Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sorry, Hil, But I'm Reaching For The Fork

If I had to bet today, I would still bet on Mrs. Bill Clinton getting the Democratic nomination for president. But I wouldn't bet a dime I couldn't afford to lose.

My bet would be out of respect for the Clintonistas and their relentless, shameless, vicious determination to win at any cost. For me, the Clintons are like political vampires: things that would kill another politician (lying to federal judges, obstruction of justice, hiding evidence from courts, illegal possession of FBI files, sex on the floor of the Oval Office with young interns, etc) only make them stronger. I won't believe the Clintons are defeated until I see the wooden stake in her political heart, and the candidate corpse surrounded by garlic and crucifixes.

And even then, I'd wait for daylight and make sure she didn't move.

Having said all that, after Sen. Obama's big win in Wisconsin, we are almost at "the fork" moment in this campaign. As in "stick a fork in her, she's done." Read
Jay Cost's analysis at RealClearPolitics, and the question arises "where does she go to win?"

Sen. Obama got more votes from black people, white people, educated people, folks with no college degrees, and he even got more votes from women. He tied Hillary among WHITE women and union households. All in a midwestern, moderate-income, "looks like America" state.

And, it should be noted, in a state where pre-election polls showed Mrs. Clinton was supposedly competitive. Wisconsin isn't Hawaii or Illinois for the Clintons. The RCP poll average had her within 5% of Obama the morning of the election. She lost by 17%!

So we have reached a new moment in the Democratic presidential race. We are now at the moment when, for Mrs. Clinton to win the nomination, something must happen. The candidate of "change," Obama, wants nothing to change at all. He'd happily have votes in Ohio and Texas tomorrow.

Meanwhile. Mrs. Clinton needs something to happen or, to be more direct, is looking right now at how she can make something happen that will change the course of this election. The two upcoming debates offer opportunities, but no guarantees. She'll probably take a few punches at Sen. Obama, but don't look for a "Hail Mary." Debates are tricky. You never know how Obama, the moderators or the audience will react.

The Clintonistas need something they can control.

We will find out in the next two weeks leading up to Ohio and Texas if the Clintons have something real on Obama. Is there a drug crime he's successfully hidden, is there some paper he wrote on the dietary value of cannibalism or--if they're really prepared to dive into the sewer--is he a secret fan of talk radio?

If there is a scandal to be sold, the Clintons will be working it in the press like a hooker at Shriner's convention.

This is the moment. Now or never.

I doubt that there is, not because we haven't seen it yet (if Hillary had won Wisconsin, she'd still have a shot without the scandal card), but because Sen. Obama has been so open about his problems. He brought up his youthful drug use, he's written about his childhood in a Muslim country. His wife loves telling us how "stinky" he is. What's left?

But if it's true that the Clinton's don't have anything on Obama, don't be fooled into thinking they won't play the scandal card anyway. They'll make it up. They'll grab some statement, twist it out of context and spread outrage over the fact that the media aren't twisting it, too. Or they'll just lie.

They're Clintons. That's what they do.

Which is why I'm just reaching for the fork this morning, and not sticking it in. With anyone else, this race would be over.

With the Clintons, it's just starting.