Forget Clintons marginal victory in Indiana on Tuesday. Forget the implications it has for her campaign. Forget Obamas 14-percent win in a state with nearly twice as many delegates as Indiana.
The only number worth noting: 4.2 percent.
The figure is Slate magazines Hillary Deathwatch calculation of the New York senators chances at garnering the nomination. This should be the end of the story.
Slates statistic is actually a remarkably astute (and simple) analysis of a muddled, illogical campaign process and the resultant current situation.
By factoring in delegate numbers, Sen. Barack Obamas ability to remain afloat and Sen. Hillary Clintons fallacies, the magazine has come to the conclusion the senator should have realized long ago. Clintons argument for inclusion in the rest of the race hinges on two main non-truths: that Florida and/or Michigans delegates should be seated, and that Obama is not electable in white America.
The latter is a more pathetic claim; according to the state census, the state of North Carolina is actually 74 percent white, a state Obama won by 14 points. Clearly, white voters are not as racially minded as Clinton would have us believe.
In Clintons math, however, she knows better: Whites might love Obama now (heck, everyone might love Obama now), but they sure will love her in the general election.
Her argument also misses the point that Obama has weathered far more than Clinton has, and wrongly so.
Obama has had to withstand attacks on behalf of the likes of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, while Clinton has escaped lies (sniper fire or poetry and flowers on the tarmac of Bosnia, Mrs. Clinton?) all too easily.
In terms of electability, independent and Republican voters would have little reason to choose Clinton over McCain. After all, Clinton is the candidate that has praised McCain over her own partys alternatives.
Consider the following: I think I have a lifetime of experiences that I bring to the White House. I know Sen. McCain has a lifetime of experiences that he will bring to the White House. And Sen. Obama has a speech he gave in 2002, Hillary Clinton said.
Once Clinton finally drops out or is voted out, McCain will have found no greater friend than her. Nor could he have foreseen the amount of money he will be able to save on television ads: All he will have to do is loop Clinton-Obama barbs with a rhetorical subtitle: If Democrats dont even trust him, can you?
A politician of the American variety should try to temper his or her desire for personal power with an issue-by-issue calculation. It is not partisan to yield ones imagined path in the interest of political savvy; Clinton claims to dislike nearly all McCain stands for, yet she continually undermines the Democratic Partys chance at the White House.
Pundits have long noted that Clintons chances are dismal at best. They have even conjectured that she is ruining the Democratic Partys chances in the general election. After Tuesday, Clinton would be hard-pressed to defend herself.
She won a state rich with white, rural voters (her best bet and Obamas worst) by less than 2 percent, losing twice as many delegates as she gained in the same night.
As for Florida and Michigan, Clintonites are sure to decry the disenfranchisement of the millions who live in those states. They are right, but that is not necessarily n argument in Clintons favor.
Obama did not campaign in either state because he followed the rules. For Clinton to stake a claim on those votes is to hijack the primaries.
The states should be counted, but only after a re-election.
And such a re-election should only occur if necessary. That is, if the delegate race somehow tightens up (it will not), a re-election should be undertaken with great haste.
If it does not, or if Clinton comes to her senses earlier than expected, these elections should be forgone. The campaign for the nomination needs to end.
Clinton is sure to continue making cries of Full speed ahead! but that doesnt mean shes going anywhere. Her empty promises and pledges to support party nominees are hypocritical and pathetic.
Clinton can only help her partys cause in one way: disappearing.