Thursday, May 22, 2008

Clinton Signals She May Carry Fight to Convention

This would be disastrous. It might be posturing, and it certainly gets people's attention; the damage is unmeasurable, at this point.

On the trail and in interviews, she raised a new battle cry of determination, likening her struggle for these delegates to the nation’s historic struggles to free the slaves and grant women the right to vote.

It's preposterous, really, but it gets people to listen. Spin. She isn't being denied the nomination because she's a woman, but because she's a Clinton.

But behind the scenes, the campaigns were working with the Democratic National Committee to resolve the dispute over the delegates before May 31, when the party’s rules committee is to decide the matter. Mrs. Clinton has said she wants all delegates counted and apportioned based on the popular vote of the two candidates in both states, although Mr. Obama did not appear on the ballot in Michigan.

Hardball is a negotiating tactic, and she's experienced in that.

Florida and Michigan have emerged as central to Mrs. Clinton’s effort to keep her candidacy alive. Both states jumped ahead in the primary calendar in January in violation of party rules. As punishment, the party stripped them of their delegates, leaving them excluded from a primary process that has galvanized the rest of the country. Mrs. Clinton told The Associated Press on Wednesday that she would support those states if they had to carry their fight to the convention.

A convention fight would be disastrous. For her to say so is to encourage recalcitrants, and will make the comproise more difficult to reach.

That strategists are working behind the scenes on the matter raised the possibility that Mrs. Clinton’s newfound fervor was an effort to make sure her apportioning method prevails.

It also raised the possibility that her campaign was split over how to handle the end game of what some have admitted privately is a lost cause. Some Clinton aides said that she was well aware of her uphill climb and that she was making a symbolic point. They said she was hesitant about declaring that she could overcome Mr. Obama’s lead, but at the same time did not want to be seen as surrendering.

It really isn't surrendering, but admitting defeat. For her, that's impossible.

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