There will be no 2012 for Hillary Clinton

As I said recently, trying to read Hillary Clinton’s mind — and that of her famous husband — has become the new favorite parlor game of American politics. But then, why wouldn’t it be? It’s the question of the hour, after all: why is she still campaigning (and running up debt) when, from the standpoint of delegate statistics, she stands no chance of winning the nomination?

One widely held theory suggests a dark and devious motive: according to this view, Clinton wants Obama to lose so that the path will be open for her to run in 2012.

Personally, I don’t buy it: my guess is that living in the cocoon that encompasses all major campaigns, surrounded by adoring fans, she still believes she has a fighting chance at winning the nomination. As to what other, if any, less praiseworthy thoughts may invade her consciousness late at night, I prefer not to speculate.

The fears that give rise to such suspicions of skullduggery are, however, anything but illusory. By pushing forward with her campaign, Clinton is unquestionably harming Obama’s chances in November, at least to some degree. Although, in fairness, I should note that this too is controversial: many seemingly sentient observers insist that the ongoing bloodletting is actually just what the doctor ordered for Obama, by helping him to prepare for the coming GOP onslaught.

The problem with this cheery prognosis, I’m afraid, is that it underestimates the bitterness the race is engendering. Exit poll results continue to show an extraordinarily large number of Clinton supporters who at least claim they will refuse to vote for Obama.  

For awhile, the so-called ceasefire that’s been in effect since the North Carolina and Indiana primaries, with Clinton reducing the severity of her attacks on Obama, has muted these concerns. Unfortunately, it appears that declarations of the dawning of an era of universal Democratic brotherhood and sisterhood may have been premature.

As Josh Marshall notes in a post aptly titled “Toxic,” Clinton is again heightening the intraparty anger by upping the emotional ante on the Florida and Michigan delegations:

For the last week it’s seemed that Sens. Clinton and Obama were adhering to their tacit truce, continuing the primary campaign but avoiding the harsh exchanges that make later party unity a dimmer and dimmer prospect. Clinton particularly had deescalated her rhetoric. Then we have a speech like Sen. Clinton’s yesterday in Florida in which she compared the controversy over seating the Florida and Michigan delegates to the Florida recount debacle and many of the great voting and civil rights battles of the 20th century. She is of course also claiming that whatever the delegate count, she leads in the popular vote and that that is what really counts. Never mind of course that even if you count Michigan and Florida she’s still not ahead in the popular vote without resorting to tendentious methods of counting.

So, refusing to seat the Michigan and Florida delegates — something Hillary and her campaign team didn’t care a wit about until it proved beneficial to her — has now been elevated to the level of the great civil rights struggles of the last century and the theft of the presidency in 2000.

I guess we should be glad she didn’t throw in the persecution of the Israelites by the Pharaoh.

The problem with such nonsense — and I’m sorry, but it is nonsense — of course, isn’t that it will allow Hillary to strip Obama of the nomination. That isn’t going to happen.

No, as Marshall goes on to note, the big problem is that it’s pumping up Clinton’s supporters to believe that the nomination has been stolen from her: “a belief many won’t soon abandon.” And that could very well land John McCain in the White House.

So let’s play devil’s advocate: let’s assume that Hillary Clinton’s actions play a role in John McCain being elected, or even that they’re perceived as having played such a role. Under such a scenario, will Clinton, as so many pundits seem to assume, have a wide open path to the nomination in 2012?

Not a chance.

If Obama loses in November — after such tremendous hope for a Democratic year — there will be more than enough anger within the Democratic Party to go around. And Obama and his supporters won’t be the only ones tarred.

Sure, passionate Clinton supporters will scream I told you so until they’re even bluer in the face than they already are. Beltway pundits will declare that the party threw away its best chance at victory by letting those damn “hippies” rob Hillary of the prize (the same way they’d argue just the opposite were the roles reversed).  

But they’ll be plenty of screaming going back the other way, too. Millions of angry fingers will be pointed at Clinton, who will stand accused, fairly or unfairly, of sabotaging the ticket. The term “Ralph Nader Clinton,” or something close to it, will come into everyday use — count on it.

An Obama loss will lead to an inferno within the Democratic Party: and neither Obama nor Clinton will survive it with their presidential aspirations intact. Democrats will never want to walk down this same road again.

There’s no 2012 option for Hillary Clinton. And hopefully, for the sake of the party and the nation, she knows it.  

