Sunday, June 01, 2008


As if this way-too-long election season hasn't been long enough, the Hillary Clinton campaign now plans to take their nomination fight to the Democratic Party convention in Denver, if necessary. Against a background of Hillary supporters chanting: "count those votes" "Denver. Denver." "We'll vote for McCain!" the Hillary folks are unhappy with the decision of their party that gives Florida and Michigan delegates one-half vote each.

The claims of citizen's votes not being counted, democracy subverted, and Floridians being cheated are too reminiscent of the general election of 2000. In that election, if you need to be reminded, Al Gore had more popular votes than George W. Bush, and the Gore campaign cried foul concerning the apparent problems with the Florida voting and ballot counting. Both sides brought in the attorneys, the strategists, the big political guns - in the end, the Republicans fended off a recount, and got a favorable nod from the Supreme Court of the United States. To his credit, Al Gore decided to concede, apparently deciding that the good of the country was the most important factor.

Nobody can say how this down-and-dirty wrestling match between Democrats will affect the general election in November. Will the Democrats shoot themselves in more than the foot? Will disgruntled Hillaryites vote for John McCain, thus ensuring his victory? Will there be a mass exodus from the Democratic Party to some other party?

But the question is begged: should Hillary Clinton be more like Al Gore and gracefully concede the nomination to Barak Obama? Does it come down to a question of personal ambition vs. the good of the country? This is certainly a tough decision for any candidate, particularly one who has started as the presumed victor and ended up having to fight as if her political life depends on winning. It's a tough choice for a tough politician, but one that needs to be carefully and thoughtfully considered.

1 comment:

  1. Must be opposite day. I know I'm getting on in years, but if I recall correctly: in the presidential election of 2000, you had a powerful political family, and its operatives that (amazingly) included a branch of government that forgot which branch it was, combine to appoint, rather than allow our democratic system to elect, a president.

    In the the Democratic primary system of 2008, you have a powerful political family and its operatives that is attempting to appoint, rather than allow a democratic process to choose, a candidate. If Hillary drops out, she will not be like Al Gore in 2000. If Hillary becomes the democratic candidate, she will be like George W. Bush in 2000.