Thursday, May 22, 2008

Clinton's scorched-earth strategy

In a speech yesterday, Hillary Clinton compared the rules fight over Michigan and Florida to the 2000 election and even to the bloody election dispute in Zimbabwe. She also declared that the primary votes in those two states should be counted "exactly as cast," which would seem to rule out any of the compromises that have been proposed so far that would have split the votes between the candidates or awarded Obama the votes of people who voted "uncommitted" in Michigan.

This strategy seems designed to drive a wedge into the party in two key swing states, Michigan and Florida. It's a troubling suggestion that Clinton is willing to damage the Democratic Party's chances in November if it can get her a slight advantage in the primary fight.

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EDIT: I continue to get mail, based on these posts, accusing me of writing out of favoritism for Obama. It really isn't like that. If the roles were reversed, I'd be telling Obama he should stop campaigning. The fact is Obama has a significant delegate lead with very few contests remaining, and the math simply doesn't work for a Clinton nomination. Obama will be the nominee, so the sooner the party can start to coalesce around him the sooner we can stop fighting each other and start fighting McCain.

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