Editorial: Magnanimosity? Is that a word?
At one point on Tuesday night, as the late votes from Indiana’s urban areas and northwest corner rolled in, we entertained the notion that Sen. Barack Obama just might overcome Sen. Hillary Clinton in the one race she desperately needed to win.
The clock is running out on the Clinton campaign, and a big win in Indiana would have the effect of a breakaway run in the closing seconds of the game, providing, at least, enough traction to keep her stubborn machine going.
But really, Obama has held an insurmountable lead for months, now, prompting so many of his supporters to implore Clinton to just fold up the tents already and get on with her extremely lucrative life.
After a primary that saw her hopes in North Carolina dashed and her advantage in Indiana slimmed down to a mere couple percentage points, Clinton made it clear that she has no intention of bowing out gracefully.
“[W]e’ve broken the tie, and, thanks to you,” she told supporters after she eked out that Indiana victory, “it’s full speed onto the White House.”
But let’s be real: This is not going to happen.
For one, with Obama holding the popular vote, the delegate advantage and the most states, for the Democrats to give the nod to Clinton would be tantamount to pulling an end-around, betraying all those new voters – African Americans and young people in particular – that have swelled the party’s ranks in support of their man. Disenfranchisement would follow surely as thunder follows lightning, and the damage to the Democratic Party could last a generation.
Then there’s the more empirical matter of math. The only way for Clinton to secure the delegates she needs for the nomination is to win all of the delegates – 217 of them – up for grabs in the late-season primaries plus another 146 super delegates.
And as for seating the Florida and Michigan delegations, it will take more, even, than the considerable Clinton charm, their network of influence and powerful reach among party officials to run that particular play.
But we feel no animosity for Clinton as she overstays her welcome. In fact, there are qualities her campaign has revealed – toughness, a strong work ethic and an inability to quit chief among them – that we patently admire.
She’s a fighter, the kind with heart.
And were she displaying these characteristics in any other capacity – as an activist, a CEO, a small business owner or captain of a softball team, say – they would undoubtedly propel her towards success.
But those who fight hard and well are often the last to know when the game is lost, as is the case with Clinton.
As twilight sets on one hell of a campaign, she should take solace in her (mostly) good fight and remember she still has a pretty good job as the junior senator from New York, not to mention an earning potential exponentially larger than before her historic run.
And should she every go back to practicing law, we would hire her in a minute.
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