Will Hillary Overplay Her Hand?

The Clinton campaign now reeks of desperation. They are implausibly ticking off the growing list of Obama victories as little nothings (apparently trying to make Obama the 'black' candidate by giving him every victory in Black History Month) and in fact, the Clinton campaign is doing so well, they fired Patti Solis Doyle.

As John Dickerson at Slate put it - "We're winning; time to fire the quarterback!"

Joshua Green - the guy whose Clinton insider story for GQ got vetoed - has a great article on “Hillaryland”, and how Doyle is hardly the only weak link in the Clinton campaign.

Now, as her delegates slip away, Clinton has to focus on a) getting the missing Michigan and Floriduh delegates, and b) strongarming the Superdelegates.

This is extremely treacherous territory for Hillary. Even if she does play by the rules we know how poorly many Democrats handle even the illusion of a stolen election, and with Obama we now have entire new swaths of voters to whom if 'change' means anything, it is a turn away from just that type of sharp practice in status quo politics.

The only fair way to handle the Missing Delegates is to keep them MIA. Hillary Clinton is all for letting the voice of the people be heard, making every vote count because that is the principled thing to do, and the fact that all her presidential ambitions hinge on those delegates is of course secondary. There are calls for a do-over, but that too is grossly unfair. The state Democratic parties of Michigan and Florida are supposed to have been punished for moving up their primaries before Super Tuesday - yet now these states are to be given a chance to decide the candidacy? The Republican decision to split the baby by only stripping away half of those states' delegates as punishment is indeed looking Solomonic by comparison.

And what will Hillary's appeal be to the superdelegates from states and districts that went for Obama? That she is the better candidate against John McCain? (Even you McCain-bashers out there have to admit he matches up extremely well against Hillary, and is likely to beat her). Will Bill Clinton visit them and make them each some kind of offer they can't refuse?

Playing heads-I-win, tails-you-lose with Obama could well destroy her pyhrric presidency before it even begins. The Clintons probably do not have the grace to concede. They have the foresight to see how damaging to the party this all could be but, hey, it is the Big Game on the line here, and what is a little collateral damage when power is at stake?

Update: Patti Solis Doyle is Mexican. Who knew?

P.S. Too true:

Though I’d rather face her than Obama in the fall, the thought of a Clinton losing ugly and spinning like this and the press smacking her for it, and that she’s losing to the Chauncey Gardner candidate after spending decades preparing for this race…well, that’s funny, I don’t care who ya are.

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