by terramax721, Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:15:08 AM EDT
I've evolved from an early Biden supporter to a message-sprouting master-of-spin Clinton supporter to a tepid Clinton supporter. And so I think that now I can call myself a rational observer of her campaign. The interview she gave today with TIME does much to reveal a lot about the way that it operates both in a political way and in a psychological way, from what I could tell.
In the exclusive article she recognizes one important truth: that neither she nor Obama can amass enough delegates before the convention to win the nomination:
You know it's the same thing for Senator Obama. Neither of us will reach the number of delegates needed. So I think that that is, you know, the reality for both of our campaigns. And all delegates have to assess who they think will be the strongest nominee against McCain and who they believe would do the best job in bringing along the down-ballot races and who they think would be the best President.
Of course, she strategically used this as the talking point and did not at all touch on what it implies - that there will most likely be a floor fight. But for right now this is a good way to play it safe and delay the moment when everyone (not just the Washington insiders) realizes that this fight is in the hands of the superdelegates.
However you feel about this election and whatever side you come down on, you have to realize that she is the master of spin. This comes in light of the fact that she did not stop there, instead subtly implying that the superdelegates should support her even if her fate is as of yet undetermined. And even while realizing that she and Obama are both in a precarious position (both not being able to win the nomination before the convention), she still used this point to make a case for her candidacy! It really was quite remarkable. Just after framing the situation as such, she goes on to say:
And all delegates have to assess who they think will be the strongest nominee against McCain and who they believe would do the best job in bringing along the down-ballot races and who they think would be the best President.
Well we all know what that means, and we'd be kidding ourselves if we thought that it wasn't obvious.
The point is that she has got to be afraid. And she has a right to be when she is critiqued from, let's say, John Harwood's perspective. He seems to have a lot to say about her pantsuits:
So because of attacks like these, advisers insulate her in a bubble which encourages even more calculation so that an appropriate response may (or may not be) leveled. In other words, it's a relentless cycle of calculation that persists even when her nomination is in doubt. It certainly hasn't stopped, and in portraying the situation as a no-win for both candidates, she actually leaves herself an opening by claiming that the superdelegates should be the force to pick her in desperation for the reason that she stands the best chance of winning against McCain.But that's sill. The real reason is, apart from that, she simply wants the nomination. I'd love for her to abandon her silly calculating strategy and just come out and say "Please nominate me!" but of course that will never happen in this world.
A friend of mine had it right he said that at this stage, "it's not about the delegate count; it's about the momentum". She clearly does not have much of it, even after the latest string of primaries on March 4th, especially considering that she did not really win Texas after all, as DailyKos reports.
I think that she reveals her deep-down fear of losing the fight in her sarcastic moments. I would point to her response to the last remark in today's TIME article as the best evidence. The reporter having said that it seems she will still be in the race over the next coming weeks as the primary contests continue, she replied:
(Laughs) Well, I think so.
By "I think so", she means "I definitely will" but any rational person can look at that and see that there is an element of doubt hidden deep down in the statement. It is entirely realistic to assume that she has been brought down to facing the reality that the nomination is just as far from her grasp as it is close (and it is probably further than it is close when one says that momentum matters more than all else). Now we see her expressing her conflicted feelings in the form of sarcastic statements, that, unfortunately for her, do not serve to cover up her deepest fear.
Besides, her cackle (part of her answer to TIME, don't forget!) has a history of being planned with a political motive in mind. As much as it hurts for me to say, I do have to agree with Brit Hume on that one.
Update [2008-3-28 14:11:13 by terramax721]: I've thought of my call to action for today. First, everyone should read the article in TIME and then email friends who support Clinton, and without necessarily persuading them to change their support, get them to acknowledge what is truly going on. Also email the Clinton campaign or anyone known to be working in it with the real truth about her candidacy - at least at this point in the game.