Genii Weblog

Conceding gracefully

Wed 4 Jun 2008, 06:40 PM

by Ben Langhinrichs
While I support Senator Obama in the U.S. Democratic race for President, I have long liked and supported Senator Clinton as well.  Unfortunately, Senator Clinton needs to realize that while it may be admirable to not quit before the race is over, it is just bad sportsmanship to refuse to concede when the race is lost.

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What has been said:

700.1. Tim Tripcony
(06/05/2008 06:16 AM)

She has decided to concede and endorse Obama this weekend, first in a private party with her supporters tomorrow, then in a public event in D.C. on Saturday. She came to this decision only after 23 members of congress and 8 senators - all supporters of hers - told her forcefully over the phone that she needs to do this, and she needs to do it this week. Apparently the conference call with the senators was arranged by some of her top advisors... even they know she needs to get out, but she wasn't listening to them, so they brokered an "intervention".

700.2. Andrew Pollack
(06/05/2008 06:45 AM)

@Tim - this method of concession serves the primary purpose of keeping here foremost in the news for the next several days. My believe is that she is lobbying very hard for the vice-presidential slot.

I think selecting here as VP would be a mistake on the top of the political mistakes scale that seems to be reserved for democratic candidates. I vice president needs to be out front only in so far as being out front is a positive reflection that reinforces the President and the candidate for President. Where in her history have we seen her successfully take this role? She was so far out front of her husband in his first term that she overshadowed his agenda. This is a powerful, intelligent woman who is not going comfortably fade into the background as a VP candidate or as a VP.

The other baggage Clinton carries, is that while she's well loved by her constituency, she was absolutely reviled by her opposition. She is extremely divisive in this way and may be the best rallying point the Republicans could ask for.

Hillary's message from the start has been all about "Fight" for this, and "Take on" that. There is no "Work with" or "Compromise" in her methods at all, and their never has been.

Finally, her cynical attempt to punk the system this time around closed the door on her for me in for the long term. Had she pulled off the Florida and Illinois delegates in sufficient numbers to have won the candidacy, she would have split the party in the most brutal way since a certain convention in Chicago a few years back. The only thing she managed to do with that cynical approach was to attempt to prove that she knows how to play the nasty game better than Obama.

I'm of a mind to wonder if Obama's got the experience to do his job simply on the basis that he did let himself get punked by the process. But did he really? If you look at how he gathered his wins, it demonstrates a perfectly executed strategy that is far from obvious and fully took advantage of his strengths and minimized his weaknesses. He didn't have the built in name recognition or the money to win the big states right away, so he focused on the caucus states and pulled more delegates in his wins there, than Hillary pulled in her wins from larger states. I guess that begs the question "who got punked?"

700.3. Carl Tyler
(06/05/2008 08:13 AM)

I worry that someone that was supposed to be able to make tough decisions at 3am in the morning, could not make an obvious one with days of preparation. I was also worried when she was asked what she would do differently an what mistakes she had made. She said she hasn't had time to look back and think about things. Doesn't that sound like someone else we know and love so much?

I can't take part in the process, but I have found the whole thing fascinating. It, to me, is one of the most drawn out crazy , inefficient systems going, why not have all the states vote on the same day? Why drag it out for years? I subscribed to all the candidates mailing list, and reading their spin has been a great example of how to spin the negative as positive.

I think the outcome is better for America, to have Bush, Clinton, Bush and then potentially, Clinton, Jebb Bush, Chelsea Clinton as the chain of presidents would have been very very bad.

For those Hilary supporters that say they're going to vote McCain now (because Hilary lost fair and square) I wonder how smart these people really are? Are they voting for someone's policies or how their hair looks or what they have between their legs.

I thought it interesting that Hilary bought up the fact that she was a woman constantly challenged by society in pretty much every speech, yet Obama has very rarely raised the fact that he is a man of colour, who I imagine has also faced challenges.

I have to agree with Andrew, I think a combined Obama and Hilary ticket would be the quickest way to lose the election. I know people that won't bother voter, but if Hilary was on the ticket, they would be out recruiting Republican voters they hate her that much.

700.4. Mike McGarel
(06/05/2008 12:02 PM)

On his radio show this morning, Dennis Miller described how she is leaving the race as "kicking and scheming."

I am one of the millions of Americans who want a change of direction for this country. I hope Obama can provide it, despite his background in Chicago machine politics.

700.5. J P
(06/06/2008 06:30 AM)

Gracefully? What campaign were you watching....