Everybody but Rush Limbaugh seems to want Hillary Clinton to quit the
race for the Democratic nomination for President. Limbaugh has been
running what he calls “Operation Chaos”. The thinking behind his
insurgent campaign is the longer Hillary stays in the race, the more
time and money Barak Obama has to spend running against her and the
less he has to strengthen his position against John McCain.
But consider this “inside baseball” scenario. Hillary stays in…and
campaigns hard but not against Obama. She pounds McCain on healthcare
and the economy while Obama pounds him on the war and his ties to the
Bush administration. If you’ve watched closely since North Carolina
and Indiana you may have seen signs of this Democratic “Operation
Chaos” in action. Both the Democrats have sharpened their focus on
McCain and only obliquely attacked each other.
Nobody is better at political math than Bill and Hilary Clinton, the
numbers for her nomination aren’t there and they know it. If she were
really damaging the Democratic effort by running a largely redirected
campaign the calls for her to quit would be loud and unambiguous…but
that’s not the case.
In the meantime, Democratic voter registration continues to explode
and interest in the race is at an all-time high. How many stories do
you hear or read daily about McCain, and how many about Clinton-Obama?
The media can’t resist a horserace, and this is the one they’ll focus
What about the cost? Isn’t the Clinton campaign deeply in debt
including 11-million of their own money? Please…Bill and Hillary have
that much in their cookie jar. And there is already talk of the Obama
campaign helping with her debt. Not only that, in this new “soft”
phase of the campaign she can continue to raise money, but control
spending (since …except for the occasional softball lobbed at Barak…
she’s only attacking McCain). There’s no need for as many expensive TV
ads in the remaining primaries. She’ll do well in those anyway and get
plenty of local and national coverage for free.
Then when the time is right (after she’s saved face by winning a few meaningless primaries), the two campaigns marry in a big love fest promising no hard feelings and a united fight to regain the White House (this will happen on a Monday so the pundits can talk about the possibility the day before…and insuring a full week of coverage and the Sunday shows the next week). Hillary delivers her women and working class whites to Barak to join his African-American, young and urban voters...and the real fight in engaged.
Finally…there will be no “dream-ticket” of Obama-Clinton. There are many more negatives than positives with that scenario but that’s a blog for another time.