and political pupil of the Clinton family, to Obama. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has encouraged the superdelegates to rally around the candidate who has the popular vote, which presently is Obama.
In short, the Clinton campaign is collapsing quickly, and her attempts to save it are only hastening its death.
If she allows this self-destructive trend to continue, she's not only going to find little support among the voters, but decreasing support from the important Democratic Party leaders whom she seemed to have clinched in the early months of the race. If she lets this happen, then even her career as New York's junior senator will be in danger. Hillary Clinton needs to step out of the race now -- not for anyone's sake but her own.