Thursday, June 5, 2008

A lesson for Hillary

The options before Hillary Clinton at this point of the campaign are rather similar to the options before one Senator Ted Kennedy in the 1980 race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Jimmy Carter had won enough delegates to secure the nomination, despite a strong showing by Kennedy. Kennedy chose to challenge for Carter's delegates at the convention, a move which luckily it appears Hillary will forgo. But there are other parallels with Senator Kennedy that she should consider.

Before the Dem convention in 1980, the Republicans had nominated Ronald Reagan, a champion of conservatives who were opposed to many traditional liberal positions based in the New Deal and the Great Society. With the prominent position of keynote speaker of the convention (a position which was most recently held by a state senator from Illinois who did a good job, I hear (side note: if you've never watched Obama's convention speech in full, may I suggest you do so now. I'll watch anything McCain's ever said in return)), Senator Kennedy gave the most highly regarded speech of his long political career in defense of those liberal positions and of the Democratic Party which he and his family have served for so long.

Following his unsuccessful presidential campaign, as you all know, Senator Kennedy returned to the Senate, where he fought and continues to fight for those ideals for the next 28 years. Often, when a Republican senator needs help from the other side of the aisle, he or she will seek out Senator Kennedy because they know he will work for what is best for the country.

So there is a lesson here for you, Senator Clinton. Something to take from another defeated Democrat from a family so revered within the party:

I hope you get fucking brain cancer.

I applauded the political skill and courage you showed when you fought back from a 3rd place showing in Iowa to pull of an upset in New Hampshire. I admired your ability to win every time you faced a must-win primary, such as Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania. Even as I watched my chosen candidate lose in the state of my birth and also my current state of residence, I was so happy to have such strong candidates vying for my party's nomination.

But all that changed after the North Carolina and Indiana primaries on May 6th. On that date, the delegate math, and consequently the chances of your being the nominee, turned definitively against you. Nothing short of a Clintonian (Bill, not you) scandal or an assassination (the possibility of which you so sensitively raised a while back) would have delivered the nomination to you.

But instead of acknowledging that you were beaten, you continued to attack the candidate virtually assured of being your party's nominee. You were so successful in tearing him down (as I've previously discussed in this blog), at least among your own supporters, that in West Virginia as many of your supporters said they would vote for McCain as would vote for your party's nominee.

Finally, last night, after reaching the required 2118 delegates to secure the nomination (and getting to the point where he would have passed 2210, which would have been a best case outcome for you at the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting last week), you didn't even have the class to congratulate him on his victory. You didn't even fucking acknowledge it. Instead, you played coy, saying "I will be making no decisions tonight." Why the fuck not? It's over, whether you like it or not!

What do you hope to accomplish by staying in? Are you going to squeeze some concession out of Obama, out of the nominee of your fucking party?!? Even Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (who would be a great VP pick for a lot of reasons, by the way), one of your strongest supporters, said today “You don’t bargain with the Presidential nominee. Even if you’re Hillary Clinton and you have 18 million votes, you don’t bargain.”

And then today your campaign announced that you would suspend you campaign on Saturday. Why then? Why not now? Why not last night, when you were conclusively beaten by any ad hoc method of determining the winner that you could come up with?

Your actions since May 6th, and especially your actions over the past day and a half, have demonstrated that the tenacity that I and so many people admired after your losses in Iowa, and Virginia, and Maryland, AND WISCONSIN, AND WASHINGTON D.C. HEEE-YAAAH....

Oh, sorry, I channeled Howard Dean there. Where was I.... oh, right. Since May 6th and since yesterday you have demonstrated that the tenacity we all admired during this campaign wasn't tenacity at all. You are so blinded by ambition and self-delusion that you are utterly incapable of doing what is right for your party and for your nation. By polarizing the party so much, there is pretty much no way out for your party's nominee. Either he chooses you as his VP and his campaign themes of change and hope and all that are severely hurt, or he doesn't choose you and all those down-scale white voters take their lunch pails over to the GOP. And having him ask you and then declining makes him look weak and that his eventual choice is not his first.

OK, so maybe I was a little bit harsh earlier when I said you should get brain cancer. But with all honesty, I can't figure out any other way besides a medical one for you to get out of the race without pretty severely fucking over your party. It doesn't have to be anything fatal. Breast cancer would actually work pretty well. You take a few months off to get definitive treatment, "unfortunately" removing you from VP consideration, then release a letter while recuperating in Chappaqua urging your supporters to work for the Senator Obama. Finally come January you're back in the Senate ready to help President Obama work toward universal health care. You've got a month or two before he has to pick a VP. I know a guy who can give you a few hundred consecutive high-radiation mammograms. Think about it.