Hillary's Last Gasp as a Contender?

“You know, no matter what happens in this contest, and I am honored. I am honored to be here with Barack Obama. I am absolutely honored. ..We are going to be fine.”  — Sen. Hillary Clinton, February 21 in Texas

“Shame on you, Barack Obama….It’s time you ran a campaign consistent with your messages in public.”  — Sen. Hillary Clinton, February 22 in Ohio

Does a week make a difference? The two statements above were made, one at the debate in Texas and the other the day after and were the first two statements that were referenced in last night’s debate.

Last week, Hillary Clinton sounded almost vulnerable, almost resigned to the fact that her unbeatable status was over and that Barack Obama will be the nominee of her party. Is the Era of Clinton over? Not so fast. While she was a bit lackluster in her responses, she was not backing down. But gone were the longing looks and smiles up to Barack Obama — mostly glares and tapping fingers this time.

By Tuesday night, the look of love was gone. The both played the class warfare card very subtly. As if to say, “I’m okay, you’re okay — but the rest of these poor dolts in America don’t have a chance.” Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both shared stories of people who were out of work or without insurance and they contend that without the federal government, these folks can’t succeed.

Between now and Tuesday, the old Hillary will be in full force but the mainstream media doesn’t know how to handle her. Many in the Obamamania world of the mainstreamers hoped that her words on Thursday night would be the white flag, but they read her wrong. She’s out there swinging again. The Russerts and the Williams of the world may think the Clinton’s want what is best for the Democrat Party. Nothing could be further from the truth. But in the love fest that ensued by the NBC commentators immediately following the debate gave credibility to Hillary’s issue on how she been treated in these debates.

It will be hard to believe that Hillary Clinton will not fight with her last breath for the nomination of that party. The Clintons do not care who they have to betray or hurt in the process because they believe that anyone who is mad at them will have to vote for them in November because where else will they go? This time, if the fight goes to blood on the floor brokered convention, they will be wrong. Some of those voters won’t come back.
Hillary, are you listening? Even with every trick in your book, if Barack Obama wins Ohio or Texas, even you cannot pull this off. One of two things will happen. Either the super delegates will reflect their constituencies and vote for Obama or you will win the nomination with super delegates and will destroy your party. With Ralph Nader’s announcement as a candidate for president on Sunday, the lefties can go to him and the “moderates” can go to the Republican Party and if that happens, the Democrats will be decimated. Will Mrs. Clinton do what’s best for the party or do what is best for her? I think there is no contest in that. 

Think about the costs of this run for Clinton, Inc. First, we see the extravagant spending of the Clinton Campaign with Four Star hotels and donuts and snow shovels. Then, President Clinton goes from a kindly old guard guy who can raise money across the board for any need in the world to a guy who isn’t trusted by his own party. He made a career out of Democrats sticking by him. Now they are moving away from him fast.

Hillary and Bill believe that if they say it, it is so. And that in time, people will believe their version of events so the Clintons will be back on top. I see another side to all of this, a kind of silver lining. Perhaps the country will see these two for what they are: snake oil salesmen in a traveling road show who have had the truth finally catch up with them.

I was hoping for fireworks in Cleveland in the last Democrat debate before T-Day and the Texas and Ohio primaries, but they did not happen. The first round of applause from the audience came seventy-five minutes into a ninety minute debate over Obama’s concession to Clinton’s assertion that denouncing Minister Louis Farrakhan’s support was not as important as rejecting his support.  For a minute there I was flashing back to the meaning of the word “is.”

Hillary Clinton cannot change the impression that in the Democrat primaries, Barack Obama is viewed as the bridge to the 21st Century — I borrowed that slogan from the 1996 Clinton re-election campaign — and Hillary Clinton is viewed as the bridge back to the 20th Century — I borrowed that phrase from Barack Obama. Neither one of them looks very good in attack mode.

The biggest disappointment was there was no discussion of the biggest financial issues of our time. There was no discussion of entitlement reform and a 20 minute discussion about adding another entitlement — universal health care. These guys are of touch with the biggest problem on the horizon and one of the few that government can control — how they spend our money.  

Hillary Clinton is done and it’s only a question of when she will accept defeat. Will she take the party down with her or will she live to fight another day. It looks like the Democrats are trying as hard as they can to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. The presidency is the Democrats’ to lose and if John McCain is the nominee, he’s looking better every day.