Mark Kleiman explains how numerically unlikely, at this point, Hillary Clinton’s chances of obtaining the Democratic nomination are. Sneak preview: they are very, very, very low indeed.
Her numbers were next to impossible even before March 4th. I honestly don’t understand what her strategy is. If she had some sort of game-winner dirt or issue, we would have seen it already. The only possible explanation I have is that she’s hoping Obama makes a world-ending-level screwup, but even that doesn’t make sense, because she doesn’t need to campaign to do that; if he screwed up bad enough for her to win at this point, she’d be the presumptive nominee no matter what. I’m totally baffled by it.
And yet they’re now talking about contesting the Texas caucuses — which they have to know will be a bloodbath — indicating that (a) they’re still going to fight over things that even in the best-case scenario won’t change the numbers situation, and (b) they’re still hopelessly disorganized, because the problems with the Texas caucuses were obvious on March 5th, so there was no possible reason to wait until now to bring this up.
I must be missing something.
Near as I can figure, there are one of four possibilities–
1.) Clinton is trying to provoke/maneuver the Obama campaign into a full-blown PR meltdown, hoping to hit on some key factor that causes him to terribly embarrass himself and/or paint himself as the villain. Such a trainwreck is unlikely, but I don’t see many other ways she could get the nomination so far into the game.
2.) Clinton is convinced the party chiefs love and lust for her and that if she can stay alive until convention, then they will bend over backwards to deliver the nomination to her, regardless of the numbers.
3.) Clinton really, really believes in her campaign — like, Ralph Nader believes — and won’t say die because she sees herself as the final hope for America in these desperate times. In which case, we might see her emerge as a third party candidate on her own, if she can scrap together the funds.
4.) Clinton just needs to get close enough to Obama to decapitate him with a katana. Then all the power of Atlantis shall be hers! (Or the aliens, I forget how it works…)
5.) Play for the Veep slot.
6.) Damage Obama enough to open the way for a loss and a 2012 run. (I don’t buy this one, personally, but it would at least be kinda-sorta logical.)
I’m exhausted of the whole Clinton/Obama thing personally. Neither of them has done anything impressive enough, in a purely intellectual context, to earn my vote.
I’m voting for Kucinich. Fuck Darth Nader.
The one positive thing in all this is that candidates are ACTUALLY campaigning in Indiana. Sometimes I wish they would move our primary up a tad, so that it mattered. This time ’round, it actually might matter.
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