Russia, race and gender: Could Hillary still prevail in Denver?
August 19, 2008
Back on May 10, Democratic strategist Bob Beckel suggested that Hillary Rodman Clinton had enough support that she could cause Barack Obama to name her as his running mate. It now appears possible (and “possible,” not probable, is the operative word here) that Clinton could emerge from the Democratic National Convention (DNC) as the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party.
Bear in mind that Obama is merely the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party. The same applies to John McCain. He is merely the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party.
It just may be that Team Clinton retains a lot of clout with the Rules Committee and with the Credentials Committee. The Rules Committee has already said it will be in order for the name of Hillary Rodham Clinton to be placed into nomination for the presidency. When that happens, we can expect the nominating speech for Clinton to be followed by an enormous and very lengthy demonstration. Seconding speeches would have to be allowed and they would be followed by lengthy demonstrations as well.
Moreover, the Credentials Committee will decide which state delegations are seated and the number of votes accorded to each state delegation. If Team Clinton controls the Credentials Committee, then the disputed states that favored Clinton will be seated. So, it is a good possibility that considerable backroom wheeling and dealing has been going on in the weeks and days leading up to Aug. 25.
Recall, Clinton just barely lost the presumptive nomination to Obama. According to Bob Beckel, Clinton ranks “among the closest runner-ups in Democratic Party history.” Referring to the super delegates who will probably decide the nomination, Beckel says, “Many had jobs, and good ones, in the Clinton administration. Many have been the recipients of tens of thousands of dollars raised on their behalf by the Clintons.”
Moreover, Clinton and John Edwards ran very well among blue-collar workers, Big Labor, Hispanics and women. This raises the question: If John Edwards’ cheating on his cancer-stricken wife had been exposed earlier, would Edwards’ votes have gone to Clinton?
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In any event, the Edwards scandal is fueling considerable anger among women.
Hispanic Democratic Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez says, “I think half of the House Democrats would be Hillary supporters, especially women ” I felt she was the most experienced candidate and the best candidate and I still feel that way.”
Also, it may be fair to say that Clinton was treated unfairly by the mainstream media. It may even be fair to say that if Clinton were a male that she would have been given a better shake by the print- and electronic-media pundits who joined the Obama camp from the outset of the Democratic primary season.
Then there is the problem with Obama’s failure to break into the lead in the reputable national polls. For weeks, Obama and McCain have been in a statistical dead heat with Obama leading at times and McCain leading at times. Also, during the Democratic primaries, when pollsters asked white voters if they would vote for a person of color, race did not seem to be an issue. But when the votes were counted, Obama’s numbers were usually 8 percent short of polling expectations.
Already in control of Congress and eager to have their own commander-in-chief as well, the TV images of a rapacious Russia in Georgia might cause the Democratic leadership to lean back toward their, arguably, tougher and more experienced foreign-policy candidate. If Team Clinton and Clinton’s supporters cause a huge ground swell for her, then some state delegations might split their votes and some super delegates might move back into the Clinton camp.
Of course, there is the possibility that Clinton and Obama have already cut a deal (a la Dwight Eisenhower and Earl Warren in 1952), for Clinton to fill the next vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. In politics, anything can happen.
” William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist and a featured commentator for USA Today, studied at Harvard’s JFK School of Government. Dr. Hamilton is a former assistant professor of political science and history at Nebraska Wesleyan University.
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