March 25, 2008


The Long Defeat (DAVID BROOKS, 3/25/08, NY Times)

Let’s take a look at what she’s going to put her party through for the sake of that 5 percent chance: The Democratic Party is probably going to have to endure another three months of daily sniping. For another three months, we’ll have the Carvilles likening the Obamaites to Judas and former generals accusing Clintonites of McCarthyism. For three months, we’ll have the daily round of résumé padding and sulfurous conference calls. We’ll have campaign aides blurting “blue dress” and only-because-he’s-black references as they let slip their private contempt.

For three more months (maybe more!) the campaign will proceed along in its Verdun-like pattern. There will be a steady rifle fire of character assassination from the underlings, interrupted by the occasional firestorm of artillery when the contest touches upon race, gender or patriotism. The policy debates between the two have been long exhausted, so the only way to get the public really engaged is by poking some raw national wound.

For the sake of that 5 percent, this will be the sourest spring. About a fifth of Clinton and Obama supporters now say they wouldn’t vote for the other candidate in the general election. Meanwhile, on the other side, voters get an unobstructed view of the Republican nominee. John McCain’s approval ratings have soared 11 points. He is now viewed positively by 67 percent of Americans. A month ago, McCain was losing to Obama among independents by double digits in a general election matchup. Now McCain has a lead among this group.

For three more months, Clinton is likely to hurt Obama even more against McCain, without hurting him against herself. And all this is happening so she can preserve that 5 percent chance.

When you step back and think about it, she is amazing. She possesses the audacity of hopelessness.

Why does she go on like this? Does Clinton privately believe that Obama is so incompetent that only she can deliver the policies they both support?

Why would a judgment that he's both unelectable and unlikely to succeed if elected so far beyond the Pale?

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 25, 2008 1:57 PM

This is silly. It's obvious what she's doing--making sure Obama doesn't become president. That way it's still the Clinton's party. Duh.

Posted by: b at March 25, 2008 2:20 PM

Laying the groundwork for McCain/Clinton '08.

Posted by: Bob at March 25, 2008 4:21 PM

Hard to believe dems still stand behind Hillary when she is doing nothing but bringing them closer to destruction daily. Where's Algore when we need him. lol

Posted by: Butch at March 25, 2008 4:25 PM

But since when have the Clintons cared for anything besides themselves?

Posted by: ray at March 25, 2008 5:56 PM


Let is continue for as long as possible.

Let them bleed each other down to nothing.

Posted by: pchuck at March 25, 2008 5:57 PM

Hillary will be dodging sniper fire of her own making for the next few days.

As Safire said over 10 years ago, she is a pathological liar. At least part of the media isn't playing along this time.

Perhaps Obama can keep PA to less than 10 points. But Hillary's chances have to be greater than 5%. Obama is about as damaged as any candidate since, well, George McGovern. Or maybe Tom Eagleton. And his legislative intervention on behalf of infanticide hasn't even hit the media yet.

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 25, 2008 6:05 PM

Why does she go on like this?

She's sured Obama has the Wright stuff. Someone has to pick up the pieces after he implodes.

Posted by: ic at March 25, 2008 6:35 PM

In addition to the mephitic vapors enshrouding both Democratic "hopefuls," as far as qualifications go, it's a dead heat.

Question: Therefore, which is the Democratic "hopeful" whose loss in November will most damage America?

Answer: The one who will ultimately be chosen in Denver.

Moral: If you're going to go down, go down with flair.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at March 26, 2008 2:30 AM

Even if Obama takes the nomination, Hillary will leave him so crippled that he will loose the general. Democrat candidates who loose the general do not get invited back. Then after the disaster Hillary can purge the Obamaphiles from the party and run against McCain in 2012 as the one candidate with the chops (and the utter ruthlessness) to take on the Republicans.

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 26, 2008 7:26 AM