I’m going to go against prevailing wisdom, and call for Hillary Clinton to stay in the race. What’s more, I want her to dig up as much as she possibly can that might be damaging about Barack Obama, and throw it at him now, in the primary election.
There are calls right now all over the Democratic leadership and the mainstream media that Hillary Clinton is ruining the chance for the Democrats to win the upcoming election by staying in. The prevailing wisdom is that, by not having picked a nominee yet, the Democratic party is damaging itself with internal squabbles while the Republican party is raising money, resting, and John McCain is “looking Presidential” with trips overseas.
The traditional wisdom might be true, if almost anyone other than Barack Obama was the nominee. As it is, Hillary may be doing the Obama campaign the biggest favor that it can, by running the typical kind of Clinton Dirty Tricks campaign… not that they realize that is what they are doing.
Like it or not, Barack Obama is going to be the Democratic Nominee. Everyone knows this, including the Clintons. Hillary Clinton is staying in the race because she is deliberately trying to weaken Obama for the general election… on the idea that if McCain wins she can run against him in 4 years, where as if Obama wins then he will be re-nominated in 4 years, and it would then be 8 years before Hillary could run again.
As I said, if Obama were the typical Democratic Presidential candidate, that might be true. But he is not… and I think that, in the long run, Clinton’s dirty tricks campaign is helping him, not hurting him.
Simply put, Obama is quite new in national level politics. Six years ago he was unknown outside of Chicago. Four years ago he was brand new on the national stage. In many ways, he has not been vetted like many politicians… he has not had many of his skeletons dug up and put on display. Hillary is digging up some of those skeletons and airing them out at a time they can do him, and the Democratic Party, the least amount of damage.
Let me use the issue with Rev. Jeremiah Wright as an example of what I mean. I have no doubt that Clinton staffers had something to do with bringing the comments he made in sermons to light, and I certainly know they have been instrumental in making sure that the “analysis” of those comments in the media have been done by people who know absolutely nothing about liberation theology. But, imagine this… imagine if those comments had surfaced in October, right before the general election, when Obama was in a close race with John McCain?
They would have been explosive, and would have brought the White House to the Republicans. Now, they are barely a blip in the primary process…
If I were in the Obama camp, I would be feeding anything at all I knew about Obama that could be damaging to the Clinton staff, and begging them to send it to the press. I would be singing loud and thunderous “Horrays!” every time some new damaging revelation about my candidate was released, because right now it can’t really hurt him. In October, it will be a whole ‘nother ballgame. But right now, the primary is a race he can’t lose.
Not only is this a great time to clear out any skeletons in Obama’s closet before the general election (including Tony Rezko, and if there are any affairs in his past lets trot them out) but he can also win points by taking the punches from Clinton and show good gravitas and grace by not attacking her… by staying focused on policy an on going after McCain. The shriller and more immature that he can get Hillary Clinton (or her husband) to sound, the more mature, experienced, and ready to be President Obama looks.
That, and it keeps him in the press. No one is paying a whit of attention to McCain. McCain went trotting all over the globe meeting with world leaders, and got very little press coverage. All of it is focused on Hillary and Obama.
So let Hillary Clinton stay in the race, a shrill voice digging up all the mud she can find and throwing it at the man who will be the Democratic nominee.
Let Bill Clinton keep being a smartass about the experience level of Barrack Obama. By the time the election comes around, that too will also be “old news”, and will therefore not be an effective weapon for McCain.
Let Bill keep having hissy-fits too, every time someone mention’s Bill Richardson’s name… that will just come in handy when (as I think he will) Obama declares Bill Richardson to be his running mate.
Let the Clinton campaign keep spending Bill and Hillary’s money looking for dirt on Obama. Heck, I hope someone in the Obama campaign is leaving unmarked envelopes filled with juicy secrets at their doorstep.
Because Barrack Obama is going to be the nominee, and we need to air out all of his skeletons sooner rather than later, and in the primary rather than in the general election.
Yours in Faith,