Bruised or Messy

In recent days it is clear Democrats are heading into muddied waters. What began as the most exciting primary race ever with a fairly optimistic hope to recapture the White House has now turned into a sniping contest between two attractive and potentially historic candidates. This was not expected to become a battle of personalities since the Democrats seemed to be way ahead on the issues and had possibly their best crop of candidates vying for the presidency in a generation. It seems that the lack of any major substantive difference on the issues, however has given way to attacks on character and individuals.

Mrs. Clinton seemed well on her way to becoming the nominee until her surprise third place finish in Iowa. Since then, she has been on the defensive and now trails Barack Obama in ways that are leading people such as Bill Richardson to hint that Mrs. Clinton should eventually abandon course for the sake of party unity. Hillary Clinton, never one to give up, has thrown what has been called ‘the kitchen sink’ strategy to stall and eventually stop the Obama momentum. It has worked to the extent that Obama may win the nomination but will come out bruised from the encounter. This blog has always felt that testing Obama was a necessary part of the process. And until yesterday, when Mrs. Clinton brought back the race issue by stating she would have abandoned her Pastor if he had spoken like Jeremiah Wright, Obama was being legitimately tested. Now he may be in the process of being bruised in ways that could come to haunt him and the Democrats in the fall election.

Clinton’s chances depend on the complete collapse of Obama’s support. This collapse can occur if national polls clearly indicate that white America is unable to support an African American for the presidency and if Obama loses badly in the remaining primaries. This is unlikely. Most indicators show that Obama will end up leading in pledged delegates and popular vote. He has already won the majority of states. If anything, this would be a messy way of winning for Hillary Clinton. Between ‘bruised’ or ‘messy’, John McCain has to be smiling!

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