Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hillary's exit

Political columnist Jonathan Alter has some good advice for Hillary Clinton.
If Hillary Clinton wanted a graceful exit, she'd drop out now—before the March 4 Texas and Ohio primaries—and endorse Barack Obama. This would be terrible for people like me who have been dreaming of a brokered convention for decades. For selfish reasons, I want the story to stay compelling for as long as possible, which means I'm hoping for a battle into June for every last delegate and a bloody floor fight in late August in Denver. But to withdraw this week would be the best thing imaginable for Hillary's political career. She won't, of course, and for reasons that help explain why she's in so much trouble in the first place.
Click here to read the entire article in Newsweek.

It’s hard to imagine Clinton will take Alter’s suggestion to heart, at least not before the Texas and Ohio primaries on March 4. Still, he makes a good point. She has a window in time that won't stay open forever.

The shrill and desperate attacks Clinton has directed toward her front-running opponent in the last few days are not improving her crumbling position, but no doubt some of them will be heard again in Republican political ads down the campaign trail.

It is obvious that more and more Democratic voters are jumping on the Barack Obama bandwagon because his message of change and hope is going over well. Right message. Right messenger. Impeccable timing.

Basically, Clinton has run on her experience and the fact she is a woman; the implication being that the time has come for a female president. It hasn't worked, and now neither have her attacks. Barring a monumental stumble by Obama, he will win the nomination. If she times her departure well, it would be a boon to the Democratic Party’s prospects for unity this year.

Moreover, it would show her understanding of the moment, an understanding that would have her accepting that an Obama victory in November will be a shared triumph for which she has helped pave the way. Without the various social movements since the 1950s, which have empowered minorities, workers and women, the amazing Obama phenomenon of this campaign season would still be a dream.

Bowing out gracefully at the perfect time would be a classy move, which would be something new to her 35-year resume.

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