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Every Democrat agrees that a brokered convention in Denver would be disastrous to the nominee, and Hillary has argued that "pushing" her out of the race would cause a defection of her supporters.  It seems that the Democratic party and its superdelegates are trying to identify their moment of diminshing marginal returns.  In the context of this primary, that is when Hillary's continued presence causes more damage to Obama than publicly dismissing her by uniting behind him.  

 

The Clinton campaign perceives this balancing act and is exploiting it by matching her indefinite presence with increasingly divisive, and potentially destructive rhetoric.  Take for example yesterdays comparison of Florida and Michigan to Bush v. Gore 2000, the women's suffrage movement, even Zimbabwe.  She is taking an inter-party issue, falsely elevating it, and splicing herself to its outcome.  The talking point goes, "Reject Hillary now and lose Florida and Michigan in November."  She is currently controlling the narrative on this story, and the closer the primary process comes to its natural conclusion, the more she will challenge Obama's legitimacy, thereby threatening his prospects in November.

I don't think that the tipping point has occured, but it is close.  Obama was going to lose West Virgina and Kentucky, so it was better to lose to a person that was actively campaigning.  I think that the May 31 rules committee meeting is the breaking point.  No matter what the committee decides, the appearance of indecision on the part of the superdelegates beyond that date will embolden Hillary and do more damage to Obama than effectively ending the contest now.

The superdelegates will have to take action if a Democrat is to be elected in November.  Obama cannot spend the summer campaigning against the backdrop of a wild eyed Hillary bellowing claims of voter disenranchisement and civil rights violations.  It is becoming clear that Hillary is willing to torpedo Obama and the Democratic party if she does not get her way.  I hope that the superdelegates appreciate the situation and take appropriate action.

N.B.  This is not a partisan issue.  If the superdelagates want to throw this to Clinton, the time is now.  Overturning the results of the pledged delegate contests would be destructive, but if that's what the superdelegates want to do, Clinton would need time for damage control.  The sooner the superdelagates announce the better.    

Originally posted to jaywhitman on Thu May 22, 2008 at 09:49 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The threshold of diminishing returns for whom? (0+ / 0-)

    The Party, or for Clinton?

    The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion. --Thomas Paine

    by David Kroning on Thu May 22, 2008 at 09:52:40 AM PDT

    •  Both (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David Kroning

      Much further delay will damage the party and could well endanger what should have been a cake walk against McSame.

      Handing it to Clinton will mean the loss of a generation to the party and the political process.

      If Hillary causes so much damage, she will damage Bill's legacy as well as her own. Her only future will be to stand as a "New York for Hillary" candidate and form a new party, the Egoists, with Lieberman.

      Hillary Clinton - More baggage than Wal Mart

      by Lib Dem FoP on Thu May 22, 2008 at 10:02:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  missing word? (0+ / 0-)

    I suspect that you might have intended to use the word "not" in the sentence:

    It is becoming clear that Hillary is willing to torpedo Obama and the Democratic party if she does get her way.

    As in: ...does NOT get way.

    But sadly, it works either way.

  •  I appreciated this (0+ / 0-)

    N.B.  This is not a partisan issue.  If the superdelagates want to throw this to Clinton, the time is now.  Overturning the results of the pledged delate contests would be destructive, but if that's what the superdelegates want to do Clinton would need time for damage control.  The sooner the superdelagates announce the better.    

    I agree.  Obviously, they'd be crazy to give it to Clinton, but this is right.

    My one caveat to the diary is that I don't think she's ramping up the rhetoric (The Commander in Chief "threshhold" moment was the nadir), just not adjusting it at all.

  •  I think we're at the tipping point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    prfb

    There has been a hardening of support and rhetoric from Hillary's supporters over the last two weeks, especially in the last week.  This is fast becoming damn near irreparable.  The longer the party waits, the more complicit they are in the party's implosion.  

    I can't imagine what will transpire over the next two weeks.  The country's democrats had started to coalesce since May 6.  Gallup had Obama up by 16 and strong support coalescing in all demographics.  It's down to 11, and that's without any hits or bad press for Obama.  It's about Hillary re-hardening her support that is keep the country's Democrats from getting on with the GE.  

    Two weeks is way too long to wait.  She is emboldened by each passing day that that party allows it.  The rhetoric will increase; the silence of the supers will be exploited by Hillary.  She'll say they're "afraid" to come out in support of her now.  She'll so severely damage Obama that I'm not confident it's reparable.  

    Obama needs to go in to the Rules Committee with stronger support from this party.  And you're right -- if he doesn't have it, well let's know and get on with it.  We may be a whole lot less militant on this side, but the deep fissures in Obama's phenomenal grassroots juggernaut will be disastrous for the party.  

    All that being said, Obama always surpasses my expectations.  If anyone can heal this party, it's him.  But it's time for the Democratic party to coalesce around the presumptive nominee, with no rule breaking or goalpost moving.  He has earned their respect and support.  Imagine what he could accomplish with the institutional support of this party.  Imagine the influx of infrastructure and grassroots support, money and commitment for down ticket races.  We are at the precipice of regaining strong Democratic control.  I cannot fathom what the supers are thinking, I really can't.  

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