Someone Forgot To Tell Hillary It's Over

[ Posted Thursday, May 8th, 2008 – 14:34 UTC ]

Throughout the 2008 presidential campaign season, I have tried to remain scrupulously neutral among the Democratic candidates. I spotlighted the so-called "minor" and even "fringe" candidates, because I don't like the media declaring who is and who is not a viable candidate -- I feel that power should be reserved for the voters. Last Thanksgiving, I printed the full text of a speech from every single Democratic candidate because I thought it was the right thing to do -- give voters a side-by-side comparison of what the candidates were actually saying on the stump. I think it is pathetic that the news media -- print included -- do not routinely do this throughout the course of every election. And throughout the bruising battle since early February between the two candidates left standing, I have tried to bend over backwards to point out the good and the bad from both campaigns.

But there comes a time when any sane analyst looks at the math and says "it's over." And even though nobody apparently told Hillary Clinton, it is indeed over now. Barack Obama is going to be the Democratic nominee, unless he is struck by lightning tomorrow.

I say that the contest is over not as "an Obama supporter." Now that we have a Democratic nominee, I will be working hard to help him get elected in November, but only by focusing on John McCain and why he is going to be so easy to beat. I will still point out perceived flaws (and perceived excellence) in Obama's campaign, as I have been doing all along, because I still see myself as more journalist than "supporter." But a journalist with a sincere wish to see a Democrat in the White House -- I fully admit to that bias.

I will also publicly state that Obama was not the candidate I did support privately. I wanted to cast my vote for John Edwards, although he dropped out of the contest before I had a chance to. But even though I was an Edwards voter (or wannabe-voter), I don't think I ever showed any bias toward him in what I wrote.

So, having stated my position and my bias going forward, I have to turn to what is going on with Hillary Clinton.

Hillary can't win.

The true death knell for her campaign is going to come in a matter of days. I wrote about this last Monday -- back when the number of uncommitted superdelegates was around 300, and Hillary's lead among superdelegates had dropped from around 100 to 22. It is now a week and a half later, and her lead has shrunk from 22 to eight. Barack (using CNN's numbers) now has 258 superdelegates, to Clinton's 266. He has continued to pick up three or four for every one that she picks up. Meaning, possibly sometime this weekend, he is going to pass her in the race for superdelegates.

This will be the last domino to fall against the Clinton campaign. Barack Obama will then be in the outright lead in this race -- no matter how you count. He will lead in states won, popular vote, pledged delegates, and superdelegates.

Project out the rest of the race, if Hillary stays in -- she wins West Virginia by a huge margin, and Kentucky and Puerto Rico by smaller margins. Obama wins Oregon, Montana, and South Carolina. We get to June 3rd and even if Michigan and Florida are seated as Hillary wants, Barack Obama is still going to have enough delegates to win the nomination. This is important -- Barack will still be in the lead in every single category even if Hillary gets her way with Michigan and Florida.

This is all painfully obvious for anyone who cares to play around with the numbers. Obama's going to win. He's going to have it wrapped up before the convention. He can even be magnanimous and let Florida and Michigan into the shindig in Denver, and he is still going to win.

But, sadly, it seems that no one has told Hillary. She's out there campaigning away, when she should be negotiating her surrender to Obama (and begging him to pay her campaign debts, as has been rumored). Instead, she released the following letter today, from her campaign to Obama's. And note that she couldn't resist a few digs at Obama in the process.

Dear Senator Obama,

This has been an historic and exciting campaign. Millions of new voters have been brought into the process and their enthusiasm for the Democratic Party and the principles for which you and I have fought and continue to fight is unprecedented.

One of the foremost principles of our party is that citizens be allowed to vote and that those votes be counted. That principle is not currently being applied to the nearly 2.5 million people who voted in primaries in Florida and Michigan. Whoever emerges as the Democratic nominee will be hamstrung in the general election if a fair and quick resolution is not reached that ensures that the voices of these voters are heard. Our commitment now to this goal could be the difference between winning and losing in November.

