Obviously, it is no small achievement to see Barack Obama clinch the Democratic nomination for president, and it’s even better, after a night of self-aggrandizement, to read that Hillary Clinton has seen the writing on the wall and will call it quits this weekend. After the whole useless and rather graceless bit in where she didn’t even congratulate Obama on nabbing the delegate mark, at least she knows her time is up and her privileged position as part of the Democratic Power Couple didn’t wash with enough of the party’s rank and file.
The whole bit will do Senator Clinton no good if she’s trying to curry favor for a place on the Obama ticket as VP. (I loathe this idea, by the way — Hillary Clinton as a Veep candidate would undermine every rhetorical flourish Obama has espoused about change.) The Daily Howler has chronicled fairly well the stupid locker room attitude of the cable news boys towards Clinton; they got a very unique opportunity to combine their Clinton-loathing with some “boys will be boys”, good old fashioned sexism.
Problem is, Ms. Clinton decided to go with the Lee Atwater race-baiting playbook, and wasn’t helped by the off-the-cuff campaigning her hubby did, which included some pleasant pot shots at Obama. The reason Clinton had enough pique to stay in as long as she did is because she felt she was entitled to be the Democratic nominee; it was hers and some black upstart whom no one had heard of decided he wanted in. (I believe Clinton would have been just as nasty if, say, John Edwards had beaten her by this margin; the extra race-baiting was a bit of a bonus.)
The depressing dynastic narrative of Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton will not happen; the American public has been spared of this, for now. For Democrats, it meant throwing off the yoke of its last First Family, the political power couple that did more damage to their downticket hopes during two terms by doing very little to help build up the party and its candidates.
And so, she continues to sign her own political death warrant. However, even at Hillary’s worst, she does a better speech than the presumptive Republican nominee. McCain’s camp should be concerned when even Fox is panning his speech (although just wait for it; the political press loves John McCain something fierce. This may be the first time where their manlove for McCain may be challenged by obsession with the new black blood in Obama; I will reserve my judgment until the Media Wurlitzer of Narrative gets going again.)
But the world of HD and his own advisors and poor speechwriters may be turning McCain into the flop-sweat Richard Nixon of 1960: