In the run-up to the war in Iraq, President George Bush lied to the nation in making the case to go to war. I say "lied" although he might claim that he was just putting out his version of reality, that there was a vague possibility that Saddam Hussein had some kind of chemical weapons so he could claim that Saddam had WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. If people somehow thought that means he meant nuclear weapons (however pronounced), then he was willing to let them make that mistake in service of his larger purpose (to line the pockets of his friends).
So it grates on my nerves when Hillary Clinton claims that Barak Obama needs 2200 or so delegates to win the nomination. Sure, it’s possible that in some universe (probably parallel) various decisions will be made that at some point in the future seat all the delegates from Florida and Michigan in a way that would give her the nomination. But, I don’t think anyone paying attention (least of all the superdelegates in this universe) would confuse this to mean that Obama needs these extra delegates to win.
And I would have to ask if we want someone to be President who would fudge the facts in order to get their way, given recent presidential history.
Not to mention the fact that the entire logic of the Clinton campaign, if it’s that Obama can’t win in November, is completely faulty. This has been proven by the votes taken so far. As I understand it, she is telling us that he can’t win the working class vote. This is completely illogical because it would depend on the fact that Clinton’s organization won’t work to elect a Democrat in November. Even if she didn’t want it to, even if she actively worked to prevent that organization from working for Obama, that simply won’t happen. The vast majority of the people in her organization, I’m forced to assume, are Democrats. They are going to want a Democrat to win in November. Even a trivial percentage of these people voting for Obama would deliver that segment to him in the fall.
Let’s just posit that Obama gets the nomination. I think that’s a realistic premise. And, he goes off to campaign. He’s going to get the vast bulk of the people who’ve voted for him up to now. That’s probably enough to give him the victory, anyway. But even if he can’t get workers from Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Indiana to vote for him on his own, even if he can’t get Florida voters to come over to him by campaigning himself, what would we think if Clinton and her people couldn’t deliver them for the Democrats?
It wouldn’t give me any warm fuzzies about her capabilities as a politician. And it certainly wouldn’t make me believe she could get herself elected President. Or that she deserves it.
Really, Clinton’s argument that Obama isn’t electable is the argument that her entire organization is going to sit on its hands and refuse to help out the Democratic Party in the fall. Let’s be realistic and call that what it is: false.
While I’ve enjoyed the prolonged primary campaign and I really think it is helpful for Democrats to have a lively debate about who’s the best person to beat John McCain in the fall, I think that Clinton has now made a fatal mistake. She’s telling us fibs to forward her own campaign. I got enough of that with Bush. I got enough of that with Reagan. I got enough of that with Nixon. Don’t lie to me, Hillary. Don’t stretch the truth to get your way.