Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Revisiting Hillary Dropping Out; Debate Tonight!

After I posted my prediction about Senator Hillary Clinton dropping by March 5th on Friday several journalists in the media have started to call for the same thing, only sooner. Among others, Bob Novak of The Chicago Sun-Times and Newsweek's Jonathan Alter have come out with columns stating that Hillary would be better off conceding to Obama to keep her political pedigree intact as she looks forward to the 2012 or 2016 presidential races. Here is an excerpt from Alter's piece.

Withdrawing would be stupid if Hillary had a reasonable chance to win the nomination, but she doesn't. To win, she would have to do more than reverse the tide in Texas and Ohio, where polls show Obama already even or closing fast. She would have to hold off his surge, then establish her own powerful momentum within three or four days. Without a victory of 20 points or more in both states, the delegate math is forbidding. In Pennsylvania, which votes on April 22, the Clinton campaign did not even file full delegate slates. That's how sure they were of putting Obama away on Super Tuesday.

Hillary is looking at an uphill battle. Both ways. In the snow. With out her shoes. Carrying Bill on her back. Another problem Clinton seems to be facing now, at least in the eyes of public (and pundit) opinion is that the Republican party, though as of right now still divided on the McCain nomination, would rally the troops to defeat Clinton who they see as a "socialist" and cut right out of her husbands mold. Here is a part of the Novak column.

Clinton's burden is not only Obama's charisma but also McCain's resurrection. Some of the same Democrats who short months ago were heralding her as the ''perfect'' candidate now call her a sure loser against McCain, saying she would do the party a favor by just leaving.

Now with all of this said, we have been wrong before. Senator Barack Obama had leads up to 12 points the day before the New Hampshire Primary and everyone and their mother wrote off Hillary who surprised us all with a 2 point win. Hillary still has a chance and she needs to start tonight, which leads into the 2nd part of this post: The Debate.

Last Debate Before March 4th

Tonight in Cleveland Senator's Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama square off for their final debate before the primaries on March 4th in Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont (who knew about the last 2?). We have seen Hillary go after Obama in several ways over the last 5 or 6 days. 1st she tried to kill him with kindness at the debate, hoping that showing a softer side of herself would help ingratiate her with the voters like her crying moment did in New Hampshire. Then on Saturday we saw the furious Hillary who waved around 2 fliers the Obama Campaign released in Ohio about her support of NAFTA and her Health Care program. Her latest incarnation appeared on Monday where she oozed with sarcasm as she mocked Obama's uplifting style. (video below)

So the question becomes: how does she go after Obama tonight? It was clear that in Texas her attempt to zing Obama failed and her attempt to act soft made it appear she wanted to retreat. I expect Hillary to go hard after Obama his experience, that is the one issue where Clinton kills him even though she hasn't been able to make that stick so far in the campaign, she needs to paint him as inexperience and unable to be able to handle the work load of the president. I also expect a nice wonky 15 minute discussion on the differences of their health care packages, which I personally don’t want to hear ever again, every debate they talk about the same things, it would be nice for MSNBC to frame this debate in separate terms. One thing to look out for is the mentioning of Tony Rezko, a land dealer is going to court soon on corruption charges and a person who Obama had purchased land at one point. Rezko has donated to Obama's campaigns for senator as well as his run for president, he says that he has donated all the money he has received from Rezko to a number of charities. Rezko goes on trial March 3rd, a day before the primaries. Just something to look out for.

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