Monday, May 19, 2008

Paying Clinton to leave? Really?

I don't think it's right: the suggestion that Obama money should go to Clinton to encourage her to leave (and perhaps fight against him with this money 4 years later). If Clinton leaves, it should be of her own accord. Since she loaned money to her own campaign, that's her own decision. She shouldn't count on Obama to make her whole again. Obama will need that money to fight McCain, and how badly would that reflect on Clinton and Obama, if the Republican machine was able to outspend Obama because of the money he might fork out on a request like this from Clinton's campaign. Again, it was Clinton's choice to continue on despite the poor outlook from Super Tuesday, sapping her own funds as well as Obama's. With $109 million and many more millions coming from Bill, she can afford it, even if she never gets paid back. Anyway, I hope Clinton says this idea is pure hogwash.

On a related topic, Clinton's campaign has said she is ahead on popular vote, but Al Gore didn't win even though he won the popular vote. Sure, elections -- including nomination bids -- are a game, but the candidate needs to know how to play that game and win to beat the Republicans.

Actually, I think I do support Clinton staying in up to a point. But I don't think she should go negative at all. She should win based on the merits and by a good and obvious margin. It should not be: scrabble a few delegates here and a few delegates there and my wildest dream best case scenario, then I've won. At some point it should be clear, without a reasonable doubt even on generous but fair Florida and Michigan delegate accounting (remember Obama wasn't even on the ballot), that Obama has won. Perhaps that has already happened today. In this hypothetical scenario, having avoided ugly negative campaigning, bowing out would be a grace note and an honorable thing for Clinton to do. We would all think very highly of her.

But the path she has chosen has been far different, divisive and ugly.

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