Posted by: Staff | 04.19.2008

See Hillary Run

JARED BELLOT ’08

As yet another month of presidential primaries drags on, Democrats seem to be no closer to deciding on a presidential nominee. The two main contenders, frontrunner Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, continue to drag each other down into the mud in hopes of gaining an advantage in the upcoming primaries. Meanwhile, the presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona is using his ‘opponent free’ time to reintroduce himself to voters and catch up on fundraising. In many recent polls, John McCain has tied with both Democrats in projected results of the November election. When former state senator George Bachrach spoke at Beaver earlier this year, he called the 2008 election “the Democrats’ race to lose”. Historically, it is rare to see a single party hold the White House for more than two terms, especially when the existing administration suffers from low approval ratings. However, with these lengthened primaries, it seems that the Democrats may have lost the advantage they once held over John McCain and the Republican Party.

Despite Clinton’s large base of support, there seems to be a growing consensus that she will not win the Democratic Presidential nomination, and that she should withdraw from the race for the good of the party. Senator Patrick Lehay of Vermont was recently quoted, saying, “There is no way that Senator Clinton is going to win enough delegates to get the nomination. She ought to withdraw, and she ought to be backing Senator Obama”. Experts say that there is a less than 5% likelihood that Senator Clinton will win the nomination, and yet she still says that she will not withdraw from the race until the DNC in August. Senator Clinton claims that there are many states left where she is still very competitive, and that she will not withdraw from the race if there are still states which she can win. Hillary’s claim is true, she can still win in Pennsylvania, and Ohio, but unless she sweeps Barack in all of these states, Hillary will not be able to gain the votes needed to secure the nomination. Super delegates, while important, will not completely skew the election. Hillary can still finish strong by bringing home some important states, but ultimately, she will most likely finish short.

Many say that there is nothing wrong with Sen. Clinton staying in the race, that she still may win the nomination, and that even if she doesn’t win, the feeling of competition that Clinton brings can only help Sen. Obama when it comes election time. This argument does have its points. It is true that a healthy sense of competition harms no one. However, when the competition resembles a death match, it only harms those involved. Slinging mud at your opponent will not help make them stronger, it is instead helping your opponent. When Clinton continues to question Obama’s experience levels, stating that he will not be ready to enter the White House on day one of presidency, she is not boosting her ratings, she is simply lowering his. The two Democrats seem to forget that it is not each other they are fighting. They should not view each other as enemies, but rather, allies.

I feel as though Hillary’s refusal to step down is seriously harming the Democratic party. Battle lines have been drawn, and Democrats are split down the middle. Indeed, in Beaver alone, fierce arguments were commonly erupting in the hallways and classrooms between Clinton and Obama supporters. Yet I don’t understand; who is this helping? How does Clinton benefit from the hatred of Obama supporters? How does Obama gain anything by having Micah Telegen attack the junior senator’s credentials? Nothing good is coming from this lengthened and hateful competition. Obama supporters refuse to vote for Clinton should she become the nominee, and many Clinton supporters feel the same way about Obama.

So why does Hillary stay in the race? Understandably she was the predicted nominee from early on, and many had expected her to become the next president of the United States. After all who could possibly defeat the Clinton machine? Certainly not a first term senator from Illinois who had served in the US senate for merely 3 years before he announced his plans to run for the highest office. At the time, such a scenario seemed absurd. However, that is exactly what happened. Whether Clinton refuses to believe this to be the case, or whether she still is holding on to that 5% chance that she can become commander-in-chief, she remains in the running to become the Democratic nominee. But one is left to wonder, ‘why does she continue to run? When will she stop? And where will she take the Democratic Party?’

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Responses

  1. jared, were’nt you cracking down on The Beaver Reader? I’m confused.

  2. best picture ever

  3. haha i just saw this now


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