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 June, 2008


 Hillary Clinton Still Resists Stepping Aside

Don’t Call Us, Hillary, We’ll Call You
By Al Owens

Tuesday night wasn’t the first time, as an adult, I was proud to be an American. It was the millionth time. But it may have been my proudest moment.

Growing up with my particular pigmentation did not allow me to freely dream such moments could ever exist.
I can relax now. Barack Obama has made history. A black man is now carrying a torch that could reach the highest office held in the United States of America.

He had come from out of the shadows and opened the minds of Americans who had thought as I had two paragraphs ago.

Tuesday night, then, should have been a moment for Democrats to have celebrated. They had finally given real legitimacy to their persistent claim that theirs is the party of the “big tent.”

Hillary Clinton saw no history on Tuesday night. She just kept campaigning. Her speech that night began with her telling her assembled throng that the race had ended with her victory in the final primary election – in South Dakota.

She was wrong. They’d barely begun to count the votes in Montana, when she made her erroneous claim. Obama would win Montana, by a much bigger margin than Hillary had won South Dakota. But who’s still counting, besides Hillary.

The superdelegates had sealed her fate earlier in the day. The rush had started at just after dawn with one from Michigan. Then dozens followed, until even Fox News had given Obama the nomination – before any of the votes had been counted that evening.

But when Clinton took the stage that night, it was as if none of that mattered. She was still the “stronger” candidate.
She just may do public bench presses and compete in the next WrestleMania before November to prove it, but the numbers don’t lie.

Her campaign had failed. Her speech that night needed to possess a distinct note of humility.
It did not. It only ended with her telling her supporters that she “will make no decisions tonight.”

“No decisions,” is a mighty powerful phrase that sent her audience into volleys of applause, but that sent party elders into fits of confusion.

Nobody had expected Clinton to go quietly into the night. Hardly anybody would have guessed she’d ignore the mathematical impossibilities that rendered that “no decisions” nonsense null and void.

A few minutes later, the presumptive Democratic nominee stood in front of 17,000 ecstatic supporters in St. Paul, Minnesota and paid Clinton the warmest of tributes. He showed humility in victory, while she had shown little of it in defeat.

He spoke openly about party unity, and about the need to defeat the Republicans in the fall. Surely, he was taking his victory lap. But he was carrying with him a message that had filled auditoriums and stadiums at each of his campaign stops along the way – CHANGE.

Unlike Clinton, he had not brandished his popular vote totals.

He did not furnish any grist for the pundits regarding his choice for Vice President either.

Hillary Clinton would’ve been the obvious possibility to some voters, if it had not been for her bungled “audition” during the previous hour.

Jeffrey Toobin, a CNN commentator, was so incensed by tone of her speech he called it an example of the “deranged narcissism of the Clintons."

Toobin wasn’t alone.

Oh sure, Clinton would help Obama heal the party discord if she climbs aboard the Obama Express - but only if she can somehow figure out a way to turn the spotlight away from herself for a change.

Obama’s weaknesses are profound. He just may need somebody who can secure the senior vote, the white women’s vote and, of course, the hillbilly vote.

And for sure, HILL and BILL could help him win the HILLBILLY vote. They could also lend support to his desire to keep women voters from throwing their votes at (but not necessarily to) John McCain.

But her Tuesday night shenanigans could give Camp Obama pause. I wouldn’t be surprised if they simply said, “Hillary, don’t call use – we’ll call you.”