Pick Wayne's Brain

May 26, 2008

Why Hillary Should Not Continue to Run

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: — Wayne A. Schneider @ 5:16 PM

As a New Yorker and constituent of Sen Clinton, I will accept, on her word, that even though she has once before specifically mentioned an “assassination” as a reason for staying in the race, that she was referencing the event in terms of the time frame alone, and not the horrific outcome (both for the Kennedys and for the nation, as Nixon went to win easily.) I do believe, also, that her “non-apology-apology” illuminated a dark side to her character that she would have preferred stayed hidden. As Gwen Ifill pointed out, the Clintons are wordsmiths (better than me), and even if she hadn’t planned ahead of time to say those exact words, the basis for those comments must have been lingering under the surface somewhere. That she would specifically mention the “assassination”, rather than simply the year, is quite telling. But that alone is not why she should drop out of the race now (or “suspend” it), and her reasons as stated in the NY Daily news column are wholly inadequate when measured against the facts.

In the first place, the entire nomination process in both 1968 and 1992 was vastly different than it is today. It is, in every aspect, an “apples and oranges” comparison. It should surprise no one that there have been years when the nomination wasn’t clinched until June (and Bill Clinton was the all-but-certain nominee well before June; he just officially went over the top then), because this is the first time the first primaries were held in January! If not for her insistence on staying in the race despite the impossibility of winning, this race would have been over long before this. Her argument along this line reminds of the global warming naysayers. Very few people disagree that we are experiencing climate change (of which global warming is one aspect), but the ones who do point to their own disagreement, rather than independent research, as evidence that “the issue isn’t decided yet.”

She says that she thinks she can still win “on the merits”. What, Senator, are those “merits” to which you refer? Your husband’s presidency? And your campaign has been marred by an ugliness that makes many of us progressives cringe when we think that it’s the Democratic Party’s nomination you want, not the Republican Party’s.

She says “the need for real leadership has never been greater – and I believe I can provide that leadership.” Well, many of us feel that Sen Obama can also provide that leadership. But having the ability to “provide leadership” is not enough, unless you are an authoritarian follower who believes in the follwing the person in charge no matter what. To me, that sounds like you are trying to appeal to the people who normally vote Republican. Leadership skills alone won’t help if you do not also provide a clear vision for people to follow. I believe that most Americans do not want to be led, they want to follow.

She goes on to say “I am not unaware of the challenges or the odds of my securing the nomination…”. By that I assume you mean that you understand that it is mathematically impossible for you to secure enough pledge delegates, and that your only chance to secure the nomination rests with Superdelegates ignoring the will of the people and voting for you. Are you aware, Senator, just how “un-Democratic” the entire purpose of process of Superdelegate voting is? I wouldn’t hang my hat on that option if I were you. It only supports the idea that you are the choice of elitists and not the people who signed up to vote as Democrats.

Continuing – “but this race remains extraordinarily close, and hundreds of thousands of people in upcoming primaries are still waiting to vote.” Again, more disingenuous nonsense. yes, the vote is close, but you are losing. And the people who haven’t voted yet (and who, in most years, would have been casting a vote in an already-decided contest), already unxderstand that their vote will not help you get enough delegates to win the nomination. You do understand, Senator, that it is delegatet count, not popular vote count, that determines the nomination?

“I am running because I believe staying in this race will help unite the Democratic Party. I believe that if Sen Obama and I both make our case – and all Democrats have the chance to make their voices heard – in the end, everyone will be more likely to rally around the nominee.” We might accept that, Senator, if you sounded like you were running against Sen McCain. But you are not. Sen Obama is, but you are still trying to tear Sen Obama down in the eyes of Democratic voters. How will that “unite” the party?

“I am running because my parents did not raise me to be a quitter – and too many people still come up to me at my events, grip my arm and urge me not to walk away before this contest is over.” That’s sweet, Senator, but it reminds of of a Monty Python sketch, “The Upper Class Twit of the Year”. One valiant contestant was having difficulty jumping over the three-inch row of matchbox cars but he kept trying. The announcer said of him, “He doesn’t know when he’s beaten. He doesn’t know when he’s winning, either. he has no sort of sensory apparatus whatsoever.” When you’re in a can’t-win-honestly situation like yours, the only reason to stay in is to make the other guy’s victory less enjoyable.