16 Responses to “There will be no 2012 for Hillary Clinton”

  1. VettaKing Says:

    Clinton supporters are flat out delusional. She has NOT had anything stolen from her. Even with her constant moving of the goal posts, Obama still leads in all the metrics. I just don’t understand what’s going on in the minds of these people. Hillary has no one to blame for her loss than herself, and her husband.
    BTW, here are the real stats, whenever a Hillary supporter wants to claim “stolen” just direct them here.

  2. christy Says:

    Clinton appears to be preparing a showdown at the Rules and Bylaws meeting May 31. It is certain to feed the anger and divisiveness you describe. Rachel Maddow at Huffington Post argues that the R and B Committee had better close down the issue, even if means giving Clinton all the FL/MI delegates, so that she will have no rationale for continuing to say she will “take the fight all the way to the convention.’ And she wants to take it to the convention simply to buy time and keep a little hope alive. At the peril of the party and its nominee.

  3. Chuck Says:

    As an old geezer, I would like to say that I hope Hill sticks it out. She probably won’t make it, but she has shown/proven that in the U.S., as in so many other countries, women are just as viable a leader as has been shown in several other countries over many millennia. Just ask my wife.

  4. juliinjax Says:

    She has to go NOW. This is after the remarks in Sioux City re: the possibility of assassination. She’s ill and tired and delusional and needs to stay on in Peurto Rico for a nice long vacation, after which she should announce her plans to leave politics for work in the Clinton Foundation. The cause of Women’s Rights around the globe would be well-suited for Sen. Clinton, and would do much to rehabilitate her now-broken reputation in the Democratic Party. Of course, there’s also the choice to join Joe Lieberman in purgatory and become an Independent Democrat/DINO and pursue her political ambitions by threatening to obliterate any nation or culture that does not meet up with her criteria du jour for being a friend to the USA. Maybe she can run with McCain and get all the Whitest votes from every state. In any event Clinton is no longer a viable Democratic presidential candidate, and in my opinion, a very sad and sorry human being for hoping she has a chance a the Nomination because Obama JUST MIGHT get assassinated in June.

  5. alwayshope Says:

    As I’ve said before, I like both candidates and I agree with Chuck.
    Maybe instead of everyone screaming for Senator Clinton to quit….they should have the guts and the willingness to defeat her! The rules committee has had plenty of time to decide about Mich. and Fla. What are they waiting for? The superdelegates can announce for Obama and take him over the top.
    Why don’t they? These people don’t have the courage to defeat her so they just keep whining for her to quit. Sure, that would make it easier for them but why does she have to quit just so these guys don’t have to do their job?
    Now they’ll want to accuse her viciously (about her Bobby Kennedy remarks) of unspeakable and unfounded assassination threats. It’s bizarre.
    And if Senator Obama doesn’t want her for his running mate, he should say so. He should announce, “There will be no dream ticket, people, get over it.”
    That way we all know where he stands.
    Why is Hillary still in this fight? Because she’s tougher than all of those delegates and pundits and heads of the DNC all put together, that’s why.
    I find it hilarious that her opponents want to squeeze her, berate her and shame her instead of confronting her. If Senator Obama can’t work out an agreement with her, what does that say about his diplomatic skills? How can he pretend to have the ability to negotiate with Iran and Cuba and Korea and Palestine and Afghanistan and Pakistan and Syria if he can’t even negotiate with a sweetie like Hil? It’s just too easy to demonize her in order to get what they want. That’s why the GOP does it. I had hoped we would be better. Meanwhile, Obama sits on that high road, saying “I’m the nominee, somebody else please tell Hillary.” Nope. Do it yourself Mr. Nominee and a word of advise, “How to handle a woman?” Simply, love her, love her, love her.

  6. juliinjax Says:

