Friday, May 16, 2008

'She knows the reality'

Once inevitable, now impossible:

Via Hot Air, as Ed Morrissey summarizes:
Bad news, Chaosters — it looks like Hillary Clinton will throw in the towel before the convention. According to Andrea Mitchell at MS-NBC, the big loss in North Carolina and the narrow win in Indiana has convinced even the Clintons that they just can't get to the nomination. Mitchell says that Team Hillary is just "going through the motions."
Michelle Malkin offers mournful music.

UPDATE: I've gone on the road three times to cover the Hillary campaign for The American Spectator. It began as more or less a whim in late March, when I saw that all the experts were lining up to declare the Clinton candidacy dead. "What the heck, let's go see the gotterdammerung," I said to myself, and off I went to Pennsylvania.

What I saw in Greensburg, Pa., however, was not a campaign feebly playing out the string, but rather enthusiastic crowds and a candidate who refused to quit:
Trailing badly in the fourth quarter of her campaign for the Democratic nomination, Hillary may yet lose, but she seems determined not to quit until the final whistle.
Asked Tuesday if she was feeling pressure to get out of the race, Mrs. Clinton answered, "The most common thing the people say -- it happened here, it happened last night, it happens everywhere I go -- is, 'Don't give up,' 'Keep going,' 'We're with you.' And I feel very good about that, because that's what I intend to do."
I next caught up with Hillary in Harrisburg on the eve of her April 22 Pennsylvania victory:
Almost all observers expect Hillary to win today's primary in a state where every credible poll has shown her leading since last year. But if she can win by the double-digit margin suggested by the internal poll the Clinton campaign leaked to Drudge yesterday, Hillary's people are ready to declare a momentum shift based on Obama's apparent inability to win in states that will be major battlegrounds in November.
"Senator Obama has been outspending us three-to-one here in Pennsylvania,"
[Clinton spokesman Mo] Elleithee said. "I think a lot of people are going to have to ask the question, if he fails to win here, despite outspending us three-to-one -- which would be the same pattern as we saw in Texas and Ohio -- he's going to have to start answering a lot of questions as to why.
"Why can't he close the sale? Why can't he win in these big states, and these swing states in the general election?"
That win kept her in the game another two weeks, but the May 6 results blunted her momentum. By the time she reached West Virginia the next day, the press was again hounding her to quit:
Hillary's supporters cheered and chanted her name at the West Virginia event, but reporters pounced at a post-rally press conference, suggesting it might be time for her to strike the tent. Does her vow to keep fighting, asked one network TV reporter, mean that Clinton will continue her campaign all the way until the vote on the convention floor in Denver?
"I'm staying in this race until there's a nominee, and I obviously am going to work as hard as I can to become that nominee," she answered. "So we will continue to contest these elections and move forward." . . .
A few minutes before Hillary's Shepherdstown speech, Clinton spokesman Mo Elleithee dismissed doomsayers in the media."The pundits have counted us out since Iowa," he said. "The funny thing about elections is, the voters get to make up their own minds."Barring a decisive tsunami of superdelegate support to Obama, the campaign will continue.
Now, it seems, even her own campaign staff have accepted defeat, which is not the same as saying that they're quitting the fight. I chronicle and summarize Hillary's "Chaos" comeback in the June print edition of The American Spectator, soon available on newsstands everywhere. To subscribe to the Spectator (12 issues for a low, low $19.95), click here.

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