Things to Come

I think Chris Bowers pretty much nails the likely course of events with the Democratic nomination the rest of the way:

 The decline of a once frontrunning presidential campaign might be the exact opposite of Gandhi’s famous saying: first you think you have won, then they fight you, then they laugh at you, and then they ignore you.  We went through the first phase during the 2007 inevitability your. Iowa through March 4th is the “fighting” stage. If Clinton loses Texas, Vermont and the March 4th delegate count, and also goes on to lose Wyoming and Mississippi, the “laughing” stage might begin at some point in mid-March. We may never reach the “ignore” stage, because we are talking about Hillary Clinton here, but the laughing stage might be painful enough. I think we will know that the presidential campaign is truly over when the likes of Jay Leno and David Letterman start making jokes about Clinton continuing her campaign despite suffering so many losses.

I hope it does not come to this. I hope that, if Clinton suffers a delegate loss on March 4th (let alone fails to win a handy majority of the delegates in play) that her campaign makes moves to shut down in the face of an essentially hopeless situation. In that scenario – where the only chance for a Clinton nomination would depend heavily on superdelegates and Florida and Michigan being granted delegates based on their already-held primaries – Clinton would be continuing on in the face of an almost certain outcome. That could divide the party and waste valuable time that could be better used to focus attention on the general election and defeating John McCain.

Granted, there are still elections to be held this week that could at least on paper grant Clinton an opportunity to make in-roads in Obama’s delegate lead. But the likelihood of that is small and the probable outcome will leave Clinton facing a situation similar to what Bowers has described above. I hope that’s something we can avoid.

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