CLINTON BEING HELD TO A DIFFERENT STANDARD
Trying to push a viable candidate out of the primary race is virtually unprecedented.
This past week, Vermont senator Patrick Leahy joined a growing chorus of politicians, pundits, bloggers, and Barack Obama supporters urging Hillary Clinton -- trailing by a little more than 100 delegates with a number of contests still to go -- to quit the Democratic race in the interests of party unity.
It is, in truth, an argument virtually without precedent in modern political history, at least at this stage of such a close race. And while it does have its origins in an effort to preserve party unity, it also has its roots in an odd and vitriolic crusade to purge the Clintons and hand the nomination to a candidate who has yet, after all, to win a single large state's primary (other than his own), let alone the nomination.
The author goes on to recite at least five times in recent history when primary campaigns have continued down to the convention wire, and in none of his examples were the challengers NEARLY as close to their opponents' tallies as is Hillary to Obama's.
But a larger factor is that Clinton is being held to a different standard than virtually any other candidate in history. That's being driven by Clinton fatigue, but it's also being driven by a concerted campaign that examines every action the Clintons take and somehow finds the basest, most self-serving motivation for its existence. Thus, in this case, when Clinton is simply doing what everyone else has always done, she's constantly attacked as an obsessed and crazed egomaniac, bent on self-aggrandizement at the expense of her party. Is there a fair amount of sexism in the way she's being asked to get out of the way so a man can have the job? You be the judge.
If Obama really wants to vanquish Clinton, he has several other options that can end the contest long before the August convention. He could win Pennsylvania at the end of April. Or he could win a string of primaries after that, or successfully woo enough superdelegates to win the nomination. His problem isn't that Clinton continues to run (after all, so did Huckabee); it's that she continues to win, much to his chagrin.