Saturday, May 31, 2008
Time for a prediction:
Two weeks from now, Hillary Clinton will still be charging hard for the nomination.
If she's "charging hard", that will be a big mistake. But if she's "still running", that might be quite healthy.
Until the vice-presidential candidates are affirmed at the conventions, I think that it's important for either party to have a clear 2nd place candidate ready in case the 1st place candidate has to withdraw from the race. Even if the ultimate "victor" was clear on Super Tuesday, several months before the conventions.
At some time in the future, a sudden critical health issue is certain to affect a candidate, or their husband/wife/son/daughter in a way that will make a successful campaign impossible. If the parties want to maintain at least a semblence of democracy in this sort of process, having a viable 2nd (and 3rd) place candidates available would seem to be a sensible sort of insurance.
Of course, instead of thinking in terms of 1st place, 2nd place and 3rd place finishers, the parties can declare a "winner" and define everyone else as "loooo-sers". I guess that's up to them.
eric: I agree that it's fine to still be running, in the sense of being there, viable, and making a general case (plus going after McCain). But "charging hard" is, as you would expect, trying to overturn rules and committee decisions as well as saying uncomplimentary things about Obama (e.g. "he can't win").
"Charging hard" will include tactics such as trying to buy superdelegate votes with cabinet positions and promised earmarks, threatening to withhold endorsement of Obama if she is not nominated, threatening to walk out of the convention with her delegates, and threatening to run as an independent in the general election.
You heard it all here first.