On a night where most people were thinking Hillary Clinton would at the very least admit that Obama had enough delegates to make him the nominee for their party, or at the very most, that Clinton would concede, neither happened. Her speech last night gave a passing nod to the “extraordinairy race Obama has run,” but beyond that, acknowledged nothing of the historic symbolism of his candidacy. Instead, she continued to press her case that she has gotten more votes that Obama, and for that matter any primary candidate in history, and said that the nearly 18 million plus people who voted for her “to be respected, to be heard and no longer to be invisible.” She also stated during her speech that she would be talking to party leaders over the next couple of days to determine the course of her campaign, supposedly with the interests of the party and the country at heart. Translation: She will be pleading her case with uncommitted delegates and superdelegates, and trying to change the minds of some of the pledged dels and superdels.
The talking heads reactions to her speech last night will be an indicator of what we see coming from many other political commentators today. The consensus seemed to be that it was self-serving, in no way conciliatory nor unifying, and almost bossy towards Obama, as if to say “you better pick me for VP” or at the very least, “I’m not going away quietly.” It flat out amazes me that after all these time, that some of the pundits I watched on TV last night appeared to be genuinely shocked that she didn’t back down one inch from staying in the race, and didn’t give Obama his due. This is after all, Hillary Clinton, who has thought from day one that the nomination was owed to her for all the work she and her husband have done for the Dem party. The name of the game for the Clintons is power, and we – you, me, and most of the ‘surprised’ pundits reacting negatively to her speech – have known this for years, going all the way back to her aggressive nature for Bubba on the campaign trail in 1991. So she was supposed to be nice last night because … the media wanted her to be?
In reading Ed Morrissey’s this morning in which he responds to a self-congratulatory NYT article on Obama’s nomination, I think his post provides the answer as to ‘why’ the media expected Hillary to be more gracious:
With that caveat, Obama’s nomination does demonstrate the openness of the American system. The irony of this, of course, is that Obama’s own associates don’t believe that America transcends race and allows for success for people of color. To listen to Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s friend and pastor of 20 years, is to hear how America is a place that conspires against black people and plots their genocide. Father Michael Pfleger, a man to whom Obama directed taxpayer funds while in the Illinois legislature, believes America to be so racist that he called this nation “the greatest sin against God”.
In watching and reading some of the reaction, many reveled in Obama’s nomination for the same reason. They want to feel good about America rather than have an experienced nominee. In fact, they not only want to feel good about America, they want to feel good about themselves. They wanted to be part of that historical moment, and that was their first priority — and that’s not limited to Obama supporters, either. The lament one hears most about Hillary’s collapse has nothing to do with policy, experience, or expertise, but that she didn’t get to be the one who makes history.
Well, history has been made, and I congratulate Senator Obama on beating the Clintons, a truly remarkable achievement considering the groundwork laid for Hillary’s bid over the last eight years. Perhaps now we can focus less on making history and back-clapping and start determining which candidate has the experience, accomplishments, and consistency to make the best President.
The mediots expected Hillary Clinton to give more than just a passing nod to the significance of Obama’s win last night because, well, it makes them feel good that they helped Barack Obama become the first black person to head a major party’s ticket in American history. A wall has been torn down thanks in no small part to them, and in their minds Hillary Clinton as a woman should be ecstatic as an “inclusive Democrat” to see it happen in her lifetime. What slipped the minds of the punditocracy was that she would have been excited about it had it not happened at her expense, because she is the one who wanted to make history, to have all the headlines written about how the glass ceiling had finally been broken, etc.
It’s all over but the crocodile tears at this point for team Clinton. There is no way Hillary is going to be able to convince enough of those delegates, super or otherwise, that she is the one who should carry the party banner in the fall, especially not after the pomp and circumstance of last night. Even if they wanted to, they couldn’t because to turn their backs on Obama would be like turning their backs on the black voters they claim to care about so much, and it wouldn’t just have repercussions on this election but for future elections as well.
On the other hand, the DNC risks alienating (white) Democrat women, who have stood solidly behind Hillary Clinton for years and who may be reluctant to support a nominee they feel is “sexist” (scroll) or at times “indifferent” to Hillary Clinton. It’s a risk that, as I’ve written before, the DNC are willing to take along with, of course, the mediots, who have proven time and time again throughout the course of this campaign that in the divisive Identity Politics War, they stand solidly behind Barry O.
Unless Hillary “does the right thing” in the near future by dropping out of the race and declaring her support of Obama in hopes of unifying the party and reaping a victory in the fall, expect the massive negative press against Hillary Clinton to continue, because it’s not just Democrat voters and superdelegates who officially put Obama over the top in the delegate fight and, in effect, choose him as their nominee yesterday. Last night it became official that Obama was the MSM’s nominee, too.