Hillary's Choice: Ambition Over Principle? - GET POLITICAL w/ VIC LIVINGSTON
• She could have said, "Hell, no!" Instead, she elected to put ambition first.
• In the end, Clintonian calculation trumped Hillarian courage.
• Is a phony "unanimous" voice vote a portent of things to come?
Hillary Clinton delivered a gloriously powerful speech Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention, an obligatory call for unity that in the end assured her political future while furthering the likelihood of defeat for her party in November.
Was it a "full-throated call" for support of Barack Obama, as was declared by CNN the morning after? Hardly. Nor was it a defiant, "Hell, no!", a clarion call for a valiant last stand.
And perhaps that was Hillary's choice -- once again, trying to have it both ways.
Not once did Hillary tout Obama's qualifications or readiness for the nation's top job. That, combined with her use of Harriet Tubman's "Underground Railroad" entreaty to "keep on going," telegraphed a carefully nuanced message that diehard Hillarians wanted to think that the heard: "He's not ready, I am, and now you must do the right thing and nominate someone who can actually win."
That's an appeal to a higher purpose; but Hillary put it between the lines because she had another priority -- her own ambition, her own career. And in the end, Hillary's concern for Hillary trumped the noble cause.
She could have been more to the point, provoking a roll call revolt that could have denied Obama a nomination that many would argue he does not deserve and has not truly earned. We've cited in this space many of the reasons: His flagging performance in the final primaries; his policy vacillations; his inability to connect with the broader electorate; his soaring but non-specific rhetoric; his questionable personal associations.
A clarion call to a higher purpose -- nominating a candidate who can win in the fall -- would have entailed a measure of political courage and risk that the politician we call Hillary chose not to muster. Because, if her call to arms failed to result in victory, she surely would be the one to be blamed, dooming her political fortunes.
So Hillary lied when she told the convention that the election is "not about me."
Oh yes it is, Hillary -- otherwise you would have been willing to put your own career on the line to fight for the cause. If you truly believe that the nation's fate is at stake in this election -- not the 2012 election, but this election -- you would realize that you must to everything in your power -- even at the risk of personal sacrifice -- to prevent Obama from securing the nomination.
We believed you when you told confidants that Obama cannot win, that the Democrats risk political suicide by anointing "Him" as their nominee. But when push came to shove, Hillary, you were unwilling to really put your a** on the line.
You posed as a vanquished warrior who nobly accepts defeat; but in reality, you chose to make a strategic retreat that served your own ambitions at the expense of that higher cause -- preventing that Bush "third term" that you and others so fear. Perhaps, in terms of your own ambitions, that third GOP term wouldn't be so bad after all; is that it?
Now, perhaps it was another feint. It's apparent that word went out on the grapevine: Hillary wanted her followers to hold firm despite the unity call. As events transpired, the "going half-way" strategy yielded neither political victory nor defeat for Hillary's political fortunes. The net effect as the roll call unfolded seemed to be embarrassment.
Hillary had told her delegates she would vote for Obama, but gave no clear-cut, unequivocal recommendation as to what they should do. As it happened, most delegates seemed to take Hillary at her word -- a turn of events that actually may have surprised her. Taking Hillary at her word; how quaint.
In one sense, Hillary's intransigence worked in democracy's favor. The Obama camp foolishly wanted to suspend the roll call early, without counting all the votes. The roll call was foreshortened, but not until the Hillary camp made the Obamanists agree to tally all the votes, not just the delegate tallies recorded on roll call. That's an important precedent; the controversy revealed a disturbing anti-democratic streak at the new (neo-con?) Democratic National Committee that Obama himself appeared to countenance.
There's something wrong when a contested nomination -- and that's what it was, until the final vote -- ends with a forced "unanimous" voice vote. At that moment, the suspension of democracy was drowned out by an emotional release -- tears of joy and tears of sorrow. But upon reflection, the Obamanists should realize the folly of their "modest proposal" to invalidate the electoral process. Let's hope it's not an omen that portends how a President Obama and a Vice President Biden would govern.
Hillary's roll-call pushback also compelled the Obama camp to finally stand up to the Clintonian intrusions on what they had hoped would be a carefully scripted convention schedule. But it was too late; the Clintons totally dominated the convention story line for the first three days, time that otherwise would have been employed to work on Obama's public image.
Hillary's mixed message to her supporters was too nuanced to allow her to snatch away the nomination, and too timid to give her a realistic chance at victory. In the end, Hillary once again revealed herself as more of a cunning politician than a selfless martyr.
And "Hillary's choice" very well may seal the Democrats' November fate -- a stinging but predictable defeat for Barack Obama in a year that should have been theirs for the taking.
BUT WILL THE ELECTION EVEN MATTER? Not when government-supported "vigilante injustice" squads are "gang stalking" American citizens, making a mockery of the rule of law:
WHAT IF THEY COULD SHOOT YOU WITHOUT LEAVING A TRACE? THEY CAN.