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 May, 2008


 It Takes a Clinton to Raze a Village

It Takes a Village
By Al Owens

According to Hillary Clinton, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Yeah but, according to Al Owens, “It takes a Clinton to raze a village.”

That’s what Clinton appears to be doing as I write this. There isn’t a political pundit on planet earth who can find some path to her candidacy. Yet, she’s vowed to fight on.

Her political operatives claim that she leads among cocker spaniel owners with overdue library books. That Obama can’t win among retired lottery winners with insomnia. But any way you slice this pie, Clinton can’t win the nomination – period.

All that’s left is more bruising, less cohesiveness and the increasing ranks of joyful Republicans who’re gleefully watching Democrats snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

So Obama really has a hard time with white, working class voters. Well, Clinton has completely lost the black vote. While that’s not necessarily a wash, it does make a Democratic celebration come November seem less sure than ever.

That’s why it just may be time for Clinton to sober up, do the math, face reality, smell the coffee, take the plunge, bite the bullet, come to her senses, hold her nose and take her medicine, throw in her chips, admit hell really has frozen over - and thusly put herself out of her own misery. Don’t count on it.

So far, she’s showing every sign that her nomination aspirations are more important than her willingness to unseat Republicans.

While campaigning for that relatively tiny haul of 28 West Virginia delegates, she could always offer another short term solution for rising gasoline prices. But by every measure her last call for a short term solution fell, well, rather short.

She can propose that every American troop everywhere would come home tomorrow. That wouldn’t work either.

It must be hard coming to terms with the fact that these past couple of weeks, she’s been handed a free gift in the name of Jeremiah Wright, but voters in North Carolina and Indiana still didn’t flock to her camp in numbers that made a measurable difference.

It was as if those voters think Obama’s preacher isn’t Obama. Most people with a lick of common sense do know that.

Sure, Clinton and her camp are celebrating a victory in Indiana. She’s picked up a net total of four delegates because of it.

But she’s lost a massive chunk of ground in superdelegates since Pennsylvania, not to mention more than a dozen delegates as a result of Obama’s North Carolina blowout.

One of her old claims was that she’d be more electable because she’d beat him in the popular vote. Dash that thought. Obama’s North Carolina win increased his popular vote by over two hundred thousand.

The figures simply don’t lie. She’ll need to win big in every remaining state, just in order to be considered to give a midday speech at the Democratic National Convention, if she keeps ignoring the inevitable. Who’s she trying to kid?

She’s also in the unenviable position moving forward, of having to campaign without the ability to strike directly at Barack Obama, lest party elders will pull her aside and force her to stop appearing like such a sore loser.

By Wednesday Democratic Party dinosaur, but more importantly, former Clinton devotee, George McGovern pulled his support from Clinton. He stopped just short of asking, “How can we miss you, if you won’t go away Hillary?”

You can be sure there will be more of those who won’t “stop short,” if she continues to insist on keeping up the fight.

Even her own campaign is looking at her options and casting a dim view at one of them. There was always that talk about seating Michigan’s and Florida’s still un-apportioned delegates during the Democratic Convention. According to campaign spokesperson, Phil Singer, even if delegates from both states were seated, there would still be a shortfall of nearly a hundred pledged delegates for Clinton.

So we’re left with the prospects of having Clinton claiming victory – if only among people who’ve suffered sunburn in winter. That, as they say, simply doesn’t wash.

I’m not calling on Clinton to quit. She wouldn’t listen to me anyway. I’m just wondering when this charade will finally end.

As one of the most respected journalists on television, NBC’s Tim Russert, put it late Tuesday night, “We now know who the Democratic nominee’s going to be, and no one’s going to dispute it.”
It looks like I’m not alone. The Clinton campaign isn’t listening to Tim Russert either.

It’s like those heavyweight fights where one guy beats another guy senseless, and when the referee stops the fight, the guy getting pummeled gets upset because he still thought he could win. That’s right after the ref had asked him his name, and he told him it was Ben Franklin.

There is that whispering campaign that’s started to emerge that if Obama gets nominated, the Clinton campaign swears the Republicans have locked in on some “October surprise” that could completely derail him. If there is one of those “October surprises” I’m wondering why the Clinton campaign hasn’t already sprung it in May.

She could plant her own “October surprise” by re-announcing her candidacy on October 31st.

Otherwise, anything short of disclosing Obama is a Martian may not work – considering Jeremiah Wright failed to put a sizeable dent in his popularity.