Leon Panetta - "Hillary should concede"

Former Bill Clinton White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, interviewed on a local California TV affiliate, had this to say today.

"It's pretty clear unless there's a bolt of lightning, Barack Obama is likely to win the Democratic  nomination," Panetta says. "She's put up a good fight and put up a good race, but I think there's a time now where she needs to concede and unify the party."

Here's the link.

I think this may be a case of a few Clinton insiders at a time trying to send a message.

Tags: Democratic primary 2008, Hillary Clinton (all tags)




It would be too good if the race ended with him getting trounced in WV and KY, right?

Better to wait, I say.

by Falsehood 2008-05-09 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: However

Do Dems Have a reasonable chance of taking either Kentucky or WV in the GE?

If not, then following Clinton Campaign Logic (if you can call it that) WV and KY 'Don't Matter'.


by MGarvey 2008-05-09 08:54AM | 0 recs
Re: However

Every state matters - as an Obama supporter, it'd be hypocritical for me to cite Clinton ideas about which states matter more only about states that don't favor me.

So yes, they do count.

by Falsehood 2008-05-09 09:44AM | 0 recs
Re: However

what happened to the 50 state strategy and the argument that obama was electable because he caucused well in red states? LOL

by owl06 2008-05-09 09:55AM | 0 recs
He'll campaign there for the general and I'd

encourage him to spend time there, but at this point we know that Hillary will win KY and WV by large margins and it's baked into everyone's calculations. It doesn't matter a whit to the nomination.

by Travis Stark 2008-05-09 10:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Leon Panetta

I saw Clinton last night at a rally here in OR.  She also had a fundraiser in the area before it.  She said at both events that she is not quitting.  I don't think anyone who heard her say that thinks there is any way she'll quit or concede or anything of that nature at least until the primaries are over, and even then it's hard to know.

It's odd that people keep saying it, when it's pretty obvious it's just not going to happen.

I'm a Clinton supporter, but I agree with the Obama folks here who say they should just shift their focus to McCain, which is to not to say Hillary should quit.  Another poster in another diary said she/he thinks what Clinton has in mind is to finish out the primaries, get as many votes and delegates as she can, and then lay relatively low, letting the McCain and Obama go at each other.  I think that's right, the only thing that she can do now is gather as much support as she can in the remaining primaries and wait to see if Obama's campaign remains strong as we get closer to the August convention.  And nothing in that scenario would keep her from working for Obama in a McCain vs. Obama match-up.

It's neither a strategy nor a hope, but it's just dealing with the way things are, while staying true to her supporters who want her to stay in and true to her own conviction (which I share) that she's the best person for the job.  No likely outcome for her or those of us who support her that she'll get the nomination, but it's a sensible way to go under the circumstances.

by Susan in Oregon 2008-05-09 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Leon Panetta

She should certainly continue campaigning if she wants to, especially if her focus is primarily on John McCain.  But if, at the end of all the primaries, she is still behind -- then I think she needs to officially concede and explicitly call for party unity.  We really cannot afford ambiguity going into our convention.  

by HSTruman 2008-05-09 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Leon Panetta

Maybe when she said she was quitting she "mispoke" because she was sleep deprived

by feliks 2008-05-09 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Leon Panetta

But she's up and at em' at 3am I thought?

by MGarvey 2008-05-09 08:55AM | 0 recs
Every candidate, ever, has said

they were in it for the duration, the day before their concession speech. That's just the way it goes. She may stay through June 3. I suspect she will, but then it's over. That's only about 3 weeks. Pretty much anyone can live with that.

All this of course is predicated on her staying positive for the next 3 weeks, otherwise I'm pretty sure the superdelegates will deliver the coup de grace.

by Travis Stark 2008-05-09 08:55AM | 0 recs

her rhetoric about Obama has pretty much precluded her working hard for Obama. She might be able to fund raise away that debt though, unless she keeps making damaging comments.

She should stay in as long as she wants. It's her legacy and only she can choose how it will be viewed.

by RLMcCauley 2008-05-09 08:57AM | 0 recs
Nah. She'll be on the Obama trail by mid-June

The party will demand it and she's said she would. I have faith that she'll be out there working hard for Obama for the two months between the last primary and the convention.

Remember there's only 8 weeks between the convention and the election. If she waits until then to begin campaigning for Obama it will hardly be viewed as doing everything she can to get a  Democrat elected.

by Travis Stark 2008-05-09 09:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Nah. She'll be on the Obama trail by mid-June

The only way she'd look genuine is if people forget what she said only a few weeks before. Well maybe you're right! Short memories dominate American thinking.

by RLMcCauley 2008-05-09 09:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Welll

"She should stay in as long as she wants. It's her legacy and only she can choose how it will be viewed."

I think that's totally right. It is her legacy and her choice.  She clearly makes her choices --like the rest of us-- because those are the choices she wants to make based on her own perspective. Given that, I think Obama and his supporters should move on and pay attention to their own game -- campaigning against McCain.

