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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Don't Worry, Be Happy - Why Hillary May Still Have The Last Laugh

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There's little doubt (and hasn't been much in weeks, really) that Barack Obama is going to wrap up the Democratic nomination soon. In all likelihood neither he nor Hillary Clinton are going to pick up enough delegates after today's South Dakota and Montana primaries. Both of them will be standing there just shy of the finish line, battered, bloodied and short of breath. But the one standing a few feet closer to the finish line, the one with the most delegates tonight is going to get picked up and pushed over the that line by super-delegates eager to see the game end well in advance of the convention in August. And that one is going to be Barack Obama.

Time for Hillary to fold her tent and go home? Well it certainly sounds like it may be in the cards. Yesterday, everyone's favorite Lothario sounded like he was getting ready to turn out the lights.

Bill Clinton acknowledged Monday that today may be his last campaigning for his wife.

"I want to say also, that this may be the last day I'm ever involved in a campaign of this kind," the former president said at a town hall at the Milbank Visitor Center.

Clinton was talking about how his entire family was campaigning in South Dakota, and that he believed Hillary might surprise people in the primary Tuesday.

Acknowledging the campaign's likely fate, he went into more detail reflecting on the experience of stumping across the country for her.

"I thought I was out of politics, 'til Hillary decided to run," he said. "But it has been, one of the greatest honors of my life to go around and campaign for her for president. "

Hey, you big lug, chin up. There may still be some hope left yet. And Hillary probably knows it. According to the evil (and therefore close to the inner workings of the Democratic Party) Huffington Post,

Hillary Clinton has summoned top donors and backers to attend her
New York speech tomorrow night in an unusual move that is being widely interpreted to mean she plans to suspend her campaign and endorse Barack Obama - if not that night, within a day or two.

Well, "suspending" a campaign is not the same thing as "ending" one, especially in the the particular world in which the Clintons dwell where language is often more complex and nuanced than we, lesser beings usually understand it to be. (Remember if you will Bill claiming that he and Monica were never "alone" together because there were other people in the White House at the time. You know, like upstairs or four offices down the hall.) The "suspension" of a campaign leaves just enough daylight that a Clinton can wriggle through, too.

Also, Hillary has certainly taken the measure of Obama and has, no doubt done a forensic investigation of his background of such scrupulosity that the assembled casts of the entire CSI television franchise would be left breathless. She knows this guy is a time bomb. Already the Internet is buzzing with stories about video of Michelle Obama loosing it . And as more and more radical associates keep popping out of the woodwork, the gaffes keep piling up as well.

Hillary may yet have a surprise bombshell or two that she could still unload on Obama, although it seems likely that if she had one she'd have leaked it by now. But she may be counting on a slender thread of hope, the hope that Obama who is probably the most damaged, weakest, candidate in modern times will self-destruct before August. And if he does, who is a shocked and frightened Democratic Convention most likely to turn to? Actually, she could even come in on her white horse even if she were to technically end her campaign and release her delegates to Obama.

That would seem be a small hope until you take a look at Obama and when you do you start to see that Hillary may just have the last laugh after all.

Addendum: This morning, after writing the above I saw Democratic strategist Bob Beckel on Fox and Friends. He mentioned certain "rumors" floating around the Internet that involve Michelle Obama, obviously referring to the "Whitey" video that it is now being hinted will be released over the next day or two. While voicing some degree of skepticism about it he suggested that, if true it would profoundly effect the Obama campaign, although he demurred when it was suggested that Hillary might hold off of exiting the race until after its release. He looked shaken when speaking about it.

Don't worry, Hillary. Be happy.

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