It’s the genius of Hillary Clinton over the past months that, no matter how futile and pointless seems one week of Democratic politicking, the following one renders it a thrilling and meaningful contest in retrospect.
After Super Tuesday and Obama’s ten in a row primary run, something went out of the competition. Experts were scrambling around for reasons for Hillary to stay in. As Ted Kennedy and other rockgods peeled away to Bama, the writing was on the wall. Pennsylvania gave the illusion of hope, the last second wind of a runner who is not going to make the tape.
Then came her phyrri- pyryh- pyhyr- her crap 2% win in Indiana and it really was over. But nooooooooooo, not to Hillary – she wanted to drag it to the mini-super Tuesday v9.5, the Oregon/Kentucky split. Surely then? Not. The last week was like that awful scene in some late Hitchcock film (Torn Curtain? Topaz? Cnt rmmbr) where a couple have to kill an unconscious bad guy using only household implements – they hit him with stuff, they drag him to the oven but can’t close the door etc. Killing aint as easy as it looks.
So finally there was the nothingness on the road to Montana which is nothingness itself. The result could not now be reversed, all that was provided was that tension that holds no prospect of joyful result — test results on rectal bleeding, praying for piles.
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But Montana was the first meeting of eyes across the colourful pageantry of the carnivale in Rio compared to this wodge of days until Friday or Saturday — according to Politico — when Hills will finally wave the white flag.
What was she waiting for? Reports say she was still holding out hope that she could round up enough super-ds, and mount a credentials challenge on the Michigan seating. And then what? And then what? Who knows? Camp Clinton stopped thinking more than a few days ahead motnhs ago, becasue had they not done so, the likely result would have crushed their spirits utterly. Like pilots in heavy flak, they narrowed their vision to the space ahead and flew through.
The real and final body blow seems to have come from Nancy Pelosi, who declared Bama the winner, and a ring round of their remaining supporters, who were about to cease to be. That’s the story, but hell we’ve heard it before, and I can’t quite believe it will happen, can’t imagine what the words will sound like.
So even though we are 90% started on some sort of McCain/Obama contest, we still don’t have that final vinegar stroke/blast off moment. Sexual metaphors are unavoidable here, as good politics is better than sex, as a prominent Liberal senator once explained to me underneath a mirrorball. That mirrorballer had true wisdom, from the Latin. My suspicion is that the dying days of this contest will fuel a blue state mini-baby boom come March next year, as relief is sought. Nothing can damn well get started.
More pertinently, Clinton’s refusal to bow to reality compromised the historic nature of Obama’s speech. What a moment that would have been – Hillary winding it down, drawing her supporters back into the fold and then giving another one of his great speeches.
The energy, the sense of historical destiny, of unity, the rhetoric of the moment, would have been beyond anything we’ve seen to date — a single shining moment, as, his party behind him, the first non-white presidential candidate in history announced his readiness to serve.
What a propaganda of the deed that would have been! How many recalcitrant Hillary supporters would have been instantly dissuaded from any thoughts of defection by the sheer emotional uplift. Like a toaster in a wading pool, every young heart would have felt the power in one moment.
Instead, Obama had to cover it with the sheer power of his oratory. Impressive, but history is history, a real moment is a real moment and the heft of such is unfakeable.
So what are these dog days for? To give a taste of the pain to come if she doesn’t get the VP slot? To decide if she wants the VP slot? I was pretty convinced early on that no way in hell would she take the position of being subject to another big egoed male in the White House. But power is the ultimate anaesthetic I guess. Having committed to the game, you’ll do whatever to stay close to the action. Given reports that Bill has been partying with Gina Gershon (which the moment you see her is so obviously true — if you were going to design a Clinton candytrap in a lab, she’d come out looking like Gina) what else is she going to do? It’s run Save The Children or join a motherf-cking book group.
Still if Obama and Hillary do hook up, dream team it won’t be. More like one of those couples who realise they left it too late to split up, and the only option now is to help each other down cemetary road.
We’ll know more tomorrow … and tomorrow … and tomorrow …