With the polls in Pennsylvania set to open in just hours and Hillary in desperate need of a Harlem Globetrotters-sized win over Barack Obama, Team Clinton is saving their finest whine for election eve.
As usual it was Bill’s mouth that was doing the most work. His first complaint was the superdelegate system. The former President complained that if the Democrats had the same delegate system as the Republicans Hillary would be trouncing Barack by some 300 delegates. According to a blog on ABC News’ site, Bill Clinton said, “”I did not actually get the delegates necessary to have a first power of the nomination under the crazy system the Democrats have,” Clinton said. “If we were under the Republican system which is more like the electoral college, she would have a 300 delegate lead.” Clinton is referring to the Democratic primary system of proportional representation. He’s actually correct, if a little off in his math. In a winner-take-all system, and excluding superdelegates, Hillary would have a 173 delegate lead.
However, the system might seem “crazy” to the Clintons, but you’ll get no shortage of Democrats who think that the electoral college system is precisely what’s wrong with our modern process of electing a President (you’ll remember that Al Gore actually won the popular vote in 2000; under proportional representation, George Bush would be a former Texas governor and baseball club owner, and an ex-President’s idiot son, and the world would be waiting for Saddam Hussein to die of old age or getting shanked by one of his disgruntled bodyguards).
And the Clintons never had a problem with that crazy system as long as Hillary was the establishment candidate and they were sure that Harold Ickes had the superdelegates wired. That’s why they had no plan for after Super Tuesday. And within the same news cycle, Terry McAuliffe is on Morning Joe showing off his math on how this crazy system is going to win them the nomination.
Then there was the marquee member of the Last Friends Of The Clintons Club, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, on Hannity’s America this weekend with pollster Frank Luntz, speaking to a poll group of Pennsylvania college students, and lamenting, “The students go and sort of drink the Kool-Aid of a wonderful speech.”
Luntz responded, “You’re suggesting they’re being suckered.”
One of the students responded, and while she missed the Kool-Aid reference (“This isn’t just about drinking a cold Kool-Aid or something…” Well, the legacy of Jim Jones has been lost to a lot of young people. It’s not surprising), the point is that there isn’t an enormity of policy difference between Barack and Hillary. The difference is that Barack is doing what thirty-plus years of Democrats have failed to do, which is energize the youth vote, which in the past has been as easy to capture as Sasquatch, and just as rarely seen. This year, through the middle of March, some 5.7 million voters under the age of 30 went to the polls, which is 109% over the same set of primaries in 2004. And they aren’t lining up for and yelling and chanting through Hillary rallies. That’s the kind of Kool-Aid Hillary and Ed Rendell wouldn’t blink at stealing the recipe for.
Also, if you’re courting the youth vote, I think an effective strategy for wooing them to your candidate is telling them they’re too naive to have thought things through correctly. I find in my experience that young people respond very well when treated like morons.
This weekend Hillary let mere minutes pass before she went after Obama for another disloyal baring of his soul after Obama told an audience in Reading, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, “You have a real choice in this election, you know. Either Democrat would be better than John McCain. And all three of us would be better than George Bush.”
Clearly, this was like Obama praying at the altar of Ronald Reagan all over again, and Hillary pounced. “We need a nominee who will take on John McCain, not cheer on John McCain,” she said to a rally in Johnstown, barely a few hours after Obama’s remark.
Hillary has stuck to her guns throughout this campaign. On March 3, for example, when she said, “I bring a lifetime of experience to this campaign. Senator McCain brings a lifetime of experience to this campaign. Senator Obama has a speech that he gave in 2002.”
Keith Olbermann wondered if this might not be the least bit disingenuous.
“No, not at all.” And then she went on to talk about Senator McCain.
This woman is an awful fraud when it comes to do with whatever it takes to get herself elected. She’s a master at setting of hand grenades and then saying we all need to get together and do some thing about all the twisted metal and broken glass.
Don’t expect any grand resolutions to this continued grind tonight. Hillary will pull out a 5-7% win and then start chanting “Destiny!” like she’s the Patriots winning their third Super Bowl. The superdelegates will settle this if they heed Howard Dean’s call and make their decision now, but no one listens to Howard Dean really, so that isn’t going to happen. In the meantime, to evoke an old Pennsylvania tradition, the Clinton Shadow will darken the Keystone State’s doorstep tonight, and in this case, it’s going to mean six more weeks (at least) of shrillary.