Thursday, April 24, 2008

Trench warfare

A British journalist looks at the campaign.

The Clintons may have been trained as lawyers but they have always been professional politicians, who revel in the bare knuckle, brow-beating, arm-squeezing, baby-hugging business of getting elected and wielding power.

Bare-knuckled, indeed.

That's what Hillary means when she boasts about experience and tells her audience that she has been in the fight long enough to know how to deliver the knock-out blows against John McCain in November. In effect she is saying: "I may not be about change. I may not embody the new type of politics, you all yearn for. But I am really good at the old type. In a nasty fight you want me on your side not the loping intellectual from Harvard!"

Of course, she went to Wellesley and Yale.

The voters don't actually matter any longer. There is only one audience that matters in this trench warfare and it is not the energised voters of North Carolina, Indiana, Puerto Rico or Guam. t is the 796 super-delegates, the unaccountable conclave of cardinals, who can in theory vote for whomever they like, giving whatever reason they fancy.

Unaccountable conclave of cardinals: great phrase, and completely on the mark.

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