    Alwayshope, i usually see eye to eye with you, and i do agree that Obama must make it perfectly clear to everyone that he cannot entertain the idea of Sen. Clinton as VP. I don’t think you understand the Democratic Party, though, and I’m talking about the Machine, not the voters. The Party Leader, the one who decides the platform, the agenda, and yes, the RULES is the President, not the Nominee. Bill Clinton is still the Head of the Democratic Party at this time. The Party has a chairman, currently Howard Dean, previously Terry McCauliff(sp?). Dean was voted in under the condition he would not run for President again in 2008, which was a distinct possibility with a similar albeit much smaller and less organized movement behind him as Sen. Obama has. Obama learned from Dean’s mistakes and has virtually bypassed the Democratic Party machine in each of the primary and caucus states. That’s what is really meant by grassroots in this case, and it is frightening and insulting to those of the Party ELITE who expect the Nominee to be beholden to them by the end of the Primary campaign. It has not happened with Obama, and so many of the old guard, who were nominated, funded and supported by the last Dem to win the White House, Bill Clinton, are in a quandry. They owe their positions of power within the Party to the Clintons, and are AFRAID to confront Sen. AND Bill Clinton, even if it is the right thing to do. I cannot agree with you that Hillary Clinton’s “toughness” is a reason for her to stay in the fight for the nomination. We have a “tough” and stubborn, determined and persistant “fighter” in the White House right now, who has declared a never surrender, “winning means victory” policy in Iraq. Do you find him admirable as well? Have we all forgotten what it is we are fighting for?

    I am fighting for a return to sunshine in government, such as having the healthcare policy negotiations, with all the players involved, broadcast live on CSPAN. And all earmarks posted online with author and funding amount for all to see. For negotiations with Iran, whose real leaders supported the US military in securing Afghanistan’s borders and fighting the Taliban in 2002-2003. Who gave up their nuclear weapons program in 2003, despite perpetual threats made by the Israelis who DO have nuclear weapons and missiles capable of targeting Iran. I am fighting for economic and social justice and a DOJ that is free from political agendas, even though I secretly long to see the entire BushCo administration frog-marched to a federal penitentiary. I am fighting for an executive branch with leadership that knows it is co-equal with the legislative and judicial branches, and does away with the practice of signing statements disregarding newly enacted laws. I am fighting for a Presidential candidate who respects and honors the Constitution; who represents my hopes and dreams for a nation united, not a house divided against itself.

    I gave Hillary Clinton my support, all the years she was tarred and feathered by the Right wing slimers. I rooted for her in her Senate race in New York and cheered her when in the devastation of the 911 attacks, she spoke up and spoke out about the health hazards of the rescue workers. I stopped cheering so loudly when she coauthored legislation to ban flag burning, and booed and hissed when she supported the authorization to use military force in Iraq, in a pre-emptive strike against a sovereign nation that was no imminent threat to our own. I booed when she voted for the use of cluster bombs in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. I’ve read It Takes A Village and Living History. I know her as well as a future constituent can know her, and she does not represent me, or my vision of what America stands for. She does not represent a Feminist Ideal, she does not represent Progressives or Liberals. She is to the Democrats what Kleebold was to Columbine High. She needs help, but most of all, she needs to be STOPPED from doing any further damage. Obama will risk the loss of Clinton crazy voters who swear on their mothers’ placentas that they will vote for John McCain if the nomination is “stolen” from her. I do agree with you, Alwayshope, that he will just have to bite the bullet and face the wrath and scorn of these spurned women. I hope he does it soon, so that they have time to come to their senses and vote for the Democratic Nominee in November.

  7. alwayshope Says:

    I expected to get some flack for my post and I deserve it so I’m glad it came from Juli because I just love to read her posts. First, I agree with you that Senator Clinton has made some terrible mistakes and the votes you mentioned broke my heart. Second, I don’t consider bush’s stubborn, incompetent intransigence to be toughness. And about the democratic party…..they have played into the hands of the GOP so much. It was the republicans in Michigan and Florida who pushed for legislation to move up the primary in those states. Then Dean, fell right into their trap by taking away ALL the delegates from them. It is his fear of negotiating with the Clintons that is causing the rest of us to fight with each other. My best girlfriends voted for Clinton and support her completely but they aren’t crazy…they’ll vote for Obama in the fall. They believe that a woman in the white house would bring a bigger change than any man could bring and I agree with them. They hate that the time is not now for a woman after having worked and hoped so long and hard for the dream to happen. When I look back at the really nasty campaigns of the past, I can’t see how this battle between Clinton and Obama has been so mean that they can’t reconcile. In my very red state of Indiana, it is women who are the liberals, who vote democratic and who know that their votes won’t matter this fall. That’s why so many considered the vote in May to be their only chance to make their votes count. The men may have been talking about race and flag pins and bowling but women didn’t give a hoot about those things. They simply wanted a woman because they saw that as the best opportunity to have their voices heard. Okay, that’s not going to happen but Obama needs to hear them and speak to them. His supporters fail to understand and accuse Hillary’s supporters of racism which only makes them drift farther away from him. Obama needs to tell these women that he does understand their views and their dreams. Sexism is as oppressive as racism and women and minorities have long worked together to overcome the barriers set by white men. Why not continue that working relationship? Why not ask Hillary to be VP? The Clinton baggage? Hell, everybody in the world has rummaged through that! His choice for VP will matter. Clinton is the obvious choice, it will unite us and make the GOP screaming mad. If we put the grassroots and the old machine together, the movement will only strenghten. Above all, Obama needs to know that in red states like mine, ONLY WOMEN will vote for him and if given the incentive they’ll work hard to talk the men into ignoring the NRA and vote in the interests of their family and their country.
    Lastly, Let the sunshine in! I couldn’t agree with you more. The only way we can stop the corruption of our government is to shine a light on it. And the frog march? That would be the kind of justice we can only dream of.
    The audacity of justice.
    Thanks for the arguement, Juli. I think it’s helpful that we all speak our minds and try to see and even change each others viewpoint. It’s probably hard to believe that I support Obama, given that I complain about him so much but I can’t help it, I like them both and get mad at both. I know I’ll talk my placenta swearing friends into voting for Barak Obama this fall but I’d like them to be enthusiastic about it. I’m trying to be, at Steve’s suggestion, I’ve even picked my Obamamaniac name,
    Wacksy Poetic

