What of her future as…. Senate Majority leader?
I’m not one to ever bet against the Clintons in a fight. Hillary is a survivor. In the debate on Thursday night some dubbed Hillary’s close as a concession speech. I remain a doubter even after BooMan’s post and with Matt Stoller at Open Left agreeing it’s over for the Clinton run to be our standard bearer.
But the well connected Steve Clemons, a Hillary Clinton promoter with good Washington Establishment sources, has me setting aside some of my doubts.
This nugget is buried in Steve Clemons’piece:
Hillary Clinton’s Future: Senate Majority Leader
For those who think that there may yet be a surprise in Ohio and Texas and that Hillary’s moving final comments in the debates will pull off another New Hampsire-like outcome, all I can say is that The Washington Note has learned that a senior Clinton campaign adviser — not on the political side — is already out looking for a job.”
(link provided below)
Matt Stoller, Open Left, echoes:
“I’ve been less and less interested in the Democratic race over the past three weeks or so, since it does look like Barack Obama will be the nominee and all the ins and outs of the fight seem to offer little except the opportunity for the Clinton campaign to let its ugly interior spill out publicly.
The Clinton’s themselves do tend to fight until the last possible moment, so the horse race could go on, and there’s always the possibility of some scandal emerging.
But right now, it seems like putting most of our focus on Congress, John McCain, and Obama’s agenda is the right strategy. Hillary Clinton as a possible President is over.”
OK. But Hillary hanging in there may do a lot of damage…She’s pressing onward – she’ll fight to seat Michigan and Florida delegates
The fight over super-delegates will be divisive. In a recent dairy I cited a Financial Times, UK (US Edition) Op-Ed calling on Hillary Clinton to go today so she can win tomorrow. Until such time that Hillary concedes, Paul R. Loeb asks:
“If the fight goes to the convention, we know the answer: Unless she totally routs Obama in Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania, her sole remaining path to the nomination depends on convincing the superdelegates to overturn the will of the voters, and convincing the credentials committee to honor the problematic Michigan and Florida elections.
So she’ll have to practically destroy the party to save it, or more accurately to save herself. Assuming a possible breaking sex scandal doesn’t bring down McCain, he already beats Clinton by 12 points in the latest poll, while Obama defeats him by 7. If the young voters, independents, and African Americans who Obama’s enlisted in droves stay home in November because they feel they’ve been betrayed, Clinton’s chances would be slim to none.
But she still can do real damage to Obama with her negative attacks in the remaining primaries, particularly in swing states like Ohio. Recent match-ups show Obama a solid victor in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, and Oregon, and dead even in Ohio, while Clinton goes down to defeat in all of them. But depending on how negative she gets and how long the primary battle continues, she could cost the Democrats the election by forcing Obama to spend his time responding to an endless succession of petty attacks, and by giving the Republicans ready-made talking points, like Hillary’s comment that only “one of us is ready to be commander in chief.”[.]
“The potential damage is magnified if you count Clinton’s surrogates.
At the Youngstown, Ohio rally following Clinton’s Wisconsin defeat, International Association of Machinists President Tom Buffenbarger called Obama supporters “latte-drinking, Prius-driving, Birkenstock-wearing, trust fund babies.”
That’s despicable rhetoric, echoing the worst Limbaugh/Fox myths about limousine liberals, while it dismisses the majority of union members who just backed Obama in the Wisconsin and Virginia primaries, or the members of unions like SEIU, The Teamsters, and the United Food and Commercial Workers, who just endorsed him.
It also happens to totally steal its language from the sleazy “latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading” anti-Howard Dean ads of the right-wing Club For Growth, that helped give us the disastrous candidacy of John Kerry.[.]
Between Clinton’s actions and those of her surrogates, they might just stigmatize Obama so much that some of her supporters stay home in November, instead of voting for him. They’ll also encourage Republicans and independents who’ve been crossing over to support Obama do the same, or even vote for McCain despite his embrace of Bush’s disastrous policies.[.]
Clinton’s attacks could also make a difference in down-ticket races. Right now, Obama mobilizes huge new constituencies that could elect a wave of new Democratic Senators, Congressional representatives, governors and legislators. But if Clinton manages to damage his appeal sufficiently, he will become far less of an asset even if he still wins. Plus the longer she remains in the race, the more he has to spend money responding to petty attack ads..[.]
Loeb is unto something. Buffenbarger’s diatribe has been aired on NPR radio and is in print far and wide. Here is more gruel on the stigmatizing meme; we find Clinton in Ohio doing all she can to that end.
Rick Pearson, The Swamp, had this piece:
CINCINNATI — Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton today sought to draw parallels to President Bush and her current rival, Barack Obama, saying Bush was an untested commodity as a Republican candidate for the White House who promised voters change and “the American people got shafted.”
“So, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me,” Clinton, facing a difficult task in trying to stall Obama’s momentum, told a crowd at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College this morning as she tried to woo voters in a March 4 primary that is critical to the fate of her candidacy.
A loyal Clinton ally, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, also tried to contrast Clinton with Obama by saying, “She just knows more. She knows more.” [.]
“Do you think people voting in 2000 knew what they were getting?” she said, referring to Bush’s first-term bid for the presidency as a governor of Texas. “People thought they were getting a compassionate conservative. It turned out he was neither. We’ve been living with the consequences of those mistakes.”
Without mentioning Obama’s name, Clinton contended her rival has sought to portray having experience as “a disadvantage” and something “that doesn’t count for much anymore.” But she said, if a person needs a serious operation, they don’t ask for a surgeon who’s never performed the procedure.
This is the same Hillary Clinton who gave Bush a blank check!
And yet, the idea is being floated that Obama should offer Hillary the VP spot on the ticket… Or failing that, (since he will need her cooperation), the job of Senate Majority Leader.
Again, Steve Clemons, well connected to the Washington Establishment and a Clinton promoter, wrote:
I happen to think that Barack Obama should offer Hillary the Vice President slot. His “win” that seems to be in the making is impressive — but not definitive, and there are substantial parts of the Democratic party that are still clinging to the Clinton franchise.
If Obama can acquire the Clinton infrastructure and consolidate it with the Kennedy franchise and then fasten in the many newcomers to his “movement”, he’d then be creating something quite new and different — and sustainable.
Some of Obama’s supporters can’t imagine a ticket with both of them on it — but the reality of American politics is that power is built through amassing building blocks of influence. The Kennedy franchise is second only to the Clinton’s in its structural resilience. Obama was given the keys to the many thousands who owe the Kennedy machine for the jobs, favors, policy work, and the like that the Kennedys have disbursed over decades.
With all due respect to the currents that are fueling Obama’s primary victory, his supporters are not part of a well-organized franchise and their engagement and involvement may only seem deep but are really just a function the moment. As Howard Fineman wrote recently, Hillary Clinton is running against Obama’s “wind”. Sounds good in one sense — but in another, winds die down.[.]
So sorry Mr. Clemons, I know politics make for strange bedfellows. Not this trip. I welcome a complete break with the Clinton machine. We’re turning the page and not just a half-way turn.