Everyone thinks it's over for Hillary Clinton. The TV pundits are convinced that the Democratic nomination is essentially settled. Obama has been making gracious acceptance speeches for weeks now, but not even the very strong hints being dropped on a daily basis by superdelegates, media analysts and Democratic Party elders have yet managed to elicit the requisite concession speech.
But that's a speech that may never come. A recent national survey by Rasmussen showed that the percentage of Democrats who want Hillary to drop out of the race has actually declined to only 32 percent. More ominously for Obama, nearly as many Democrats – 29 percent – want her to run for the White House as an Independent. Interestingly enough, this pro-Hillary faction isn't entirely limited to the blackskirt brigade of Clintonistas who want Obama to drop out of the race, an incredible 23 percent of the party that Rasmussen reports has remained "quite consistent through all surveys on the topic."
The problem faced by Obama is that he is not dealing with a male rival, with whom he can expect to exchange a handshake and a ritual exchange of mutually complimentary speeches honoring the hard-fought but fair competition. That is the way men play their games; the only reason that the media expects presidential candidates to comport themselves in this manner is because, hitherto, the presidential candidates have been men. Hillary, in case you have somehow failed to notice, is not a man, and therefore cannot be expected to compete like a man.
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Nor does she think like one. As any man who has ever argued with a woman knows, women tend to be especially skilled at creating their own emotional realities. Any connection between objective reality and this emotional reality is largely incidental, and when the two come into conflict, the former is usually abandoned in favor of the latter. Both logic and uncomfortable facts are disdained in favor of a selection bias that only accepts those facts which support the emotional thesis in an irrational process of rationalization. That Hillary Clinton is given to such rationalizations is not really debatable; one need only consider her bizarre fabrication of Bosnian sniper fire to know that she is capable of believing whatever she wants to believe.
The rational perspective strongly supports the Obama hypothesis. He has won a majority of Democratic delegates, the superdelegate pledges are trending his way, he has won over the media and he has won the financial contributions game. Hillary has lost her air of inevitability, she doesn't have enough delegates to win, the media is against her and her campaign is broke. Running as an Independent makes no sense, because with such strong electoral winds at the Democratic Party's back, splitting the party between two strong Democratic candidates is about the only hope that Republicans have of seeing John McCain succeed George Bush '43. The logical thing, the practical thing, the sensible thing, is for Hillary to negotiate the best deal she can with Obama, accept her loss and return to the U.S. Senate.
It's a done deal, right? After all, the only thing that stands in the way is a woman choosing the sensible thing over what she desperately wants and resisting the urge to cut off her party's nose to spite its face.
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One can't even truthfully say that a decision to stick it out and fight for the nomination on the floor of the convention would be devoid of sense, seeing how the recent surveys and Obama's inability to put Hillary away demonstrate his genuine weakness as a national candidate. Her campaign missteps, delusional historical sense and constant gaffes notwithstanding, Hillary is the stronger candidate in the general election. McCain may be nothing more than the expected sacrificial lamb, but he is a sacrificial lamb still capable of walking over a Hamas-endorsed Black Panther named Hussein.
Hillary simply doesn't need the hard-core Obama vote to win the presidency the way Obama needs hers. An Obama Democrat is never going to vote for John McCain, fully half of Hillary's Democrats would at least contemplate doing so. And yet, while she can sink Obama with an independent run, she pretty much ensures her own failure as well. So, an effective strategy for Hillary would be for her to threaten an independent run that would ensure Obama's ruin in November, then offer Obama the vice-presidency, a deal potentially sweetened by a secret one-term pledge and a number of cabinet choices. This gives everyone what they really want, as Obama gets to continue playing saint while significantly improving his chances of eventually winning the presidency in the general election, Hillary gets her historic win for women, and the Democrats wipe out McCain en route to an expected three terms in the White House.
Now, trusting Hillary to keep her word and make way in four years might seem insane, but then, with the woman already musing openly about assassinations, it's arguably the prudent route for Sen. Obama.