I'm a Pundit Too

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Can Things Get Any Worse For Hillary?

Could Hillary Clinton’s week get any worse? She started the week realizing that her perceived momentum swing of winning primaries had swung back in the direction of Barack Obama. Obama picked up a win over the weekend in the Wyoming caucuses. He later added Mississippi to his long list of states won. Of course Senator Clinton is banking on a big win in Pennsylvania on April 23 to lend credence to her notion that Obama can’t win the big states. At this point in the race for the nomination, it is highly unlikely that either candidate will win the required pledged delegates to claim the nomination. Obama will clearly have the lead in the delegate count and the popular vote by the convention convenes in Denver, but the Clintons are not about to let that simple fact stop them from their quest to regain presidential power.

The tight race has begun to turn vicious. This week, former Vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro made the assertion that Obama would not even be a viable candidate in this race if he were a white man. The obvious response from the Obama campaign was to cry racism. Hillary Clinton denounced the remarks made by one of her high profile supporters, and Ferraro eventually left the campaign. She is still all over the news networks claiming that the Obama campaign is making too much of her comments. She has pointed out that when she was nominated to be Vice President in 1984, the same claims were made about her and her gender; which she acknowledged was true. The Obama supporters point out that she made similar claims against the Reverend Jesse Jackson during the 1984 campaign.

Another headline that the Clinton camp wishes would go away is the story of Democratic Governor Elliot Spitzer. Spitzer resigned in disgrace this week, after the news broke about his connection with a high priced prostitution ring. Spitzer was caught on tape setting up payment, transportation, and the appointment for an “encounter” with a “lady of the evening”. Spitzer is a supporter of Clinton’s and a super delegate. This is not the first headache that he has caused for Hillary. Earlier in the campaign, his proposal to grant legal driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants caused Clinton to stumble several times to give a definitive answer on where she stood on the idea. After taking every side of the issue, sometime within the same statement, she eventually stated her opposition for the idea. Spitzer’s proposal was shelved for future consideration.

Another bit of news emerged recently that does not bode well for either candidate. A Pew Research poll was released showing that a growing majority of Americans believe that we are wining the war in Iraq. They also showed that less Americans know how many troops have died during the war than knew just a few short months ago. They showed that since August, which is about the time that the news of the success of the surge started emerging, the news media has been covering less and less of the war. Both candidates had staked their claim to bringing home the troops immediately upon entering office. Now that the war is going well, and public opinion has shifted, what side of the issue will they take? It is harder for them to deny their positions when we have ready access to everything they have ever said.

In the weeks leading up to the next big showdown in Pennsylvania, the campaign is likely to become even dirtier. With a huge majority of women supporting Clinton, and overwhelming majority of African-Americans supporting Obama, both campaign will pull out all of the stops to try to sway the Latino and the white male vote. There are early signs that both sides will stoop to the lowest levels to try to scare voters to their particular side. With a primary season that is rapidly turning bloody, we have to wonder what the fallout will be from such a race. I can’t help but wonder what the demographics of the Democratic party will be after this campaign. After all, the lines are not just drawn along racial lines, but also along gender lines. Neither side is going to take losing lying down.

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