I have consistently said that the votes cast in Florida and Michigan in January should be counted. We cannot ignore the fact that the people in those states took the time to be a part of this process and to make their preferences known. When efforts were untaken by leaders in those states to hold revotes to ensure that they had a voice in selecting our nominee, I supported those efforts. In Michigan, I supported a legislative effort to hold a revote that the Democratic National Committee said was in complete compliance with the party's rules. You did not support those efforts and your supporters in Michigan publicly opposed them. In Florida a number of revote options were proposed. I am not aware of any that you supported. In 2000, the Republicans won an election by successfully opposing a fair counting of votes in Florida. As Democrats, we must reject any proposals that would do the same.

Your commitment to the voters of these states must be clearly stated and your support for a fair and quick resolution must be clearly demonstrated.

I am asking you to join me in working with representatives from Florida and Michigan and the Democratic National Committee to arrive at a solution that honors the votes of the millions of people who went to the polls in Florida and Michigan. It is not enough to simply seat their representatives at the convention in Denver. The people of these great states, like the people who have voted and are to vote in other states, must have a voice in selecting our party's nominee.


Hillary Rodham Clinton

Senator Clinton, allow me to give you a piece of advice. When you're looking for Obama to pick up ten or twenty million dollars of your campaign debt, you might want to think about not being so snotty in letters you write to him. I mean, seriously -- "In Florida a number of revote options were proposed. I am not aware of any that you supported." -- this is supposed to heal the party and move forward?

Somebody, please... tell Hillary: "It's over."


-- Chris Weigant


13 Comments on “Someone Forgot To Tell Hillary It's Over”

  1. [1] 
    fstanley wrote:

    I have to agree that it does look like the nommination campaign is over and Sen. Obama has won. I think now is the time for Sen. Clinton to show her experience and class by withdrawing from the race.

    However, it is my experience that politicans do not always know when it is time for them to bow out gracefully and have to be given a shove.


  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'd like to give her a shove...and tell her not to let the door hit her on the way out.

    ..sour betcha!

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joe Biden..."minor...and even fringe"!? That the core.

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Elizabeth -

    Hey, c'mon, I said "so-called 'minor' or even 'fringe' candidates." I meant it as a commentary on the media, not the candidates. No disrespect intended... quite the opposite!


  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote: did say "so-called"...I can't read...sorry.

    But, do you REALLY believe that his biggest weakneess is a "tendency to run mouth without first engaging brain" or were you just pointing out that the "history of gaffes" is a media-driven national myth of epic proportions?

  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    I have a tendency to comment on blogs and posts that I have not bothered to read in full. It's a very bad habit that gets me into trouble sometimes. In this case, I should have known better - absolutely, positively, unequivocally! I don't like to admit to being the least bit sensitive to anything but I do have certain buttons, as they say, some of which tend to go off when they get looked at the wrong way! Well, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say - shout out loud, even! - that your readers have nothing to complain about when it comes to your great efforts to be fair and neutral, with all of the candidates. You have gone above and beyond the call of duty to do your part to inform the electorate and tell them what they need to know. If there were more journalists and bloggers out there who take as much care as you do in reporting on the people and issues who matter, with intelligence and humor, then the media would not be in the sorry state of affairs that it is today.

    Now, just one more thing about your examination of Biden...I don’t suppose anything can be done at this late stage to eliminate the word, ‘partition’, is there?...just kidding...sort of...

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    No better indication that the Dem Primary is over than that the blogosphere is rife with speculation regarding Obama's VP choice..

    Everyone seems to realize the dance is done. Except Hillary.

    Now, Obama has a real chance to impress me mightily and show me where he stands..

    Is he a Democrat first and foremost, who will choose Clinton as his VP for the good of the Party??

    Or will he state loudly and clearly that he is an American first and foremost and choose a VP that is best for the country??

    To paraphrase from the latest Pacino movie, 88 MINUTES.....

    "Tic Tock, Obama.. Tic Tock"...

    Good flick, by the way..


  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    "I have a tendency to comment on blogs and posts that I have not bothered to read in full. It's a very bad habit that gets me into trouble sometimes."

