Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How Hillary Can Make History and Save the Democratic Party

Today is the "Potomac Primary", with delgate contests in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. By no means is the race for the delegates for the nomination of the Democrats to be the Presidential candidate in November over, but it's become increasingly evident that a clear winner in delegates may not emerge. Even if it does, there's a strong likelihood that the "super-delegates" will carry the day relative to who wins the nomination.

Senator Clinton's campaign lost 4 caucuses and primaries over last weekend. She will likely lose all three contests today. The momentum in the campaign has swung towards Senator Obama and unless Senator Clinton wins handily in Texas and Ohio, this contest may be effectively over.

Assuming I'm right, I see that there are basically three ways this could go:

1. Senator Obama wins the pledged delegates and the Super Delegates support him as the candidate to run against John McCain in November.
2. Senator Clinton stays close to Obama in terms of pledged delegates and sways the Super Delegates to support her to become the nominee.
3. This goes to the convention and there is a floor fight until someone comes out on top.

In my opinion, Senator Clinton doesn't win in any case described above. Oh, She might sway the super delegates to her side for the nomination, but the downstream impact of that would likely keep her from winning the general election. If she doesn't do anything and Senator Obama wins on his own, then she's essentially a non-player in future discussions regarding the ticket, policy or influence relative to the 2008 election.

My view is that Senator Clinton should continue through the March primaries, and if she doesn't win very big in Texas and Ohio, she should suspend her candidacy and throw her support to Obama.

Here's what could happen if she does.

1. She immediately gains credibility relative to her desire to see the Democrats win in November.
2. She immediately gains the gratitude and admiration of the Obama supporters (youth) and avoids them not staying home during the general election if she presses on to win the nomination.
3. She makes history in that she, she would have been the single most influential person to see Obama gain the nomination.
4. If Obama puts her on the ticket (he should), then she makes history again as the first woman in the 2nd highest office of the land.
5. She allows for the Democratic national committee to immediately organize around competing with John McCain.
6. She puts the relatively strong campaigning capabilities of Bill Clinton at Obama's disposal.
7. She is considered one of the top 2-3 Democrats relative to power in the party.

There is a whole lot of good that happens in my opinion should she choose to go that way. It gives us a great ticket and puts the Democrats in position to achieve a historic milestone: An African American President and a Female Vice-President.

We'll have to wait and see.

Tell me what you think,

Regards,
Dennis

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