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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Threading the needle

The NYTimes has a story on the "narrower" path Clinton now has to the nomination with Michigan and Florida not likely to hold new, sanctioned primaries.

I have a hunch it'll be the talked about story tomorrow morning.


  • Their analysis seems about right. It's possible the reaction to the speech could move things one way or the other--hasten Hillary's collapse or bring her within range
    --but so far it doesn't seem to have changed a lot of minds.

    By Anonymous tg, at 12:41 AM  

  • I think the problem is, there's not likely a clear pressure point for awhile. I don't see any way she loses PA, and you're not going to quit after that win. It looks very possible that there won't be a clear loss/ streak of losses/exit day.

    (And, I think it's a little early to make a definitive call on "the speech," but I tend to agree with you.

    However, it does appear to have gotten the press to stop running the Wright clips, and that was goal one.)

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 7:13 AM  

  • Hillary is all-in on this campaign. Even if it's a Pyhrric victory, she won't accept a defeat, it will have to be thrust upon her by the party.

    Really, her best shot at getting the nomination has nothing to do with her experience or merits. Her best shot is to have the Obama campaign implode, thus "winning" by default. Perhaps she finds some succor in McCain's rising form the ashes to become the GOP nominee. So as long as there's a chance of Obama losing, she'll make sure she's on the scene to humbly accept the nomination.

    Question: What is Hillary's Plan B for her political future if she doesn't get the nomination? Does she have one?

    By Blogger -epm, at 9:59 AM  

  • I think the campaign has been saying with some regularity, "Let's wait til everyone has voted and see where we stand," or words to that effect. Hopefully at that point enough of the superdelegates will commit one way or the other to make things clear. They may or may not buy the "popular vote" argument even in the now unlikely event she can win it.

    But if the superdelegates mostly all commit and it's still close...(again, unlikely)... if that happens, I guess they go to the convention and slug it out. I don't think Howard Dean or Al Gore or anyone else would have the clout (or the right) to tell Hillary (or Barack) to give in.

    But I don't believe that Hillary is incapable of recognizing defeat. Reluctant, yes, but that's understandable. I sincerely doubt that if their positions were reversed, Barack would bow out.

    By Anonymous tg, at 1:22 PM  

  • "I sincerely doubt that if their positions were reversed, Barack would bow out."

    While I really think these sort of hypotheticals are unknowable and unhelpful, I have to admit I've wondered what would be happening if the rolls were reversed. And in my hypothetical world I think Barack would have been out looooong ago.

    By Blogger -epm, at 1:40 PM  

  • I don't know if I fully buy that she's on some undead quest, unstoppable.

    I think if the consensus swung solidly against her she would begrudgingly step aside. No, that's not Dean, or Gore or whoever exercising that influence,although they might well be a part of the chain of communication. We're talking a solid commitment from 100 or 200 superdelegates or something like that.

    (And, no matter how this shakes out, I still don't think we're going to the convention undecided. If everybody's still around in June, the supers will be forced to commit to a choice, and that will be that.)

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 1:43 PM  

  • And, I think he would have been pushed out by the media.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 1:53 PM  

  • "We're talking a solid commitment from 100 or 200 superdelegates or something like that."

    This is exactly what I mean by having defeat thrust upon her. She's not going to quit just because it's really, really unlikely she'll get the pledge delegate lead.

    Also I'm not saying her campaign is that of the walking undead. I'm saying she's chasing Obama, throwing crap in his path, and hoping his campaign veers of the road and bursts into flames (metaphorically speaking).

    The question remains, what is her plan b if Obama gets the nom.? and does she really think the party (and the country) will bring the love if she's seen as winning a Tanya Harding victory?

    (I acknowledge my bias in this "analysis")

    By Blogger -epm, at 2:31 PM  

  • OK, we don't really disagree on that then. She'll leave when the superdelegate numbers become impossible for her. The pledged delegates are a ship that sailed a couple of weeks ago.

    And I'd agree that the external pressure on Obama to quit would be greater... but on the other hand, the internal support would also be stronger; Obama's people are more committed than Hillary's--they might not let him quit even if he wanted to. And I think his self-belief is just as strong as hers.

    As for her plan B, I dunno, but I image there would be a B1 and B2, depending on whether or not Obama wins the general election. Don't be so sure the country will bring the love to him either.

    By Anonymous tg, at 4:07 PM  

  • i think the only way HRC leaves without some destruction is if OB promises her some rather important role in his adm. Maybe even a SCOTUS nomination, Sec of something important and prominent...hell he'll even probably have to promise something for billy too...Cintons never leave empty-handed...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:09 PM  

  • EPM, sorry, I cast some stuff on you that wasn't yours.

    And your question is a very open question at this point.


    TG, I do think the pressures on Obama would be different, mainly because she cane in as "inevitable," but, frankly, that hypothetical is pretty moot.

    The reality is what it is.

    And, I still think at this point if it goes the way it looks to be going, she comes out of this very well. A strong candidate, literally inevitable in 2012 if he loses. She's made a very strong case for herself.

    However, I don't think the Clinton supporters have any idea of the rage she would face if she won it on superdelegates and nothing else. (popular vote would definitely soften it.)

    I just don't think Clinton supporters have any idea about what would come.


    Anon, I disagree. I think she comes out extremely strong.

    Also, I don't think she takes a role in his administration except as an ally on the hill. I don't see how such a position would do anything but marginalize her, and if she goes back to the Senate, she may end up majority leader. (not the best job to run for pres in 2012.)

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 5:41 PM  

  • tg... In my less emotional mind, I think I could see that. But I think it would have to be a real lopsided superdelegate shift to Obama for her to suspend her campaign.

    I realize she's ahead right now, but in the hypothetical I think if she were behind by, say, 5-10% in the superdel. count, I think she'd fight up to and through the convention to flip the count.

    anon.. SCOTUS not THAT'S interesting. I don't for a minute think this sort of quid pro quo political dealing for a SCOTUS seat would actually take place, but the thought of Hillary on the Supreme Court is an interesting one. (Yeah, yeah, she's never been a judge, and it would be HIGHLY political in the confirmation process, and it probably would never happen, but it's an interesting thought. My gut feeling is that she'd make a good justice.)

    By Blogger -epm, at 5:49 PM  

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