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WaPo: Why Clinton Still Runs (to make Obama lose so she can say "I told you so" & run in 2012) [View All]

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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-22-08 02:24 PM
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WaPo: Why Clinton Still Runs (to make Obama lose so she can say "I told you so" & run in 2012)
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Edited on Thu May-22-08 03:22 PM by Stephanie


Our worst suspicions are confirmed by these insiders, who believe she's willing to undermine Obama in hopes he loses, sacrificing the party, the nation, indeed the planet, just so she can have another shot in 2012.




http://blog.washingtonpost.com/thefix/2008/05/why_she_r...

Why Clinton (Still) Runs

Day after day, Hillary Rodham Clinton, her husband, former president Bill Clinton, and their daughter Chelsea -- travel the country stumping for support in a race that is, by almost any measure, over.

***

The consensus of the operatives' views about why Clinton continues the campaign are below....

* Out of Obligation: Clinton has been at this for the better part of the last two years, along with her staff and many of her supporters. The amount she has given to the process and the amount she has asked others to give means that Clinton sees it as an obligation to stay in the race through the end of the primary season. "She feels a responsibility to the party, the process and the people who have invested time and money on her behalf" to stick it out, explained former Democratic National Committee chairman and Clinton supporter Don Fowler. "I don't think there is a blind optimism or that she is fooling herself."

* Making the Brand: No one we talked to -- even those who clearly believe the fight for the Democratic nomination is over -- suggested that this race will be the end of Clinton's political life. The final weeks of this campaign then are as much about polishing -- and restating -- the Clinton brand for future endeavors as anything else. As one party strategist friendly to Clinton put it: "Fighting on reinforces the core brand and cements her status as the leader of lunch pail carrying, hard hat wearing, coffee drinking, pinochle playing working class Democrats." With Sen. Ted Kennedy (Mass.) -- long the voice of the "little guy" in the halls of Congress -- likely to take a step back from the Senate after his brain cancer diagnosis, an opening exists for Clinton to step into the void. Her demonstrated strength among white working class voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and now Kentucky give her a real platform as the Senate's populist should she want to occupy it.

* Running Out The Clock: As we've noted in this space before, one of the defining lessons of the Clintons' time in elected office is that perseverance and endurance pay off. Although Clinton is running out of time, she and her campaign see little benefit to her dropping out of the race before it is mathematically impossible for her to get the nomination. While the campaign doesn't expect any major bombshell to emerge that will disqualify Obama (and isn't spending time looking for one), they also want to be ready if and when a game changing event occurs. One observer compared it to last week's Game 7 between the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs were down and not likely to win but spent the last 90 seconds of the game fouling and trying to make a comeback. A longshot? Yes. Worth doing? Absolutely.

* Whither Winning? Many Democrats not favorably disposed to Clinton like to compare her current plight to that of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who remained in the Republican race despite the fact that he had next to no chance of defeating John McCain in the fight for the nomination. The comparison fails, however, in one important aspect: Clinton continues to win, and win handily, while Huckabee was relegated to second place status throughout the final weeks of his campaign. Since March 4, Clinton has won the same number of contests (5) as Obama. From her perspective, then, there is no reason to leave the race now. She is likely to win Puerto Rico on June 1 and lose in South Dakota and Montana on June 3. At that point, it will turn into a superdelegate contest that is almost certain to go against her. But as long as she can continue to win primaries -- no matter how meaningless they are to the math equation that is the Democratic primary race -- and raise enough money to keep the campaign afloat, why not stay in?

* 2012!: For the last month or so a strain of thought has emerged among the Democratic political class that goes something like this: Clinton has not and will not lose the urge and drive to be president. She knows she can't win this time. So she will stay in the race long enough to be able to make the argument about Obama's weakness as a general election candidate but not so long as to poison the well among party activists and donors for a possible re-run bid in 2012 if the Illinois senator loses in November. "She's trying to pick exactly the right time when she can say 'I told you so' if Obama loses but still not take the blame for the loss," said one Democratic media consultant granted anonymity to speak candidly. "That means June as opposed to August. And she's thinking president again, period."








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