Political chatter from DC and NYC, the amNewYork way

Hillary, you've done well (and better than most)

(Credit: Politirazzi)


By Dontre

Even on the night of her "defeat," Sen. Hillary Clinton scored an impressive victory by winning the South Dakota primary. The achievement here isn’t the scant 10-point lead by which she won the state, rather that she still had any momentum to even compete (let alone win) in the first place. If Sen. Clinton had heeded the call of many, earlier on, who (because they were exhausted of the primary season) asked her to drop out of the race, we may never have seen some of her best political and character traits at work. Indeed, in the last few months the junior senator has not amassed five primary wins (Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Puerto Rico, and South Dakota) since upsetting her opponent’s 11-win steak, but in her underdog status, she gained the momentum and formidable stride of a powerful candidate.

As a supporter of Sen. Clinton’s bid for the Democratic nomination, it was most rewarding following her progress and wins in the final months of campaigning, when she truly found her voice amongst the raucous hollers of nay-sayers. Her tenacious spirit, indomitable courage and dogged determination are but a few of her superlative qualities that, coupled with her political experience and impressive command of policy, showed her to be best-suited for the job.

That Obama won is, yes, historic; but it would have been equally historic had she won, so this is a moot point. What should be noted, however, is that Obama did not win by much; and that’s saying a lot considering that Clinton’s campaign was considered ‘finished’ a long time ago.

As explained on TIME magazine’s Web site, in the article No Surrender (Yet) for Clinton:

“History will note that Barack Obama won the nomination in February and spent the next four months trying not to let her take it back.”

(continued) In her fight, Clinton not only cut into Obama’s lead, but her campaign wins cast considerable doubt over his electability in the fall, when he faces McCain; and her strength amongst key voting blocs showed that there are some groups with which he simply does not connect — groups that he needs in order win.

These reasons have caused considerable concern amongst Sen. Obama’s supporters and many in the party who are pressing him to consider Clinton for the VP spot, as a way to mend the broken relationship between the respective followings of either Senator. Their worry is that without Hillary, it’ll be tough for Obama to win; and with almost 56 percent of her supporters saying, in a recent Time magazine poll, that they were likely not to vote for Sen. Obama in the fall had Hillary lost, it is a serious concern for the new Democratic nominee.

Those calling for the so-called “dream ticket” are hoping that their pairing will deliver a definitive victory in November against Sen. McCain. As Lanny Davis, a former White House special counsel under President Clinton, said to NBC:

“If he doesn't have her, I think he can still win. With her on the ticket, he can't be beat.”

It’s an idea that, apparently, has some traction — even if it is a political move that would force the hand of many of Hillary’s supporters. As delineated by Lynn Forester de Rothschild, wife of Sir Evelyn de Rothschild and a fundraiser for Clinton, Obama’s candidacy needs Hillary because without her,

“He'll lose women, he'll lose Hispanics, he'll lose seniors and he'll lose that working community,” she remarked to TIME. “If Hillary’s not there, I don't think they're going to relate to Barack Obama."

Songwriter Jenny Walker says that with Hillary on the ticket she’ll “definitely vote for him,” a reflection of many who will reluctantly vote for the pair, just because their candidate is on the ticket.

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