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David Poland

By David Poland

Has Obama Learned The Clinton Rules?

The story of the presidential primaries is becoming clearer for the moment… there is way too much time between the last primary and the next ones… enough time to create endless havoc in the media and to send the country through 3 or 4 major news swings with no real benefit.
It struck me today that the Obama folks have really pulled A Clinton this week with Pat Leahy coming out and calling directly for Hillary Clinton to step aside while Obama was saying, “She should be in the race as long as she likes.” Like the race card that was thrown down by Gerry Ferraro and then danced away from by Clinton… like the effort to slow a wave of insider support for Obama by having James “This is not coming from the Clinton campaign, shucks” Carville call Bill Richardson “a Judas” for doing just that and nothing more… the “should Hillary withdraw?” story has become the lead story of the race for a week already.
There has been some push back. And The Clintons have tried to sell their “disenfranchised” spin. But people know the reality here. When you have Mario Cuomo coming out and saying that the two candidates should agree publicly that “whoever wins, wins and the other takes the Vice Presidential slot,” that is closing in on an Obama endorsement. (It also reminds one that Hillary’s longterm strategy could now include a run for Cuomo’s old stomping grounds, the next Governorship of New York in 2010.) Of course, with Ed Rendell saying that he likes this plan, smart journalists should be pressing The Clintons on the question, “Would you accept a Vice Presidential offer from Obama if he were the nominee?’ Rendell seems to be saying, “Yes.”
It would be nothing less than rude for Obama to offer the slot to Clinton, especially after the debacle of her offering it to him, from behind in the race. But the press should be asking.
Anyway… it’s interesting… and it’s interesting strategy.
And it’s amusing to watch Bill Clinton – who had pretty much wrapped up the Dem nomination weeks before PA voted in his 1992 primary push, and who after that vote had fewer elected delegates than Obama will and more than his wife will this year – talk about how the “conversation” made the party stronger. 13% of the PA primary vote went to Paul Tsongas, who had dropped out of the race a month earlier. The only conversation going on at that point was whether Clinton could beat Perot and Bush 1.
From The NY Times…
Many Democrats have publicly worried about the strength of a Clinton candidacy this fall, and Gov. Robert P. Casey of Pennsylvania spent much of the past week criticizing his party’s presumed nominee and arguing the case for an open convention at which other candidates could emerge.
But Ann F. Lewis, a Democratic strategist, said Tuesday, “I would say by now, those kinds of naysayers are irrelevant to the process.”
James Carville, a top strategist for Mr. Clinton, suggested that the elected officials and party leaders who are superdelegates at the national convention, a critical bloc, would recognize the political reality.
Alluding to an earlier body of political wisdom, Mr. Carville said: “Mr. Dooley says the first thing the Supreme Court does is read the election returns. I suspect the superdelegates do the same thing.”

Hee hee.
At least no one is saying Clinton should be getting out now that it’s clear that Obama actually won Texas.

9 Responses to “Has Obama Learned The Clinton Rules?”

  1. jeffmcm says:

    Bill Richardson.

  2. THX5334 says:

    Bill Richardson should be the Vice Presidential nominee.
    Not only does he have extensive Foreign Policy experience, being the only man to have a real face to face with Kim Jong Psycho….
    But any racist freak that wants to pull the trigger on Obama for being black will think twice because if he dies then that puts the “Mexican” in charge…

  3. Blackcloud says:

    Obama’s in good shape. He can sit back and let the Clinton campaign atrophy or implode, whichever fate it meets.

  4. IOIOIOI says:

    Hillary is pretty much pulling the Rick Barnes strategy from yesterday versus the Tiger: stretching it out until the bitter end even though the game is already over. We already have a candidate. He can even lose the popular vote in Pennsylvania, but gain more delegates like he did in Texas. The campaign will move along, he will do as well — or better — in Indiana and North Carolina, and she will still not drop out of the race.
    There has to be some point where Hillary puts too much skin into this game. It’s not like herself and her husband have Romney money to continue this campaign on to June.
    So I am left wondering when she will stop, or if she will stop this damn foolish crusade of her’s. It’s not like she could not help the state of New York at the present time as their governor. Whateverthecase; I am stumped at how we are to assume this campaign can last until June or July, when the money is drying up for Hillary’s campaign.

  5. Blackcloud says:

    Barnes should have started fouling much sooner, since for most of the second half Texas had committed only one foul. He waited too long.
    The media writing obits again this week (seriously, how many times have they killed her off already?) means that next week they’ll be writing resurrection pieces (seriously, how many times have they said she’s back from the dead?). Search your heart, you know it to be true. The press has been so predictable on this score so far during the campaign.

  6. IOIOIOI says:

    It all comes down to the money Cloudy. I do agree that the resurrection pieces will be coming either next week or the week after, but Hillary was foolish to go down this road. Yes; she has the right to keep on going, but she has never had Obama money. Hillary has never ever come close to matching his ability to raise money during this primary season, but she keeps on going. It’s the oddest thing ever that she continues to discuss going to June or July or the Convention, when she simply will not have the cash to carry on.
    Once again leaving me with this feeling that an inevitable outcome has been reached, but someone is dragging it out for no good reason. This is at least teaching the Obama campaign how to deal with things in the Fall, when Rove — from the curtains — will be plotting and aiding the Third Term in order take Barack down.

  7. doug r says:

    I’m hoping this announcement is the last stage before acceptance. The Daily Irrelevant has a short list of former candidates and when they publicly vowed to stay in the race and the date they dropped out.
    Looks like we got 3-29 days of suspense.
    Link via

  8. Blackcloud says:

    ^ Since when does she play by rules?

  9. IOIOIOI says:

    She never plays by the rules, but the wolves have come out to get her now. She really is taking some serious hits, but she had it coming. This is what happens when you stretch out an inevitable election out too long against a more compelling opposition.

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