Thursday, May 22, 2008

No Way, No VP Slot for Hillary

This has been a pretty frightening day. After Hillary's strange delusions yesterday, Karen Tumulty of Time posted this story: What Does Hillary Want?,

The money quote - surprise - Bill:
What will Clinton's terms of surrender turn out to be? Her husband, for one, seems to have a pretty clear idea what he thinks she should get as a consolation prize. In Bill Clinton's view, she has earned nothing short of an offer to be Obama's running mate, according to some who are close to the former President. Bill "is pushing real hard for this to happen," says a friend.
Well, that caused some ripples through the blogosphere. Here's the ending of the Tulmuty's Time piece, hinting at Hillary fighting all the way to the convention:
What role will she be permitted to play at the convention? She has earned by effort alone a chance to speak there. Several party officials believe she is likely to insist that her name be placed in nomination on the first ballot, opening up all the divisions once again. Whether and how Clinton and Obama can work their way through the terms of surrender will tell voters a lot about both of them. And it could help determine whether a Democrat is elected in November.
Well, then this report provided a sigh of relief, from The Field (worth the click to read the whole thing):
The Field can now confirm, based on multiple sources, something that both campaigns publicly deny: that Senator Clinton has directly told Senator Obama that she wants to be his vice presidential nominee, and that Senator Obama politely but straightforwardly and irrevocably said “no.” Obama is going to pick his own running mate based on his own criteria and vetting process.
(The Clinton campaign was asked about this report and gave a denial, according to

And Time also reported that Obama has already began that vetting process and appointed ex-Fannie Mae executive Jim Johnson (who performed the same service to Mondale and Kerry) Politico noted "He's not a risk to pull a Dick Cheney and select himself." Interesting timing, that leak.

The Field suggests that the rejection of her offer could account for some bizarre comparisons Hillary offered yesterday - all in one day - which is what made it all even more peculiar. She equated the situation of FL and MI to -

1. Zimbabwe (from CBS News)
Desperate to get attention for her cause to seat Florida and Michigan delegates, Hillary Clinton compared the plight of Zimbabweans in their recent fraudulent election to the uncounted votes of Michigan and Florida voters saying it is wrong when “people go through the motions of an election only to have them discarded and disregarded.”

“We’re seeing that right now in Zimbabwe," Clinton explained. "Tragically, an election was held, the president lost, they refused to abide by the will of the people,” Clinton told the crowd of senior citizens at a retirement community in south Florida.
2. the 2000 FL recount (from MSNBC's First Read)
Clinton, speaking with WMJI radio in Cleveland, Ohio, this morning before flying to Florida, referred to the upcoming HBO movie about the 2000 recount and said she has heard that it “makes a very strong case” for seating the state’s delegates today.

“The lesson is if you can discern the clear intent of the voter, why would you punish the voter?” she said. “We are turning this into a major battle that I think is really ill serving the party.”
3. The Civil Rights Movement (via Politico)
Clinton, at times sounding like a modern history professor, praised the abolitionists, suffragettes and civil rights pioneers and talked about her own efforts to fight legislative redistricting and voter identification initiatives that she said dilute minority voting power.

"This work to extend the franchise to all of our citizens is a core mission of the modern Democratic party," she said. "From signing the Voting Rights Act and fighting racial discrimination at the ballot box to lowering the voting age so those old enough to fight and die in war would have the right to choose their commander in chief, to fighting for multi-lingual ballots so you can make your voice heard no matter what language you speak."
That was all in one day!

As many have noted, Clinton herself as well as her aides Harold Ickes and Clinton campaign Chairman Terry McAuliffe supported sanction against states that broke the DNC agreement. Harold Ickes this morning accounted for the apparent cognitive dissonance (shall we shall unprincipled views?) between his support for punishing FL and MI when he was a DNC member and his now held view that the delegations should only be seated at 100%.

Mark Halperin, who assembles and reports on Time's blog, The Page, also notes that Clinton supporters are planning to swarm the DNC on May 31st (the date for the Rules Committee meeting when there will be, hopefully, some resolution) and that DNC members are being sent oranges painted with "Count Florida's Votes."

Hillary Clinton is FULLY responsible for stoking this fire and should put a stop to this immediately. Otherwise, we will all go down in flames together and have to endure another 4 years.

As Jeffrey Toobin noted in The New Yorker this week, for the Supreme Court much is at stake in November. One vote - one man - Justice Kennedy is all that stand between us and a Supreme Court that would as do much destruction as the court of the 1930s. Toobin provides context and unfolded the meaning of John McCain's May 6th speech about the future of the Court. And Toobin repeated a quote from the reporting he did for his excellent book, The Nine:
It’s difficult to quarrel with Justice Stephen Breyer’s assessment of his new colleagues: “It is not often in the law that so few have so quickly changed so much.”
Back to Hillary and her quixotic quest, it is also worth noting that in the very recent past - last week her husband and two weeks ago McAuliffe - her campaign posited that seating both MI and FL at 50% would be acceptable.

That is a position Obama himself claimed was "a reasonable solution" in an interview with the St. Petersburg Times. Also reported:
"In all these races if I didn't campaign at all and this had just been a referendum on name recognition, Sen. Clinton would be the nominee,'' Obama told the Times during his first campaign trip to Florida in eight months. "It's pretty hard to make an argument that somehow you winning what is essentially a name recognition contest in Florida was a good measure of electoral strength there."
This week ABC News notes the harder line on this matter that has evolved from Clinton's campaign - it's 100% or nothing. Hmmm - is that change due to Obama saying no way, Hosea - no VP slot?

Jonanthan Chait, writing Clinton's Shocking Florida Gambit over at The New Republic, does not mince words:

But this episode is very revealing about Clinton's character. I try not to make moralistic characterological judgments about politicians, because all politicians compromise their ideals in the pursuit of power. There are no angels in this business. Clinton's gambit, however, truly is breathtaking.

If she's consciously lying, it's a shockingly cynical move. I don't think she's lying. I think she's so convinced of her own morality and historical importance that she can whip herself into a moralistic fervor to support nearly any position that might benefit her, however crass and sleazy. It's not just that she's convinced herself it's okay to try to steal the nomination, she has also appropriated the most sacred legacies of liberalism for her effort to do so. She is proving herself temperamentally unfit for the presidency.

Maybe Ellen Ladowsky was right. Two weeks ago I wrote about Ladowsky's view (put forth at and at The Huffington Post) that Hillary's inner reality is not accurate, not based on facts. Her analysis was in the context of Hillary's Bosnia lie, which similarly to Chait, Ladowsky assessed that Hillary believed she was telling the truth about ducking sniper fire. And Ladowsky hinted that it didn't bode well for her to see the writing on the wall when the time came to drop out. And her irritation and anger at being proved wrong (and pushed out of her physic reality) also does not bode well for her going gracefully off stage right.

As any one familiar with very helpful Slate's delegate counter knew, after March 5th, Hillary could not win. She has not only been deluding herself but most of America not paying attention. The media went along as their ratings are ripe and healthy.

Think of all those people who donated $22 million dollars to her campaign in April. For what? A pipe dream? Her ego?

Notwithstanding The Field's report, I won't feel safe that she really gone until she's gone - out of the race and with another announced as VP.

No comments: