Monday, June 30, 2008

Sheehy on Hillary

While covering the Clinton campaign in Shepherdstown, W.Va., I happened to find myself seated next to Gail Sheehy at a post-rally press conference. We chatted briefly, and I recalled to her the scene six weeks earlier in Greensburg, Pa., where Hillary drew an enthusiastic crowd of supporters even as every political reporter in Washington was declaring her mathematically eliminated from winning the nomination.

Sheehy's now produced her excellent account of the Clinton campaign in Vanity Fair, which begins with a startling revelation:
"Are you here for the Deathwatch?"
That was how my friends in the traveling press corps welcomed me into the bub­ble of the Clinton campaign plane. It was three days before the March 4 Democratic primaries in Ohio and Texas, and they were boarding the 737 with the sullen obedience of inmates after an outing in the yard. Some had been following the once inevitable front-runner since the January 3 Iowa caucus when she was first pronounced to be in a "slump."
The traveling press corps -- the full-time national campaign correspondents from the networks, the major papers and the Associated Press --were relentlessly hostile to Hillary all the way to the end. The reason was simple and obvious: They're liberals, and liberals love Obama.

Hillary Clinton was not beaten in the primaries. If it was up to primary voters, she'd be going all the way to Denver, with a fair chance to win the floor fight for the nomination.

Hillary was beaten by the media, which after Iowa began to portray her as already beaten. By the time the campaign reached Pennsylvania in March, the media were declaring Hillary doomed because they wanted her to be doomed. If she was doomed, after all, there was no reason why the super-delegates shouldn't endorse Obama.

The media declared Obama the winner, and that encouraged the superdelegates to endorse Obama. Even today -- on June 30 -- Obama doesn't have enough pledged delegates to win the nomination. Hillary won the popular vote. It is only because of the superdelegates that he has claimed the nomination, and the media is responsible for that.

The Democratic Party has allowed the media to choose its candidate, and Hillary would be entirely justified if she said, "Fine. They media's got their candidate. Let the media get him elected."

Running mate? What does she want with that loser gig? She spent millions of dollars of her own money on this campaign, and she wasn't running for vice president. Let that backstabber Chris Dodd have the VP slot, what does she care? Hillary should take a long, well-deserved vacation, and then start working up a book proposal to recoup the money she lost in this campaign.

Maybe Obama can win it by himself. After all, he walks on water every Wednesday, heals lepers on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and raises the dead every weekend, right? Let the Anointed One make his own path, and fare-thee-well.

But if Obama loses ... Heh. If Obama loses ...

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