Friday, February 29, 2008

Texas and Ohio Resolve Nothing

Hillary Clinton won't quit the campaign, even if she loses both Texas and Ohio.   Bank on it.

Those whom George Will calls "seasoned decoders of Clintonisms" will have recognized the signs.

Bill, kept tightly under wraps in recent weeks, said the day after Wisconsin that his wife must win both Texas and Ohio to keep her campaign alive.  More recent pronouncements from precincts near Hillaryland drop the Texas qualification, saying it's over if she can't win just Ohio.  This because Clinton insiders know, better than anyone, her campaign's trajectory in Texas.   The latest Rasmussen poll shows Obama ahead.   But they're not giving up on the Lone Star State.  The Clinton campaign now has threatened the Democratic Party in Texas with legal action to invalidate the party's caucus rules, just days before the primary.   It's earned her a rebuke from the Texas party, but no matter -- Obama has done particularly well in caucuses.

Recently Ms. Rodham asked all superdelegates to remain uncommitted.  Her campaign continues to signal its intentions regarding fighting to seat delegates from Florida and Michigan -- where Obama didn't campaign, relying on the Democratic National Committee's decision, prior to each state's primary, to not seat delegates from either state.

These are not actions of a campaign about to wave the white flag.

Yesterday the candidate herself reacted to news that she had raised $35 million in February:   "When people found out that I didn't have the resources to compete and I did put my own money in, it just set off a chain reaction across the country.   Hundreds of thousands of people saying, 'Wait a minute. We want this campaign to go on'" (emphasis added).

Can't you hear it even now?   If Texas and Ohio go badly, the refrain will be "hundreds of thousands across the country want this campaign to continue."

There's nothing in the career or temperament of either Clinton to suggest they'd give up until defeat is absolutely final, or that either would put party ahead of self.   (That's for the "little people.")   And if, in the end, Clinton doesn't win the nomination, she and Bill quietly will help McCain, so the Mrs. can run again in 4 years.

With the Clintons it's never over until they get what they want.   A circumstance recognized widely, in an amusing way that we'll discuss in an upcoming post.

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