Should she stay or should she go?
"I didn't know she was going to be here," said Obama supporter Doris Smith, Monday in Charleston, W. Va. (AP)
Peoples perception of Hillary Clinton hasnt changed dramatically during the primaries. The right has long portrayed her as being zealously and shamelessly ambitious and she has only affirmed their accusations. She transformed herself from a Yale educated policy wonk into a standing-in-the-back-of-a-pickup Huey Long populist.
Cried to win in New Hampshire
Remained on the ballot in Michigan after other candidates had agreed to boycott the early primary
Backed a gas-tax holiday
Refused to cast her lot with economists (they are too elite, I guess)
and, despite knowing that Florida and Michigan delegates would not be seated because those states violated party rules, she has sent her campaign spokesmen out to endlessly reiterate that the party cannot nominate someone (Barack Obama) with the votes of only 48 states.
(continued) I suspect that those who disliked Hillary have only had their feelings confirmed; those who have backed her have continued to back her. However, for those on the fence, I believe her shameless pandering and unchecked ambition have probably pushed more people away form Hillary.
At this point, it seems clear that barring a catastrophe like assassination Barack Hussein Obama will become the nations first black presidential candidate. Hillarys future is up to her. If, by some Clintonian black-magic Senator Clinton somehow captures the nomination, it will cleave the Democratic Party. While Senator Obama may give rhetorical credence to post convention party unified, should Hillary win the Obamaites will feel that they have been cheated out of the nomination.
Hell may have no fury like a woman scorned, but a scorned politician with the largest private database of donors will give the Demos a pain they will not soon forget. While it may be too dramatic to say that the party will split if Hillary steals the nomination, there will certainly be consequences.
Heres the scenario: Hillary gets the nomination, Barack feels scorned but is a good soldier and supports Hil. Baracks young and independent supporters and donors feel that all their hard work has been squandered and politics will play out as usual. Hillarys nomination not only succeeds in turning many of these voters away from voting in 2008, but no doubt a good percentage will see politics as a game reserved for the favorite of party elites, and the Democratic Party will lose all claim to being democratic.
On the other hand, if Clinton were to magnanimously drop out of the election before the convention she could help unite the party behind Obama and see it to victory in the fall. A President Obama would certainly owe Senator Clinton a cabinet position, should she so desire one. How about the first female Secretary of Defense?