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Got Bitter If You Want It

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April 29, 2008

We’ve been hearing lots of talk about bitterness these days.  Barack Obama found himself under the microscope a few weeks ago, after making some remarks about rural, blue-collar Pennsylvanians during a conference in San Francisco.  A different bitterness was discussed on Friday, April 25 by Rep. James E. Clyburn, Democratic Congressman from South Carolina.  In an article from Reuters on the previous day, Rep. Clyburn had disclosed that he believed that many African-Americans have reached the decision that the Clinton campaign operatives know that Hillary cannot get the nomination. Nevertheless the Clinton camp is attempting to make it impossible for Obama to beat John McCain in November.  Since McCain would probably serve only one term, Hillary would not have to wait for a two-term president (Obama) to complete his presidency before she would have another viable shot at the office.

Such scuttlebutt could have been dismissed as “bitterness” from African-Americans about Hillary’s Pennsylvania win. However, another voice has weighed in on this subject.  On the Fox News website, Dick Morris (who had been Bill Clinton’s political consultant for his 1996 re-election bid) gave his own analysis of the motives of the Clinton campaign on the same day that Rep. Clyburn spoke up: Friday, April 25.  He concluded that if Hillary were to persist with her campaign after the last primary, we must begin to consider whether she has an ulterior motive.

I’ve been considering it for a while now.  At this point, you can’t help but wonder, what keeps the Clinton campaign going with no mathematical possibility that Hillary could become the Democratic nominee.  I’m reminded of an old friend telling me that “there is a lot of money to be made from selling the sky to people”.  Given the huge amount of money required to run a campaign, this could be the motivation.  She might want to be sure that her campaign is not in the red when it’s time to shut the power off.  The trouble with that approach is that the contributors usually wise up before the Titanic hits the iceberg.  Once that happens, the machine is running on empty and the red numbers start spinning quickly.

We’ve seen many commentators speculate on Hillary’s “endgame”.  We’ve heard “the kitchen sink strategy” being discussed.  This involves an approach where any bit of negativity about Obama is exploited to the greatest extent possible.  I’m quickly becoming more impressed by the “Tonya Harding strategy”.  This has been described by Keith Olbermann and others as a plan by which Hillary’s crew tries to “kneecap” Obama by attacking his electability in order to secure the nomination for her.  I’ve always felt that the “Tonya Harding strategy” involves a situation where the Hillary campaign tries to make Obama unelectable. Period.  Maybe this is the “dirty secret” of the so-called “kitchen sink strategy”.  In that scenario, the word “sink” would be a verb.  Perhaps the plan is to completely sink the Obama campaign, to facilitate a McCain presidency.

There have been plenty of discussions as to what would transpire if Hillary were to have her way and actually win the nomination.  Rush Limbaugh has delighted in scenes from the Democratic Convention of 1968, being relived in Denver, forty years later.  It is apparent that this may actually happen … that this kind of bitterness would tear the Democratic Party apart before November.  I prefer to believe that the forbidden process of Evolution has taken us beyond the uncivilized behavior of 1968 in Chicago.  Instead, I see a more civilized way of venting bitterness and rage about a nomination “stolen” by Hillary.  Rather than burning cars or burning effigies, we may see protesters more interested in burning pantsuits.  Make note that I am not encouraging this.  A piece of burning pantsuit could get picked up by a breeze and find its way into someone’s hair.  Nevertheless, it’s hard to restrain bitterness.  In the unlikely event that Hillary should win the nomination, we might see some unpleasant behavior on a large scale.  The obviousness of that consequence is exactly what should prevent it from ever coming to pass.  The Super Delegates will duck into their respective phone booths, jump out wearing their capes and save Denver from Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos”.

At this point, we have some diverse, well-qualified sources expressing concern that the Clinton campaign has its eyes on 2012 after Obama gets “kneecapped” in 2008.  It’s not just another “conspiracy theory” anymore.  After Denver, expect nearly four years of bitterness from the Clintonistas until the unstoppable pantsuit again tries to elbow its way back to the White House.

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