Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Clinton Campaign

If you didn't notice, Hillary Clinton visited Palm Beach, Dade, and Broward counties in Florida today. That's an evocative itinerary to be sure, and not one that presages a graceful resolution to the Democratic nomination fight.

Rachel Maddow:

She is sending a message that is not being received... There is nothing that she is saying that is signifying that she's getting out of this race. If the Obama people and Obama supporters believe that something organic is going to happen after another magical two week period passes, they are deluding themselves. If they want her out of the race, they're gonna have to push her. If her only way to get the nomination, if her only way to win, is to win at the convention... then it is a matter of strategic importance for Obama to figure out a way to get her out of the race even if he looks mean doing it.

As John Chait noted, Clinton and her supporters have developed a samurai-like "culture of perseverance" that holds--even when victory is no longer a possibility--that surrender is morally inferior to defeat. There will never come a time when Clinton says to herself, "Well, okay. The voters made the call." She will remain in the race because it remains in her interest to do so. Moreover, she will remain so long as she can avoid a loss of face that she would perceive as worse than conceding defeat.

It follows that no amount of niceness and courtesy will persuade Clinton to pack her bags; that's not a pleasant reality, but it's the one we face.

No comments: