On the evening of the Texas and Ohio primaries, I got on my soapbox (oh, alright, I got on the phone) with my friends and stated that Hillary Clinton would now face a choice that will inevitably reveal her true colors. A number of analysts have concluded that it’s mathematically impossible for Mrs. Clinton to achieve enough delegates to win the nomination, even if she wins all the remaining states by a 55% to 45% margin and if the DNC decides to give her the delegates from Michigan and Florida. Obama would still be ahead.
Many are saying that, given this arithmetic, it’s appropriate for Mrs. Clinton to be conciliatory, at the very least, towards Mr. Obama and perhaps even to concede the nomination. Nobody believes that a protracted battle between the two candidates will be good for the Democratic party. Such a fight may even jeopardize the nominee’s chances against McCain and will certainly provide fuel for the right-wing misinformation machine.
But then there’s the issue of Mrs. Clinton’s ambition and ego. Her reputation is that both are enormous.
So here’s the choice that we spoke about: Will Hillary serve her party and her nation first, or will she serve her ego and ambition first?
I thought it would take at least a few weeks for the answer to that question to be revealed. But the events of the last few days have indicated that Hillary’s choice is most assuredly the latter.
Hillary came out of the Texas and Ohio primaries slugging. She and her campaign have compared Obama to Kenneth Starr. They have fanned the flames of ignorance and fear by providing a photo of Obama dressed in Sikh garb. And, perhaps most odious of all, she has denigrated his experience by saying that she and John McCain had sufficient foreign policy experience but Obama didn’t. (There are those who interpret that statement as, “If I don’t win the nomination, please vote for John McCain.”)
Pretty monstrous behavior.