Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Hillary is Probably Done, But...

In case you missed the news today, the prevailing thought in the media is that Hillary Clinton is done. See the video below. And, yes, I agree that Hillary probably has zero chance to win the Democratic nomination at this point. But Hillary won't stop her campaign despite the never-ending pleas of the media and of other Democrats. And I say "good for her."

First, Tim Russert, Chris Mathews and the lot don't decide when the race is over. They may think it's over and they may want Hillary to step aside but their voice carries no more weight than any voters. They may want Hillary to quit but just because they proclaim it over doesn't make it so.

Second, it's not over until it's over. Until Hillary concedes defeat, she can hold on to some hope of winning. As unlikely as it may be, she can drag it out until the end. Obama doesn't have enough delegates yet to force her out of the race. So, mathematically, she's still alive. Probably zero chance but it's still not over.

Third, she's earned the right to say when it's over. I am not the biggest Hillary fan but, as I said previously, I have a new found respect for her tenacity over the course of this race. The fact she dragged herself out on the campaign trail day after day despite the poor odds has earned her the right to decide when to get out. She could have packed it in a long time ago but she chose to fight and nearly pulled this thing off. So I believe she has earned the right to declare it over when she feels it is and she shouldn't be forced into quitting before she is ready.

One of the reasons the super-delegates didn't flock to Obama today was out of respect for Hillary. They also know she's earned the right to decide when it's over and no one should force her to make that decision prematurely. Obviously, at some point, many of the undeclared super-delegates will probably break to Obama but I think they'll hold off as long as possible out of reverence to Hillary. And many of them probably still owe Bill favors from his time in the White House and they don't want to burn that bridge.

So, in closing, I think Hillary should be allowed to hang on as long as she chooses. As long as there is hope, she can continue to campaign. I honestly believe she has earned the right to choose her own course and can choose to step aside whenever she is ready. To try to force her out now, before she is ready to concede, is the ultimate show of disrespect for a woman who really did give all she had to this campaign. She would never, ever get my vote...but she did earn some respect. Seriously.

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