Column: Hillary Clinton and the election that just won’t die

By Gus Bode

Most young Americans get their news from comedy shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Maybe that’s because truth has become stranger than fiction, and sometimes all you can do is laugh at the madness of it all.

Someone tried to sell Barack Obama’s partially eaten dinner and donate the money to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

This primary season is making everyone insane.


Hillary won Pennsylvania Tuesday, as analysts expected her to. She wasn’t, however, able to gain the 20 percent-plus blowout she needed to cut into Obama’s popular vote and pledged delegate lead. The Tasmanian devil that is Clinton’s political spin machine is going to ravage the discourse for the next few days, so let’s look at the facts.

Obama is the clear front-runner. However, in order for either candidate to secure the nomination, they both will require super delegates (uncommitted party poo-bahs who only exist because the Democratic party isn’t quite democratic). In order for Clinton to regain the lead in either pledged delegates or the popular vote, she needs to win the next contests one after another by margins of 25 percent or more.

This will not happen. There is no possible chance for Hillary to regain the lead. Even if she wins in places like Indiana and West Virginia, it will not be by margins wide enough to overtake Obama’s lead.

Hillary just doesn’t have the money. Her campaign says it raised about $10 million as of Wednesday afternoon after the Pennsylvania win. The only problem is the campaign is costing $1 million a day and her campaign is already in debt. Its main spin on Pennsylvania was that she was able to win despite “the unfair” fact of being outspent three-to-one.

Obama wasn’t playing unfair; if the Clinton campaign could outspend Obama, it would. The reason it got outspent is because Obama is running a better campaign by focusing on large groups of small donors who continually give while Clinton focused on small groups of large donors, most of whom have already donated the maximum amount.

Obama has more money, has won twice as many contests and will have the largest pledged delegate count and share of the popular vote. His campaign has been marked with historical fund raising, impressive grassroots organizing and record success. It had a “50-state strategy” it executed to perfection. In doing so, it was able to upset one of the most formidable primary contenders in recent history.

Hillary, on the other hand, has taken what could be the greatest starting position and reduced it to second place. While Obama’s campaign has been for the most part brilliant, Hillary’s campaign has been mismanaged, bipolar and downright underhanded.


Hillary’s strategy didn’t even see the possibility of the race going past Super Tuesday. It wasn’t planned for, and it got the wind knocked out of it when it happened. Soon it became clear Hillary had no shot of winning without a coup by super delegates. That would only happen if there was concern that Obama couldn’t win in November. And the only way to make that case is for Clinton to use every Rovian trick in the playbook.

At the cost of her party she used progressively slimier tactics, using everything from bitter nonsense to Jeremiah “Unpatriotic Scary Black Man” Wright to my personal favorite, William Ayers to smear Obama and make him unelectable.

The problem is, even though Hillary has gained some success poisoning by substantive debate, the “last hope” super delegates have been slowly trickling toward Obama. Swift boating doesn’t work in a Democratic primary.

The super delegates will not alienate both young people and the black base in their party no matter how Hillary argues that Barack is too black, inexperienced, na’ve, hopeful or attractive to be president. Barack has both energized the party and expanded it for the future while Clinton has divided it and clawed it for every last vestige of the past.

Jon Stewart joked with Obama, “Is there a chance that (while you’re being sworn into office) that Hillary could still be campaigning?”

Great humor comes from truth.

O’Connor is a senior studying

political science.