    You do that too!!?? Ain't dat a pisser!?? I hate it when I do that!! :D


  9. [9] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Elizabeth -

    I have to say, your first comment to Stan about not letting the door hit her was pretty funny...

    As for Biden's tendency to gaffes, I seem to remember having this conversation at the time with a certain "LizM" commenter over at the Huffington Post. And actually apologizing to "LizM" for the use of "partition."

    Heh heh.

    But I appreciate your kind words about my fairness. I really do strive for this goal, so to hear it back so strongly from a commenter is music to my ears.

    I do like Biden, really I do, but this just wasn't the year for him. Like the sign says, it's "reality-based political commentary" here at



  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    So, it just wasn’t Joe Biden’s time, eh? I feel compelled to set that record straight and then I will end my incessant harping, ad nauseam, about the senior senator from Delaware...or, at least, I’ll try not to sound like a bad broken record...all of the time... :-)

    It is not hyperbole to suggest that the next ten years will be a critical decade for America's future. The reality is that eight years of a unique and unprecedented blend of neoconservative-inspired hubris and incompetence have ensured that the next President of the United States will have virtually no margin for error as he is confronted with any number of critical foreign policy challenges along with the exciting opportunities that they will present. By 2009, we will all be in very desperate need of having someone in the White House with a finely tuned foreign policy prowess and comprehensive world view if the US hopes to protect Americans at home and begin to regain its credibility throughout the world and reclaim its global leadership role.

    The reality is that Senator Biden stood alone, head and shoulders above all of his rivals, in having the most relevant experience along side an unmatched depth and breadth of knowledge, with a demonstrated capacity for building bipartisan consensus by attracting the support of Republicans and independents and, most importantly, a proven track record for action, consistently resisting the status-quo conventional wisdom and working against the grain to make change happen.

    The reality is that Senator Biden is uniquely qualified to provide the kind of leadership that will be required to deal with the pressing issues of the day and to help define the role of the US in our post-9/11 world and radically change the course of the ship of state, at home and abroad. In a very real sense, he has spent his entire senate career learning about, preparing for, and acting to meet the critical challenges that face us all during this crucial time in history and restore honor to the promise of America.

    I would even go so far as to suggest that a Biden presidency was practically written in the stars and should have been a virtual coronation, all things considered! Unfortunately, too many people had their sights set quite a bit lower, willing and content to settle for so much less than the very best.

    And so, the reality is that this was EXACTLY Senator Biden’s time...unfortunately, for reasons that would be fodder for a whole other blog post, the electorate and media live in a fantasy-based world and failed to recognize great leadership when great leadership was bloody staring them squarely in their collective face.

  11. [11] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Elizabeth -

    I'm not disagreeing with you. I'd put it this way: "The Wizard of Oz" was a great movie. All around. Just a fantastic piece of filmmaking. I don't think anyone would disagree with that statement.

    But it didn't win Best Picture Oscar that year (1939, I believe).

    Because "Gone With The Wind" came out the same year.

    That's all I'm saying -- sometimes even deserving movies (or candidates) don't win, due to factors beyond their control.

    Hey, I like Biden. I pushed hard for his (and Gelb's) plan when it came out. At the time (and to this day) it seemed like the most intelligent plan ANYbody had for the aftermath of Iraq. And while it just didn't happen for him this year in the nomination race, I still think he'd make a great cabinet member!

    One question, though: does Delaware have a Democratic governor? It's going to be important to keep that seat in the Senate Democratic! Or maybe they're one of the states that hold special elections to fill vacancies, I don't know....


  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    You're gonna love this! Forget about the Governor - Delaware has someone much better than that if you're looking to fill a senate seat.

    I can hardly contain myself...are you ready for it and sitting down?

    Okay...Delaware has a Democratic Attorney General and his name is Beau Biden...yeah, the Senator's son.

    How does that grab ya!?

  13. [13] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Elizabeth -

    How in the world does anyone named "Beau" get elected outside of the state of Louisiana?

    Heh heh. Just kidding. The last name would more than make up for it, you're right!


Comments for this article are closed.