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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hillary's Choice

Barack Obama gained enough delegates tonight to claim his party nomination for President today. As historic as this day is - the day a black American was raised to the highest level ever achieved by the historic American slave race - the much vilified media made this Hillary's night. Another impossible moment in an impossible year. What now?

I'm trying hard to see where we go from here.

What I'm seeing is that some think Hillary was robbed and should fight on to the convention for a do-over of the primary process on the convention floor.

On the other hand, there is an emotional attraction to offering a joint ticket - which might be smart politics but it contains real problems for Obama.

As much as some may dislike the idea, Hillary has already lost the delegate count and her situation isn't likely to get better if she insists on continuing her campaign. This is clearly not what the majority of pledged delegates and super delegates want. She fought hard but finished the race behind and bankrupt.

The VP question is open - but remember that she declined that possibility tonight. There are days ahead when that could change but Hillary supporters won't like what she'll have to do to earn it.

Before she can even be considered for VP, she will have to publicly concede to Senator Obama and retire from the race. She will have to offer her unqualified support from now until the convention and she will have to refuse the calls from her supporters to contest against Obama at the convention. She will have to agree to support his campaign for president in November and recognize him as the leader of their campaign. This is not humiliation based on gender. The same would be true of any competitor.

I think Hillary can be a strong compliment to Barack, but that is entirely up to her and she's not ready to bow to him just yet.

Perhaps that is right. She won another primary that her campaign worked hard to earn so why cheapen it by waving the white flag on a victory?

Now the question is: will she take a reasonable amount of time for things to cool and then accept an honorable defeat and a change in direction? She's pretty smart. And this may be the only road left to a sure thing.

If she yields completely at the right moment, she'll probably be offered a place on the ticket. If not, things only look worse from here.

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