    Have a great Memorial Day weekend, everyone!
    Go Danica Patrick!

  8. juliinjax Says:

    Alwayshope is still my favorite screen name, and i Aways love reading your posts, as well as all the crew here at the Cafe. Wacksy Poetic is a super nom as well.

    I, too must apologize for my fervor, but I guess I feel jilted by Senator Clinton. I had such high hopes. Now I’m bitter, and clinging to my political religion and gunning for those who follow Karl Rove’s playbook.

    No, this is not the dirtiest campaign ever, but it is one of the dirtiest PRIMARY contests ever in my memory. I want it over, so we can all get to work on McCain’s a**!

    Peace to all, at home and abroad. And as to NASCAR: “It’s all about turning LEFT”.

  9. Larkrise Says:

    In our society, our culture, the person who sacrifices himself/herself for a greater good is still seen as noble. We remember the heroes of 9/11 with reverence. Unfortunately, for many, it is mostly an intellectual exercise. Emotions may quickly fade, leaving the more mundane: “Everyone loves a winner”; “Any means to an end”; “Whatever it takes…..”; etc. The object becomes winning at any cost. It does not matter about the harm it may cause; the lives it may ruin. We see this, of course, day after endless day in the depraved workings of the Bush Administration. That Hillary Clinton has succumbed to such selfishness speaks volumes about her character. She is displaying the same narcissistic obsessiveness that is a hallmark of George W. Bush. I truly believe she once possessed ideals and concern for the greater good. However, somewhere after her vote for the Iraq War , those ideals began to fade. Her fervor is now self-centered. This seems to be a flaw that runs in the character of very ambitious politicians. Certainly, Lyndon Johnson was another President who lost sight of the forest for the trees. Richard Nixon, obviously, was another one. To run for President takes enormous committment, ambition, dedication, energy, intelligence and skill. But, it also takes a very strong ego. There is a balancing act that must take place, if that person is to govern wisely and skilllfully. Once ego takes top priority, the country WILL suffer the consequences. Hillary no longer , and in my opinion, has not for some time, been able to balance her desire to win with a gemuine committment to the greater good. She has espoused as her mantra, “Any means to an end.” If it harms the country, if it harms the party, if it harms Senator Obama, she no longer cares. She is unable to see how this degrades her own image nor how it shows lack of character. It is actually a tremendous loss for a woman, who should be capable of a much higher standard of behavior. She has lost her way. That is her real defeat.

  10. alwayshope Says:

    “I feel jilted by Senator Clinton. I had such high hopes. Now I’m bitter, and clinging to my political religion and gunning for those who follow Karl Rove’s playbook.”

    That’s funny.

