Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Mail bag: Whither Hillary?

I present to you the first No Drumlins mail bag (and most likely last, since it's taken me three years to get a letter) . Earlier today, a reader e-mailed:

[Will] Hillary back out now or will she refuse? ... When will she realize what is best for the party and just stop?

You will be proud. I'm leaning to vote D in 08. However, if Hillary happens to get the nomination, all bets are off.
I think she will go the Huckabee route and stay on for the next two weeks, then drop out after the May 20 primaries. She might as wellhold on a little longer, since she will win West Virginia May 13. Oregon and Kentucky will split on May 20 (OR for Obama and KY for Clinton) and Clinton will drop out the next day. That will allow her to drop out on a high note without embarrassing Obama, since he will also post a victory on May 20. If she drops out now, big losses in WV and KY could be embarrassing for him.

But I think the tone of her campaign will change. I think she will be going hard after McCain and stop the negative stuff against Obama. In a sense, Hillary will use the next two weeks to help mend the fences and start the process of getting her supporters to line up behind Obama, the same way Huckabee did after McCain essentially wrapped up the Republican nomination.

(By the way, this isn't original thinking on my part. One of the talking heads on MSNBC last night was passing on this scenario and I think it's right on. But you can give me credit for it if you pass it along.)

Now I am hoping against hope (and against "a place called Hope") that Obama resists calls to put Hillary on the ticket as VP. I think that would hurt him quite a bit in the general election. Obama won't pick up one vote by adding Hillary, but I'll bet there are those who would turn away from him if he did. If he feels like Hillary needs to be rewarded, he ought to promise her a spot on the Supreme Court with the caveat that if anyone in her camp breathes even a word of it, the deal is off. Not only would that reward Clinton (and she would probably make a good Supreme Court justice), it would keep her out of the 2012 race if Obama wins.

You'll be sorry to hear that Jackson is becoming a little Hillary supporter. He couldn't get to sleep last night so I brought him downstairs to watch the end of the Celtics game with me. During a commercial, I switched over to MSNBC to check the results and Hillary was just starting her speech. Every time her supporters would cheer he would clap his hands and yell "yay!" I asked him if he wanted to watch basketball and he said "No."

He was absolutely mesmerized by the speech (which wasn't very good, she sounded defeated. And by the look on Bill's face, it was clear that he had just realized that there would be no interns frolicking with him in the White House for the next four years. He appeared devastated). At one point he was chanting "Hill-a-ree! Hill-a-ree!" along with the crowd on the TV. When he got up this morning, I asked him who the lady in the blue jacket on TV was last night and he replied "Hillary."

On the bright side, he's developing his father's antipathy toward the NBA.

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