Monday, April 07, 2008

What If Spartacus Was Running Hillary's Campaign ...

It's another "Would'a, Could'a, Should'a" screed today, surfacing from Sean Wilnentz over on Salon.

Hillary Clinton is a victim of a convoluted, eccentric, arcane, primary system, otherwise she'd be the breakaway, clear-cut winner in this thing.

His lead in this year's primary campaign is only due to that Obama gamed the system, that he is, in fact, running in a very un-Democratic manner.

Well, if money grew on trees, we wouldn't be in recession right now ...

Here's a couple of gems, from If the system made sense, Clinton would be far ahead; Under a winner-take-all primary system, Hillary Clinton would have a wide lead over Barack Obama -- and enough delegates to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination by June
These arguments might be compelling if Obama's leads were not so reliant on certain eccentricities in the current Democratic nominating process, as well as on some blatantly anti-democratic maneuvers by the Obama campaign. Obama's advantage hinges on a system that, whatever the actual intentions behind it, seems custom-made to hobble Democratic chances in the fall. It depends on ignoring one of the central principles of American electoral politics, one that will be operative on a state-by-state basis this November, which is that the winner takes all. If the Democrats ran their nominating process the way we run our general elections, Sen. Hillary Clinton would have a commanding lead in the delegate count, one that will only grow more commanding after the next round of primaries, and all questions about which of the two Democratic contenders is more electable would be moot.
In the final analysis, though, the fights inside the Democratic Party aren't really about either an ideal American democracy or the American democracy that actually exists. According to the Obama campaign, democracy is defined as whatever helps Barack Obama win the Democratic nomination. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with a candidate arguing this way. But everybody should see it for what it is -- not something new or transformative, but one of the oldest ploys in the playbook of American politics.

Oh Brother! ...

The Clintonistas must be relieved to know that Hillary doesn't have any responsibility for her abysmal failure.

Her arrogant posture of inevitability, her defending her vote on Iraq, her fabrications, her lies ...

None of that matters.

Hillary Clinton is losing because of an unfair system.

We'll be hearing a lot of that, no doubt ... Multiple variations of it will come hurtling down the pike, more-and-more, as the primary campaign wraps up, and Her Highness continues to falter.

Gee, what would have happened if Spartacus was running Hillary's campaign?

Bonus Links

James Joyner, from Outside The Beltway has a similar themed piece, Hillary Clinton a Victim of the System
Regardless, these are the rules of the game. Quite frequently, the baseball team with more hits or the football team with more offensive yards nonetheless loses. Or, as we saw in 2000, the candidate with fewer popular votes gets elected president. Clinton chose to concentrate her efforts in the large states while Obama contested all the minor caucuses, picking up easy wins. It turns out that his strategy was better.

From the other side of the fence, Little Billy Kristol chimes in with "The Shape of the Race to Come"
Apart from accumulating a few frequent flier miles, what do I have to show for my travels? I can report that lots of conservatives and Republicans expect Barack Obama to be our next president.

But a surprising number of Democrats with whom I’ve spoken expect a McCain victory. One told me he was struck by the current polls showing a dead-even race, suggesting both a surprising openness to McCain among Americans who disapprove of Bush and a striking hesitation among the same voters about Obama.

And an experienced Democratic operative e-mailed: “Finally, I think [McCain’s] going to win. Obama isn’t growing in stature. Once I thought he could be Jimmy Carter, but now he reminds me more of Michael Dukakis with the flag lapel thing and defending Wright. Plus he doesn’t have a clue how to talk to the middle class. He’s in the Stevenson reform mold out of Illinois, with a dash of Harvard disease thrown in.”

In a close race, that “dash of Harvard disease” could be the difference.

And, to offer Hillary a lifeline, her former campaign manger is launching "Hillary/Obama '08"

Marc Ambinder has it in Ex-Clinton Insider Launches Unity Ticket Drive
Hillary/Obama '08 becomes official today. In a way.

A Clinton insider who served as ex campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle's executive assistant for several years has set up a new website, and plans to register with the Federal Election Commission today.

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