Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hillary Clinton Should Step Aside

“A lady always knows when to leave the party.” Or so my mother used to say. It’s time for Hillary Clinton to take a tip and leave — not the party, of course, but the presidential race.

Clinton’s chance to make a graceful exit may have already passed. It will take some savvy charm school etiquette to save her reputation, given the path she’s tramping down now. And charm has not been Clinton’s strong suit.

She should save her political future and concede the nomination to Obama. The Democratic Party’s chances to win the White House are at stake now, not just her own career. Or her husband’s ambitions, if it is he who is pushing her to continue in a race she cannot win.

Whatever the impetus, Hillary is doubling down. She reportedly has recharged her campaign’s coffers from her own substantial bankroll, adding more than $6 million of her own money in the past month.

Yet the only hope that remains for Clinton is some sort of huge gaffe on the part of Barack Obama — which is unlikely, as he gains more Teflon the longer he stays in the race.

Another faint possibility is that Clinton’s team may dredge up some slice of political mud with which Obama could be slimed in these final, crucial months. But if the Rev. Jeremiah Wright did not suffice to take him down, what would? Which raises the question: Is Hillary Clinton’s hubris so great that she is willing to harm the Democratic Party’s chances in November just to keep herself in the race? Apparently so.

Months ago, the choice presented to Democratic voters was a toss-up between two laudable goals: whether to elect the nation’s first black presidential nominee or the first female one. Campaigning had not yet turned negative, and it was possible to feel that, no matter who won, the party was on its way to victory and making history.

Unfortunately for the party, after an ugly few months of mudslinging it has not reached a consensus — yet it must still make a choice. That choice will almost certainly be Obama, and that likelihood has stirred considerable rancor among Clinton’s supporters.

But here is an undeniable truth: Obama will never become the nation’s first black president without the help of the woman he defeats for the nomination. Crazy hardball politics will no doubt return as the campaign becomes Barack Obama vs. John McCain. The substantial influence of the Clintons could help undercut that effect.

Yet, days after her split decision in Indiana and drubbing in North Carolina, Clinton is taking a selfish, calculated risk in hoping she can influence her own last-gasp chances at the nomination by focusing on how the delegates of Florida and Michigan are seated at the convention.

If Clinton manages to convince the Democratic National Committee to tweak its rules to benefit her campaign, she risks undercutting the very powerful bloc of younger, especially female and minority, voters that the Obama and Clinton campaigns have so successfully energized.

Does Clinton really want that to be her legacy? To lose the nomination and also hurt the Democratic party for years? If she outrages those new voters by crushing their belief that their participation matters, she could wound many a future Democratic campaign by diminishing what could become a powerful party base.

The interesting thing about Clinton’s losing position is that now she gets to put that “it takes a village” refrain into action. By doing the right thing, she can help her party affect the lives of citizens for the better. By acting to hurt the presumptive Democratic nominee further, she only helps the Republicans.

The come-from-behind struggle against great odds is a beloved story line in American culture. Blind, destructive vanity that won’t face reality, not so much.

This is Barack Obama’s moment. And yet, Hillary Clinton has a crucial role to play. It is to step aside, gracefully. (By Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star Editorial Board)
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4 Comments:

Anonymous Purple Haze said...

Hilary also siad it ain't over till the lady in thepants suit says it is.

Basically giving the Democrat Party the finger !!!

12:11 PM GMT+8  
Blogger kittykat46 said...

Hillary really doesn't know how to lose. Well, she was a hyper achiever for most of her life. She used to earn much more than Bill.

She's going to leave the Democratic Party bruised and divided, while McCain cruises on.

12:23 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Malaysians for Hillary Clinton said...

This is one Malaysian who supports Hillary Clinton!

No to opportunists like Obama and Anwar!

6:24 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Malaysians for Hillary Clinton said...

SEMOGA HILLARY CLINTON PANJANG UMUR DAN MAKMUR!

UNDURLAH, OBAMA, VERSI ABDULLAH BADAWI DI AMERIKA SYARIKAT!

8:57 AM GMT+8  

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