Bill Clinton, Republican Benefactor?
I voted for Hillary Clinton today. The reasoning was that Hillary is a weaker candidate than Obama, and the longer the Democrat race runs, the better the chance McCain has of winning. Impeccable logic, at least from my perspective, but when I was forced to declare myself a Democrat, I almost changed my mind and asked for a useless Republican ballot. It appears that Hillary will not be forced to drop out tonight. She has won Rhode Island, and has a shot at winning Texas and Ohio. Her campaign hopes are still alive, although not very strong.
Bill Clinton did the Republican Party an incalculable amount of harm in the Nineties. He outsmarted the Republican controlled Congress after Newt Gingrich forced a federal government shutdown, making the GOP appear cold and unresponsive to the needs of Americans. The Republicans expended a great deal of effort in building up a case against Clinton regarding his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Clinton wriggled out of it with amazingly little damage to himself. Newt Gingrich, Clinton’s primary opponent, lost his job as Speaker of the House. Throughout the Nineties, Bill Clinton severely damaged the Republican Party with seeming ease.
In 2000, the nation came within 300 Florida votes, or one Supreme Court vote, of getting President Al Gore. Gore’s success in the polls was due, in large part, to Bill Clinton’s legacy.
Now, however, the Clinton pendulum may be swinging towards the Republicans. Bill Clinton’s years of smashing GOP hopes may be coming to an end, and the Clintons actually further the chances of the Republican Party of winning the Presidency. It is virtually impossible for either Clinton or Obama to win the Democrat nomination by getting a sufficient number of pledged delegates. The nomination will come down to the candidate who can get a larger proportion of superdelegates.
Whoever wins the superdelegate primary, this scenario is wonderful for Republicans. If the Democrat nominating process is extended through the summer, it will give John McCain valuable time to rally his base and set the tone of the campaign. If Obama wins, Hillary’s attacks will have no doubt tarnished enough of his messianic image that John McCain will face Barack Obama, Democrat in the general election, as opposed to Barack Obama, Messiah.
If Hillary somehow manages to get the nomination, then John McCain will face an opponent with a bad image and sky-high negatives. In addition, her attacks on Obama have made many liberals angry, which would serve to alienate much of her base. Hillary Clinton’s continued presence in the race is a gift to John McCain.