So, if she drops out, then Obama is assassinated, she can't be the nominee? Is that what she's saying?
She's literally claiming that having run second in the race, far, far beyond the third placed candidate, when the majority of delegates have no candidate, she would be prevented from being the nominee because she stopped her campaign before the assassination occured?
So who's the nominee then? In Senator Clinton's dime-novel scenario, who is the nominee?
A party is not a democracy. The country is a democracy. A party can choose who it likes, how it likes, based on popular vote, caucuses, a roll of the dice, or a TV phone-in. The only, only purpose of allowing ordinary voters (i.e. non-activists) to vote in primaries is to get a candidate for the general who appeals to the voting population. And by that measure, you're better off reading the latest polls than counting primary votes from January. But we need to have some kind of system and this is the one we have.
Because she may want to use the popular vote argument to win the veep spot. Given that it will probably only work if she gets an unfair allocation of MI and FL, it will be the first time in history a moral victory was won by cheating.
This is the Mark Halperin who said the media had a liberal bias and promised to be more "fair" to Republicans. I guess they're doing that now - balancing pesky liberal "facts" and "issues" with nice right-wing opinions and smears. Mark Halperin whose world is ruled by Drudge.
This is a common misconception that needs corrected. The U.S.A. is a democracy, a political party is not. There is no democratic reason why a party should choose its nominees based on any kind of popular vote at all. It's up to the parties how they choose nominees. We have primaries and caucuses where non-party members can take part because the parties want to win elections, so they want to include the voters in the process - thus making sure they get viable candidates for the general.
But the voters do NOT have any kind of inalienable right to choose the parties' nominees. Parties are not countries, they are not even part of the government. I can understand how people like Monica Goodling get confused about this, but let's at least be clear on this side of the aisle.
Todd, you're saying "blame the candidate"? How does this help? We know well that McCain can and does say far worse things, but because he isn't being hammered for it on all sides, it doesn't hurt the Republicans. Bush made far, far worse verbal screwups in 2000, but wasn't hammered for it, so it didn't affect his campaign.
It's NEVER what the candidates ACTUALLY SAY, it's who reacts, and how in the parties and the media that determines the result.
Hillary is saying things about the 90%-likely-nominee that she can't take back. She has a responsibility to campaign in such a way that does not harm the long-term prospects for Obama in the general. Not to reinforce McCain's likely avenues of attack - that's Lieberman's job.
What you say is true, HRC has many fine qualities. But the presidency in 2009 is not now available to her. What should she do? She can run in a way that helps the eventual nominee, or in a way that hinders him. Atdleft, what should she do?
Cutting to the heart of a weakness does nothing in politics.
You need to think of a politician's poll numbers as being like a price in the stock market. It factors in all current information the voters have to give a value for their stock. Hillary's "weaknesses" - truthfulness for example, are priced into the market. They're already taken account of, as are her strengths. This is the principle behind Rove's innovation (unless someone can tell me who thought of it before him) that you attack your opponent's strengths. Attacking their weaknesses is like pushing on a string, there's no more to give there. You attack their strengths, that's how you drive down their numbers.
But I think this story does hurt Hillary in an area where she's strong - the idea that she's been around the block, she knows the score, she's not vulnerable like Obama is to unexpected hits. Clearly, she is. And as Hillary tries to turn "been around the block" as First Lady into something resembling a major political resume, this kind of story pushes back against that attempt, and hammers her perceived strength. That's why I think it will do damage.