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Hillary Clinton is not playing the same game as Barack Obama anymore. She's yesterday; he's tomorrow, and try as she might, nothing she can do from this point on will change that-not even winning the double-wide vote in West Virginia by a 41 point margin. So what gives?
She used to be competition, but with the nomination virtually guaranteed, Barack has set his sights on Tinker Bell McCain and on healing the rifts highlighted and widened by the win at all costs tactics Clinton has employed. Obama no longer addresses Senator Clinton as serious competition. Rather, he now chooses to use her continued presence in the race as a way of dodging what I'm sure must be a repulsive possibility: The question of whether he would ever consider and Obama/Clinton ticket. For now he can magnanimously reply to any such inquiry with something like:
"It's too early and Senator Clinton is still in the race, so, as a matter of respect, it would be presumptive of me to address the subject" Barack is clearly running for president, so what you ask is Hillary's game? Interestingly enough it appears to be about power and money (I know, I know...who'da thunk?).
The Team Clinton Power Play-Hillary looks to be gunning for the Vice Presidency. Given the ruthless nature of her campaign tactics, and knowing no one in the Obama camp would freely choose her as a running mate, she is now positioning herself as the missing ingredient in a general election Obama campaign. The pillow talk will probably go something like this:
"Hey Barack, I can pull the extra-chromosome crowd for ya' if you'll just do this one little thing for me..."The Team Clinton Money Angle-Team Clinton is deeply in debt to the tune of $21+ mil. Campaign finance laws state that if Hillary is to recoup any meaningful portion of the money she has loaned her campaign, she must do so before the nominee is officially crowned in August, after that there is $250k cap on what she can legally recover.
Now, I don't know about you, but I can't imagine donors being willing to throw good money after bad to the tune of $21 million dollars. What's a clever girl like Hillary to do? Well, last night Clinton met with 50 of her campaign financial advisors and I'm guessing they discussed, among other things, an offer from Howard Dean and the Obama campaign to enter into a joint-fund raising agreement between the Obama and Clinton camps. Whatever the discussion was last night, this afternoon DNC Chairman Howard Dean released the following statement :
"The Democratic Party is incredibly fortunate to have two strong candidates who have generated transformational enthusiasm across the country. We've seen historic turnout as new voters have come out to show their support for our candidates and fundraising numbers have been through the roof. While this is a close primary, at the end of the day both of our candidates understand that this election is about the future of our country. In signing this agreement, Senator Clinton and Senator Obama are demonstrating their commitment to unifying our party and ensuring that we have the resources needed to win the White House, no matter who the nominee is. The message is clear. Democrats are unified to put a Democrat back in the White House so we can get our economy back on track, bring our troops home and finally do something about our ailing health care system."
Though the details of the agreement are not yet clear, and as recently as last Sunday there were denials of any plan to assume the Clinton campaign debts, it looks like that may indeed be part of the deal--an the Olive branch that just might start a democratic chorus of kumbayaya.
This could be the beginning a mutually agreed upon end for Clinton (fingers crossed, but not holding breath). If not we can still call in Tyra (vid below) to work her TopModel Diva magic (ooh..she's good!)
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
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