Is Hillary Clinton a Spoiler Yet?

Hillary Clinton said today, "I'm staying in this race until there's a nominee . . . ," which means that she intends to stay in the race until the Democratic Party officially selects its presidential candidate at its August convention, in Denver.    So, does Clinton meet the dictionary definition of "spoiler" yet?

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines the word "spoiler" as:

"one (as a political candidate) having little or no chance of winning but capable of depriving a rival of success" Merriam Webster
The National Review called Al Sharpton a "professional spoiler" in 1992.   In 1996, calling the Democratic Party "the party of spoilers,"Time Magazine said of Jesse Jackson and Ross Perot, "each of them could play havoc with the 1996 presidential race  . . .  each is a failed presidential candidate with no realistic chance to win the White House . . ."

Today, that's what virtually everyone is saying about Hillary Clinton.  The Hutch Report blog has said,

While it is a logical assumption that Hillary Clinton will drop out of the 2008 Democratic race if she does not win in Pennsylvania, that actual announcement will be hard for her to make. Hopefully, friends of Hillary Clinton have already been priming her for a potential defeat in Pennsylvania and telling her what the right thing to do will be if she is not successful there. If Hillary Clinton continues her campaign after a Pennsylvania defeat, then she and yes her husband too will become damaged goods in a political party that stood behind Bill Clinton through thick and thin when it came to his mistakes in moral judgment.

It is clear to most objective observers that both Bill and Hillary Clinton are very narcissistic and getting either one of them to admit they have lost a campaign is something that most people would not even attempt. That said, there is a time for the 'fat lady to sing' and if Hillary loses in Pennsylvania tomorrow night that lady's voice should ring loud and clear even in her own ears.  Hutch Report

Everyone, including now Hillary Clinton's advisers and ex-supporters, now agrees that it is virtually impossible for Hillary Clinton to win the Democratic presidential nomination.

Clinton advisers sketched out a scenario that they said could still deliver the nomination, though they acknowledged privately that the odds are long.

( . . . )

One Clinton adviser, speaking on the condition of anonymity to be frank, said: "If the supers weren't buying it before, it's hard to see how they'll buy it now.  Washington Post

She's just too far behind numerically.
Tuesday's results drastically reshaped the dynamic of the campaign, positioning Obama as the all-but-certain nominee and casting Clinton as a dogged but deluded also-ran. At least one prominent Democrat, Clinton supporter and former South Dakota Sen. George McGovern, called on Clinton to quit the race.  Yahoo News
Although Clinton was once known for running a notoriously tight ship that eschewed leaks, her own supporters are telling the media that she just cannot win, and needs to accept it and bow out gracefully.
Another Clinton supporter said privately that the candidate has but one option: "Withdraw gracefully and help unify the party to beat McCain." Washington Post
And yet we're still, still reading headlines in the Washington Post such as, "Clinton Spurns Calls to Quit Race."

More . . .

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BREAKING: Sharpton Arrested at NYC Protest

CNN has just reported that Al Sharpton has been arrested during the Sean Bell protest today in New York City. At the moment, sources are still somewhat limited, but CNN is linking to WABC, which reports that the protests have caused several disruptions:

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Just when you think you've seen it all

There's been some talk of this ad, which launched three weeks ago, but decidedly much less buzz than I might have expected. I hadn't actually heard of it before seeing it on TV, and a week later I'm still scraping my jaw up off the floor: Al Sharpton and Pat Robertson, together, in an ad for... wecansolveit.org, a project of Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection. As someone politically and theologically predisposed to both environmentalism and reconciliation, I am in ecstasy. Don't get me wrong, I think Robertson is as crazy as anyone - he practically called folks like me the Antichrist - but every little bit helps.

Perhaps it shouldn't come as that much of a surprise. Robertson does, after all, support the distribution of condoms in Africa to prevent AIDS. This one-two punch of condoms and climate change suggests that perhaps the man only lacks sanity, not common sense. It may also be that he is trying to retain some small shred of credibility among his former flock, as the evangelicals in the pews broaden their focus to include climate change, AIDS, and similar issues (see: Rick Warren, Mike Huckabee, Jim Wallis, Pope Benedict). That might also explain the Rudy endorsement.

Update 10:27 pm Thanks to Student Guy and lizardbox for pointing out a similar Gore ad from Pelosi and Gingrich. I like the first one better, but both are cause for hope and celebration.

End update.

On another note, this is the first post I have made on MyDD in quite some time. While I do regret my absence (though harbor no illusions that anyone else has noticed), it is likely to continue for a little while more. I have started a new job in DC that prohibits monitoring blogs at work, and am quite busy after hours with various research, funding, and job applications. What's more, I am not allowed to identify myself online as working for this employer until the job ends in late May. Given the nature of this employment, that creates the potential for a conflict of interest while blogging on overtly political topics. I will wait for the job to end before resuming my activism here at MyDD. In the meantime, I am posting a little on my own blog, including a recent piece entitled "Bourbon, Pizza, and James Carville," if you see fit to stop by.

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Bill's "Fairy Tale" Damage Control

Looks like the backlash from Bill Clinton's comment at Portsmouth College in New Hampshire about Obama's campaign is prompting the former President to start putting out a few smoldering fires.  According to Ben Smith at The Politico, he plans to appear on Rev. Al Sharpton's radio show today to clarify his comments.

In case you missed what I'm referring to, here's a quote from an angry, finger-wagging Bill:

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Sharpton vs Daley, Chicago Olympics of Torture

Al Sharpton is an asshole, but right now the racial rabble rouser is righteously leading a campaign that might finally end the Chicago police's ridiculously longstanding practices of brutality and torture. (If we regular Chicagoans -- despite the best efforts of the local mainstream media to keep us divided, docile, and uninformed -- really come out and support Sharpton's effort.)

Briefly, To get you up to speed on Chicago's out-of-control police:

Chicago's police department has been beset by claims that officers abused their positions.

Four inmates were recently awarded almost $20 million between them to settle lawsuits claiming they had been tortured by a former lieutenant into falsely confessing to crimes. In July, prosecutors accused officers of torturing suspects in the 1980s. And in September, four special operations members were charged with robbery, kidnapping and making false arrests.

The department has also has been embarrassed by other accusations of brutality -- some caught on tape, including the alleged beating of a female bartender by an off-duty officer.

(That's just the latest; the torture and brutality goes back decades; best to see the Chicago Reader's John Conroy reporting for the most complete story. (Tragically for the future of real reporting on this problem, Conroy has just been 'laid off' by the Reader.)

But there's a Sharp' break in the story cuz Richard Daley, Chicago's torture-overlooking mayor, l-u-v-v-s his 2016 Olympics vanity project! And that could be the chance for some real changes -- getting his tender paws off, and some tough independent supervisory hands on, Chicago police.

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