So far this year we haven't seen the Republicans have very much success on the 527 front. The RNC is doing well, and I don't doubt that more will be on the way.
However, the inevitability of such attacks doesn't argue for continuing this primary race. Every dollar spent fighting each other is a dollar donated to the GOP because it closes their funding deficit.
Further, the coming onslaught does not mean that there is no difference between a candidate with $40 million in the bank right now and one who is $15 million in the red. I know you didn't say that directly, but that is what I inferred, so I thought I would address it.
The fundraising and spending thing really concerns me. Those are Democratic dollars being used to go after another Democrat. Not that Clinton's donors would donate to Obama instead if she wasn't asking, but it still doesn't help much.
One of Obama's biggest advantages over McCain (often overlooked in the "electability" discussions) is his massive warchest and ability to raise even more. We have a huge money advantage from here until the convention, it is time to start pounding McCain.
If she really is beginning a unity move (and it seems like she might, having toned down the rhetoric), then the money could be put to good use on voter turnout and ads attacking Bush/McCain. But I fear that she will have to keep fighting to keep the donors from saying, "Why should I?"
It becomes a vicious cycle: she has to campaign hard to keep the money coming, campaigning hard is expensive so she needs more money, and so on. It is too early to tell if that's how she will play things, but I am hopeful that this is about the beginning of the reconciliation.
To address the question of her motives, the best theories I've heard are:
1. She wants to end on a high note and not drop out before she racks up two big wins in the coming two weeks.
2. She is trying to retire her campaign debt, either through small donors or by getting Obama big donors to pony up in exchange for her leaving quietly.
3. She is trying to squeeze some promises out of Obama and the party, either for a VP selection or something just as good, perhaps Sec. of HHS with the health care reform portfolio.
4. She is waiting for the big implosion and/or Obama's untimely death.
5. She is so emotionally invested in this long, long campaign that she can't admit to herself that her chances are so slim as to be nonexistent.
My guess is either #1 or #5. She has given every bit of her being to this campaign for years, so it must be very hard to let go when there is any chance at all that the big prize will be hers. I'd probably feel the same way.
Respectfully, another thing to consider is that Obama proved last night that the Rev. Wright thing isn't a killer. There is some data that suggests it hurt him, but it clearly did not render him unelectable. That argument is now off the table. If Clinton had won both states, that argument would very much be on the table.
Well said. I've always thought that barely-constrained asshole-ishness was one of the great things about myDD. It's not so much that it is a constant troll war, but people on both sides could both dish it out and take it. It made the conversation more fun, if also more infuriating.
But I agree that now is not the time for that. I am an asshole even when not anonymous (and I'm probably not the only one), but we all need to take a deep breath and refocus on what is important. It will be too easy to get sucked into the same old fights. I, for one, won't do it.
It seems all too easy for Obama supporters to say congratulations for the Indiana victory, given how the race took a huge turn in our favor tonight. I can understand if Hillary's many passionate supporters here don't want to accept such a sentiment.
Truth be told, I feel the same way. The widespread recognition that the nomination fight is over doesn't wipe away all that has happened in the last five months. My respect for Sen. Clinton has not been magically restored in one night.
So I, for one, will not pretend that the fight was not real, nor apologize for it, nor ask or expect Clinton supporters to apologize. We are all entitled to our feelings. I can only promise that, as of right now, I will leave all of that in the past. No rubbing salt in wounds. No arguing moot points. Just total focus on beating McCain and expanding our congressional majorities.
So how about it, Clinton supporters? We don't have to kiss and make up, but can we at least agree to nurse our grudges in private? Perhaps time and a common enemy will create a genuine reconciliation that seems understandably fake while we are all exhausted from the strain of fighting with our allies...
Actually, it might have been. I think the key reason for the turn in the media narrative tonight was the final evidence that Clinton cannot win the popular vote, even if FL and MI are included. If she had performed five points better in each state and kept him to 100K net instead of 200K, there might still be a possibility.
It's not that tonight made her path to the nomination more difficult. It's that she has run out of stories to tell or theories about how to slice-n-dice the data to justify the superdelegates flocking to her. The big margin of victory is what sealed that.
True, we have long expected that Obama will be the nominee. Whether Clinton gets out tomorrow or one month from now, the fight is over.
It is not a bunch of boys ganging up on a helpless girl to point this out. Hillary is a warrior. She was defeated. When she drops out she will be giving in to reality.
I certainly hope that the true believers are as willing to recognize that reality as Bill Clinton obviously was tonight. When she drops out, it will be an enormous waste of energy to continue complaining about the media, the patriarchy, the bubblehead fellow Dems who voted against her, or the race-baiting, vote-stealing nominee.
Very nice post. I certainly hope that eventually all of the avid Hillary supporters can come to the point where you are.
I like your idea of both of them campaigning together in WV, KY, and OR. I'm sure she has a massive campaign debt to retire (alegre's vigorous fundraising efforts nothwithstanding), and it would make much more sense to pay off that debt than to waste even more money on ads and field. The feelings may still be too raw for this to happen, but what an amazing thing it would be.
As for the unity ticket, sorry, but it is a horrible idea. Obama should not have to spend his presidency worrying about what the ambitious couple at the Naval Observatory are cooking up. I'm thinking Bill in particular, who cannot even be controlled by his wife's campaign -- what's to stop him from undercutting President Obama if the whim takes him?
Here's hoping that her climbdown is as tactful and heartfelt as yours, Todd.
I don't understand the part of the rule where the DNC is obligated to seat delegations that have been stripped by a fair vote of the appropriate committees.
You can't have it both ways. If you want to make it a rules argument, then let Michigan live by the rules. If you want to make it a political argument -- as in we can't win MI if we disenfranchise their voters -- then don't disenfranchise the people who reasonably thought they should vote on the other side because they were told their votes don't count. Rules be damned.
Hillary was afraid of a true do-over. But it doesn't matter. Obama will still come out ahead in pledged delegates even if MI and FL are counted as is.
Here's the problem with arguing that we can't call Obama the leader unless we resolve Florida and Michigan: even if you count both elections as they occurred, OBAMA IS STILL WINNING.
Look at the sidebar on the DemConWatch link. Counting those two illegitimate primaries, he leads by 40 pledged delegates, and has a lead of about 13 total delegates. Given that we know at least 36 of the 55 uncommitted delegates are Obama supporters, that puts him ahead by about 75 pledged delegates and 40 total delegates.
That's pretty much a tie, you say? Well, if all Hillary can muster is a tie when she ran unopposed in one of the biggest states, why should she get the nomination?