May 8, 2008
Byron's view: Race over for Hillary
I'm going to be proactive and call it: I think the race is over for Hillary Clinton. She lost North Carolina by a huge margin, and she won Indiana by only a razor thin margin, enabling Obama to increase his lead in the pledged delegate count. George McGovern called for her to quit yesterday, and Al Sharpton called for the same today. I heard on the radio that superdelegates are refusing to meet with her and Bill, while they are eagerly meeting with Obama. Obama picks up new superdelegates every day. Hillary loaned her own campaign another $6 million for a lump sum loan total of $11 million out of her own pocket. She's seriously strapped for cash.
It's done. Over. Jaehwan is calling it right now--Obama is the Democratic nominee of 2008. There is no way the math works out; she's going down. The negative campaigning was exactly what the country did not want, and we are letting her know through our votes and our declining contributions to her campaign. Obama is starting to act like the new nominee by challenging McCain, and I think it's a good move on his part.
I think Hillary will be a phenomenal Senator, perhaps even rising to majority leader. She has demonstrated an amazing eye for detail as demonstrated by her command of policy, a tremendous ability to debate, and an unmatched ability to fight and elbow her way to the top no matter how dirty it gets. And I say this in a good way--even though the country doesn't want negative campaigning, her political abilities will probably enable her to get things done in the Senate that no one else has been able to do.
On talk radio today, one announcer's theory is that Hillary is just staying in the race in order to keep things exciting and to prove that she's not a quitter. He pointed out that her speech on Tuesday night, following her loss in NC, was uncharacteristically clean, and for the first time, she didn't attack Obama. The radio host's theory is that she has already come to accept that she won't be the nominee. One TV announcer said that having Hillary in the race until the end may actually be good for us, since it will get more people to the polls, even if it's only the nomination process. I sure hope so.
Let's just hope that she spares us the Florida and Michigan arguments. Hillary, it's time to move on. You're an extraordinary person, and you're going to turn the Senate around. We just happen to already have our nominee for President.
Oh, and both candidates are in my home state of Oregon right now. Just because it's over for her, this doesn't absolve us Oregonians, Kentuckians, or West Virginians of our democratic duty--mail/drop off those ballots and vote!