    Just to clarify:
    I don’t care at all about NASCAR but in Indiana, you can’t drive 2 miles without running into a race party for the Indy 500. It’s one of those traditions that is so much fun you just keep doing it year after year. We went to two cookouts yesterday. I drank a few too many beers but still avoided the subject of politics mostly. I hate to argue with my right-wing friends at a party but I have all summer to try to bring them around. There was one political moment that didn’t turn into an arguement, but was kind of funny.
    You see, I volunteer for a wildlife rescue organization. I am usually assigned to rescuing raptors and ducks(the fun part: I get to release them after they are healed right back where they were found) and a friend ask me yesterday how we were getting along at center. She knows that in the spring we are overwhelmed by calls from people who have found orphaned or wounded baby birds and fawns and raccoons and opossums and such. I said that this week I had driven 40 miles to pick a baby coyote and 50 miles to transport a baby grackle. One of the guys said ” I would shoot either of those if I saw them around my house. I understand saving a great horned owl or a red-tailed hawk but why would you waste gas on a grackle?”
    I said, “I don’t discriminate.” He said ” Oh great, she probably voted for Obama.” I said, “That’s right but if I had found John McCain by the roadside with both of his right wings broken, I would have taken him for help too. Although, when it came time to release him, I might dress him up like a coyote, drop him off at your house and watch for you to drop an anvil on his head.” He said, “Oh great, now every time I see a coyote, I’m going to think of John McCain as Wily Coyote!”
    I said, “My work here is done…beep beep.”

  11. alwayshope Says:

    I’ve been reading so much these last weeks about suicide and rape in the military. Today, I read that the US military had to create a task force in Japan to prevent escalating attacks on teenage Japanese girls. The VA reports 1,000 suicide attempts per month, 18 vets kill themselves every day. One third of women serving in Iraq have been sexually molested. There are 300,000 soldiers with PTSD, 320,000 with traumatic brain injury, 300,000 waiting for disability claims to be processed. The VA tries to hide these facts rather than care for our troops. The Pentagon reports the number of wounded(31, 950) but doens’t mention that they have two other catagories for that: Injured (10,180) and Ill (28,450). The VA is discouraging doctors from diagnosing PTSD because it’s too expensive and time consuming.
    The costs of this war are hidden from us because THEY, not we, can’t handle the truth. The torturer-in-chief and his dark partner in crime have shredded the code of honor and have encouraged violence against civilians to a degree that is unconscionable to our soldiers. They have been asked to not only sacrifice their lives, but also their humanity.
    The dismissiveness, secrecy and brutality of the bush adminstration has caused this breakdown. We can ignore the costs only until the payments come due and the cost to our military will be extreme if we don’t get some moral leadership soon. Somehow Americans need to be made aware that continuing the immoral policies of aggression, destruction and dismissal is much more dangerous to us that Ahmadinnerjacket.
    CBS didn’t even follow up on their suicide investigation, the MSM doesn’t bother reporting any costs or consequences that are uncomfortable for the white house.
    This freaking handbasket gets more crowded everyday.

  12. Chuck Says:

    Hope: I was talking to one of the crows outside my home the other day, (a loud talkative bunch and a bit of a pest too, especially when they go after the hawk,) and he mentioned something about a distant cousin called Grk getting help from a human. I wonder if that was you?

  13. Chuck Says:

    Hope: I was talking to one of the crows outside my home the other day, (a loud talkative bunch and a bit of a pest too, especially when they go after the hawk,) and he mentioned something about a distant cousin called Grk getting help from a human. I wonder if that was you?

    Larkrise & Hope: To re-quote Michael Wolfe; “Conservatives cannot govern for the same reason that vegetarians cannot prepare world class boef bourguignon: if you believe what you are called upon to do is wrong, you are unlikely to do it very well….As a way of governing, conservatism is another name for disaster.” And also, to quote a 1940 lecture by Bertrand Russel, ” Lying is thus a derivative activity, which presupposes truth-speaking as the usual rule.” That “usual rule” part seems to leave out a good portion of politicians doesn’t it?

  14. alwayshope Says:

    I’ll say hello to Grk from his cousin next time I see the fuzzy little squawker.
    He too is a loud talkative little guy. We also have a very large crow at the center. Quite an interesting and intelligent fellow, I’ll bet he could tell some good stories, but I can’t understand a thing he says, although he has such a twinkle in his eye and a kind of laugh, I wish I could talk to him.

  15. alwayshope Says:

    Hey Larkrise,
    Good to hear from you. I was beginning to wonder if you and Chuck had gone back to Italy. Then you both turn up on the same day….hmmmm…

  16. Larkrise Says:

    Continuing problems with my computer have kept me tearing out my hair. My son visitied from Orlando and was able to fix some of the problems. Wish I had been in Italy. This wet, cool weather has not been kindly to my joints. Makes the flowers grow, though.

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