The calls for her to quit are only wasting their own time and energy, right?  If it's not simply quitting that they're asking for, but a blessing, then it's probably more effective to just wait until she decides to give it.  If it's just quitting they want, then the time will come when it comes.

by Susan in Oregon 2008-05-09 09:33AM | 0 recs
I absolutely agree, except for two things.

First, she has to run an absolutely positive campaign. That means she doesn't even mention Barack Obama. She talks about Hillary Clinton. Otherwise, Obama is forced to respond and that's wasted energy.

Second, after June 3rd she has to get out and start campaigning for Obama. We cannot afford to go all summer with the outstanding question of what she's up to and she has already committed to work hard for the nominee, so she'll need to get out there on the campaign trail and work to bring the party together.

by Travis Stark 2008-05-09 09:50AM | 0 recs
Re: I absolutely agree, except for two things.

Well, I'm not sure she'll be acquiescing everything on your "she has to" list, but she will do what she wants to do, that's a sure bet.  And Obama will do what he wants to do; respond or not respond.

by Susan in Oregon 2008-05-09 09:55AM | 0 recs
You miss my point.

If she is not positive for the next 3 weeks the supers will be forced to force her out, and nobody (I think) wants that.

by Travis Stark 2008-05-09 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Welll

Sure. Though it seems that some of her supporters are arguing that she should quit as well.

Honestly, she's destroying her legacy but no one can stop her from doing so and she should simply be ignored. I don't think her blessing is very meaningful at this point.

by RLMcCauley 2008-05-09 10:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Welll

I'm curious what "legacy" she is destroying.  She'll continue in the senate and have a political career going into the future.  It's not like she's leaving office and retiring from public life.  Her legacy will be defined at some point a good while from now, and it may well be boosted by a scrappy never-say-die campaign, for all we know.

by Susan in Oregon 2008-05-09 10:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Welll

I think after this it is going to be a real letdown to go back to the Senate though.  Her real love always seemed to be executive government.  I do think she has bloomed during this campaign, during its better moments anyway, and was wondering if there might be a place in an Obama administration where she could better exercise some of her considerable abilities than as one senator among many.

by mady 2008-05-09 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Welll

President, perhaps.

by steveinohio 2008-05-09 11:02AM | 0 recs
She'll continue in the Senate...

... for four more years, at best.

Unless she improves her performance in that job immensely over her past performance (something I do not expect to see) any respectable politician who comes forward to challenge her in the 2012 primary will receive a lot of support, enough to embarass her a la Lieberman in 2006.

by tbetz 2008-05-09 12:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Welll

Well let me put it this way, when I was researching attitudes about immigrants in the 1920's the primary material that survived were editorials from newspapers. Now they are clearly incomplete pictures but they are what's left. Editorials about Clinton are talking about her very negatively now, including calling her racially divisive. That's her legacy and there's now little she can do about it. That's going to be archived away for people to read 50-100 years from now when they're writing about the first black president.

by RLMcCauley 2008-05-09 02:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Leon Panetta

You have a good point, Susan in Oregon, if it weren't for the 'hard working whites' comment. That kind of talk would be explosive if any republican uttered it, and to come from a figurehead of the democratic party is supremely divisive and inflammatory. You might say it was a slip, or indeed just as description of facts. But it's not true, and the slippage from describing racial polarisation and ENDORSING IT, is too close for any comfort.

If she carries on with such remarks, she must be forced out.

by duende 2008-05-09 09:07AM | 0 recs

so far today no negativity that I've heard of from the Clinton camp. That's a good sign.

by Travis Stark 2008-05-09 09:08AM | 0 recs
Re: However...

Yeah. Looking at the USA today interview again, I'm pretty sure the remark was not calculated. More like an insight into straw clutching mentality of someone who is exhausted, disappointed, but is not intentionally trying to dog whistle anything.

Just my thoughts. But comments like this should be upbraided, and I'm glad the campaign hasn't try to push back or vindicate it.

by duende 2008-05-09 09:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Leon Panetta

That might have been me who said that about Clinton's strategy. My opinion is that any path for her to the nomination is largely out of her hands. Baring a collapse in the Obama campaign the superdelegates aren't going to overturn the election results. And baring a collapse in Obama's support there are not enough elected delegates left for the voters to switch the nomination to her. As long as she does not attack Obama the superdelegates are largely content to sit on the sideline and let the remaining contests finish. Once the voting is done and the rules committee has dealt with Michigan and Florida I believe she will suspend her campaign and work hard for Obama. If she's right and Obama can't stand up to the Republicans it will become obvious by convention time and working hard for him will just increase her stature among the superdelegates and the voters should the bolt out of the blue she wants happens and strikes Obama.

by Obama Independent 2008-05-09 09:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Leon Panetta

Yes, it was you, Obama Independent!  I agree thoroughly, and I expect Hillary is thinking the same way... although she hasn't contacted me personally to say so.  ;)

by Susan in Oregon 2008-05-09 09:58AM | 0 recs


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