Elbowing her way to the finish... and beyond
I can't get this image out of my head. It seems to be the perfect illustration of why Hillary Clinton has so frustrated, angered, and frankly, scared me these last few weeks.
The image is of her, with dozens of sticks of dynamite strapped to her torso, walking around with her thumb on the detonator.
That's about how I think she's behaved lately, no matter how much it's demanded and enforced that no one speak ill of her, lest they be considered insensitive, or open themselves to charges of sexism or any of the litany of complaints trotted out by her campaign.
Frankly, there have been any number of opportunities for her to bow out gracefully and still go out on top, retain her considerable clout and following, and having not let down her supporters in any way they'd not understand.
Yet she and her campaign have chosen instead to use these fervent supporters, to manipulate their passionate support, for a purpose that seems decidedly distasteful, purely ego-driven, and designed to make as much problems and cause as many head-aches as possible for both Obama and the party, passive-agressively punishing them all for daring to actually defeat her and take away something she feels is her God-given right.
In one respect, I think the priest/stand-up comic wanna-be guy that went nuts at Obama's former church was right. Of course Hillary wasn't freaking out at the thought of a black man taking her rightful throne. But it's not a stretch to see that she's completely thrown by ANYONE wresting it away from her.
And talk about grace.... the Clintons seem to be fresh out, having not shown more than a few slivers of it so far.
And even now, on the historic night when Obama achieves what Hillary herself kept referring to as the milestone which would signal the end of the contest, she butts in to the action by leaking that she's "open" to becoming vice president, thus ensuring that, once more, it's about her as well.
And yes, yes... I know that it truly should be about her to a certain extent. Let's give her her due, by all means. It was tight... way too tight for many, and she should, and will, be a force to be reckoned with from here on out. She holds a damn strong hand in all of this, and it's no sin for her to want to play it.
But where she disappoints once more is in seeming absolutely incapable of making this race about something other than HER, HER, HER. Even on a night when the first African-American ever wins the nomination for president, she can't shut up or step aside long enough to allow Obama to get his due.
Even though she had her speech, etc. That wasn't good enough.
So, I ask you. What does Obama do now?
Is an Obama/Clinton ticket the way to go, the strongest and most logical ticket to win in November?
Or has Clinton's behavior and lack of grace proven that she couldn't be trusted to run a race as second fiddle without both she and Bill insisting that it's about them and acting like she was the nominee herself? (I'm not sure if she wouldn't psychologically slip into acting as if she were.)
And another aspect that is perhaps more serious.
I am getting the distinct feeling that there is going to be collusion between Clinton and McCain.
She's been overly complimentary of McCain all along, making statements which suggest she and McCain are the only qualified candidates. They're both establishment hacks, long steeped in D.C. money politics and beholden to huge monied interests, especially in the defense industry.
Now it's come to a place where Obama has to kiss her posterior and McCain is as well. (it's not like there's not plenty of room there for both.)
But most disturbing, as if anyone needed any proof that Clinton's incessant argument that Obama isn't even in the right league to be president, isn't ready, and is a "wild card", and "a roll of the dice" was doing real damage, witness McCain's speech tonight.
When McCain spoke he knew he had a huge Democratic audience, and a lot of Dems he might poach.
So what does he do? He repeats the entire litany of Clinton campaign points in their entirety. He suggests the press and pundits unfairly counted Clinton out of the race (utter non-sense, the numbers don't lie.), tries to reinforce the notion that party fat-cats are somehow hi-jacking the election and stealing it for Obama.
McCain is doing everything he possibly can to enflame, amplify, and whip-up all the anomosity, resentment, frustration, and sense of bitterness and anger by those who supported Clinton and trying to turn it against Obama for his own benefit.
Hillary has worked long and hard at constructing this negative and nearly entirely false narrative, and then placed it neatly in McCain's hands for him to run with.
As Dems try to unite, McCain will be busy pounding on the wedge that Clinton built in order to widen the divide.
Clinton's percieved as sitting atop a swath of the electorate that any presidential candidate, if they have a hope of winning, simply must have. Obama and McCain want those key voters like their political lives depend on it, because it does.
This is where the image of the TNT strapped terrorist comes in.
Hillary's holding a royal flush, and knows it.
What will she do? What is she capable of doing? She could do incredible damage to Obama if she chose, or if she simply makes a mistake. To a substantial degree, who becomes our next president is in her hands.
And what sort of psycho-drama are we in for when SHE believes she should be that person?
Frankly, I would have thought she'd have thrown in the cards before now, or at least graciously conceeded tonight when... well, SHE'S LOST THE DAMN RACE, let's get real.
And I would have thought that she could be depended on to make a sincere gesture of unity with Obama, and sincerely work to ensure his election.
That's what I wanted to believe. But now I'm not so sure.
How about you?
Is she going to insist on the V.P. slot? Should Obama take her? Does he have any choice? Would she be a drag on the ticket?
Wasn't it a rather spiteful act for Hillary to have leaked that she's interested in the V.P. slot early in the day, thus raining on Obama's parade, AND putting him in a very difficult position on top of it?
Rather than remaining mum and allowing Obama to offer it to her, Clinton instead jumped in front and floated that she'd be interested. This essentially undercuts Obama's autonomy and free choice of who he wishes to be his vice president.
It now shifts the pressure onto Obama to give her what she wants, OR, exercises his right to choose whomever he wants, thus giving Clinton supporters the appearance that he's further insulted or disrepected her, enraging those who have chosen to vent their frustration by directing their anger at Obama, and making him appear somewhat weak, a de facto head of the party and newly elected standard bearer, having been essentially been bullied into giving in to the second place finisher.
Why is Hillary STILL playing hardball? I see no possible need for it at this stage, yet on she goes.
What are your views on the endgame?