“More than 17 million Americans have voted for me in this race – the most in presidential primary history.” I believe you are counting the Florida votes (which you are not supposed to, by your own agreement) and the Michigan votes (which is completely dishonest as there were no other names for people to cast a vote for; that argument reminds me of Saddam Hussein’s “elections” in which the choices were “Saddam” or “Not Saddam”. You think you should count those votes?)

“I am running for all those women in their 90s who’ve told me they were born before women could vote, and they want to live to see a woman in the White House.” Okay, you’re running for the sake of about one percent of the population.

“I believe I won a 40-point victory two weeks ago in West Virginia and a 35-point victory in Kentucky this past week – despite voters being repeatedly told this race is over – because I’m standing up for them. I’m standing up for the deepest principles of our party and for an America that values the middle class and rewards hard work.” You won large victories in those states because of ignorant voters, Senators. You got the votes of hte people who still think that Sen Obama is a Muslim. (He’s not, but so what if he was? Either you are free to practice any religion you want to in this country or you are not. Anyone who thinks that no one should be allowed to be a Muslim is not a “real American”.) And how proud are you to get the votes of those people who would never have voted for Sen Obama just because he’s black? Besides, neither you nor Sen Obama is going to win West Virginia or Kentucky in the general election.

As I go through your explanations, Sen Clinton, I do not find any compelling arguments for you to stay in the race. Your best course of action right now, short iof suspending your campaign, is to campaign against Sen McCain, like any other Democrat would, and not against Sen Obama. Otherwise, anything you do that could harm Sen Obama’s chances in the general election would negate any reason you come up with to keep this thing going.


  1. Well thought out (and spelled out!) Wayne. Thanks for writing it. You are right on the money.

    Comment by nwmuse — May 26, 2008 @ 5:31 PM

  2. Well done, Wayne.

    Hillary makes me sick. She’s doing more harm to this country than anything else.

    She couldn’t even bring herself to apologize to OBAMA, for her “gaffe.”

    Comment by Zooey — May 26, 2008 @ 10:47 PM

  3. Wayne…
    I just added you to my favorites.

    This is an engaging and sincere post and I say that as one who would prefer Clinton over Obama ( most probably due to a combination of familiarity and cynicism as antyhing else).

    It looks to me like I’ll be voting for Obama in November and I’ll be happy to do so–despite my prefernce for Clinton she’s not my ‘heroine’ who can do no wrong and despite so many distortions about what she has said during the campaign that have been blindly accepted as fact (Al Gore redux as it were) I’ve certainly been dismayed with quite a few of her ‘missteps’ ( the Bosnia ‘under-fire’ thing for one example) for which I can find NO excuse AT ALL–and such as those have to give anyone pause for thought (i.e. if she’s so experienced in politcs and with the press, why the hell did she make that Bosnia claim? That could actually have been made a much bigger deal than it was–and justifiably so).

    Anywhoo, I really like the post–you argue in the proper sense of the word. As you are in my faves now I’ll be back to check out your other posts. Good work!

    Now, I’m off to bed. Ciao!

    Comment by 5th Estate — May 29, 2008 @ 1:26 AM

  4. P.S

    I just read ‘Eisenhower Right For the Wrong Reasons’. More good stuff!.
    Now I really am off to Bedfordshire!

    Comment by 5th Estate — May 29, 2008 @ 1:32 AM

  5. Thank you, 5th estate. I appreciate your kind words and your interest in my blog. By all means, peruse the old stuff, even though a lot of it is silly song parodies. If you like them, there are more over at my old blog (see blogroll for link).

    To be fair to you, I prefer trying to write for quality rather than for quantity (unless I feel like being silly, which I am often prone to do, as my fellow Critters at The Zoo can attest), so you may not find something new every day. But much that can be found in my former posts (here and at the old blog) can give you a good idea of where I stand in the world.

    Thank you for letting me share a small part of my Brain with you. It’s an open one on many issues, and it does get filled with rain now and then, but that’s just part of being Liberal. The truth can be a lot to take in for most people, and we on the left are always looking for ways to help folks see what’s going on. We all have our different styles, mine tends to lean toward song parodies, but I’m not your typical Liberal-Libertarian-Humanist. 🙂

    And I hope to see you later here, at The Zoo, or even on TP. (And, yes, Jane is my wife, and she also posts at the same places I do.)

    Comment by Wayne A. Schneider — May 29, 2008 @ 9:10 PM

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