The Race Goes On And Why That's Great
by anna shane, Thu May 08, 2008 at 08:42:40 AM EDT
It seems that one of Barack's messages is that Hillary can stay as long as she likes. That's kind of his campaign message in a nutshell, by giving her his permission (as if that's possible) he shows his supporters that he's in charge, he's the man. Her message is that she'll stay in until someone's a winner, with the majority of votes. So, it may very well go on through the convention, during which Michigan and Florida may do a revote and get counted without needing special party permission. Why is this good for Barack, Hillary and the Democratic Party?
First let's look at how they're running their campaigns. Barack has lots of money and lots of professional and regular volunteers, who are working their butts off to get him elected. His message is that he's new, and it's time for the new. His message is that he can unite and force change by virtue of having a ready base of committed voters who'll back him up. But he's won votes by being dismissive of Hillary, something I personally dislike. So, for me to give him my unreserved support he'll need to really win, not win by somehow (clearly impossible) forcing her out. She's running on her experience, and on her solutions, and so whenever she speaks about her plans, it's seen as casting Barack as the lesser experienced one with solutions that won't work as well or at all. He's saying she's a hack insider, and she's saying he's naive and hasn't the grit to get enough done. He's says she can't be trusted, and she gives him 'fact checks' when he campaigns on something not strictly speaking true. It's Democracy and they're each trying to win.
Hillary staying in works for him, if he turns out to be our nom, because
(1) He'll really have to win, with a majority of real votes, not just a majority of pledged delegates.
(2) The pugs won't be able to 'go after' his negatives until he's won the nom, because no one 's listening to them now, we're all caught up with what she says and what he says, and no one even remembers George Bush these days. Also, the longer it goes on, the more gaffs McCain will pile up, and we'll be gathering data on where he stands, and we know that will help us.
(3) While she's in the race he's being vetted soft ball style, and even if he acts like it's rough enough, it's nothing like what will come. He gets to practice more, and hone his retorts and he also gets to show that he can stick it out without looking bored, tired and irritable, something he needs to practice.
(4) If he wins, it'll look fairer to people like me, who don't like the way he campaigns on raising Hillary's negatives, meaning by attacking her character. Plus, the longer he stays in the more ideas of her's he grabs, and while we like to tease him about that, it's great, her ideas are worth grabbing and he does show great respect by copying her ideas and solutions. And what's he to do, she started earlier, and answers first, he doesn't want to take only inferior ideas (like he did on health insurance) just to look different from her.
It's in the interest of all of us for both of them to fight it out through the nomination. If she's to win and get his supporters, she'll also need a real win, with a majority of votes, not just a majority of super-delegates.
But it could be more fun, if:
Barack would try to cheer us up, like she does. It needn't be a downer funeral so often. And if he'd ask his supporters to come out for him without admitting it's really based on not wanting her. His endorsements are weak when his endorsers seem to base their enthusiasm on what they don't like about her. Richardson made himself look weird and so did Michael Moore. If they think she's at fault, they'd probably go for anyone who wasn't her, so they make Barack look merely available.
It works best for Barack the longer he can run "against Hillary," and if Hillary does end up losing in the end, she'll have had a longer platform to present her ideas and solutions, which he may grab, and she'll have shown women around the world that she doesn't cave in to power plays and intimidation. She's my hero and every day she gets up and goes to work, cheerful, smart, kindly, empathic, funny, and girly, and so she gives me hope. She's inspiring a lot of women with her fearlessness.
Thank you HIllary Clinton for being the bestest girl candidate in the whole wide world. More than just this generation will be gaining from your example, a great girl example of doing the best we can with our brief lives.