I was going to write about what a horrible speech John McCain gave tonight. About how he has no chance of winning (barring a world changing event) and this is as good as it gets for him. I was going to explain how awkward and painful a speech that was, especially compared to the dynamic and energetic Clinton and Obama speeches.
This was what was going through my mind as I was waiting for Hillary to get to the point in her speech where she makes the turn and says, "It's been a great race, I love you all for supporting me through these trying times, but now we have to unite behind the Democratic candidate for president, Barack Obama!"
Except that moment never came. I couldn't believe it. She didn't concede. Is she mental? Her chances of winning aren't theoretically low now, they're nonexistent. The race is over. She lost. What is there not to concede? What kind of maniacal move is this?
Yes, I love hard-hitting, driven competitors that never say die. But there are bounds of reason. One of them is that we fight within the confines of the contest. You have to stop hitting your opponent after the match is over. This isn't even hitting after the end of a round. The other boxer has won and gone home, and you're trying to follow him there while still swinging at his head. That's not tenacious, that's mental.
I'm picturing Hillary shooting baskets after everyone in the stadium has gone home and keeping score with herself and then jumping up and down in the dark saying she had finally won. No, you see, you have to score those baskets while the game is still being played.
I understand that she wants to negotiate with Obama, presumably for a VP spot. But what was stopping her from doing that earlier? This handwriting has been on the wall for quite some time now. For her to drag this out so she can negotiate a better ransom now does tremendous damage to her credibility. Who believed her tonight when she said she was still staying in the race because of her voters and not for herself? Please!
But the problem is a lot of Hillary's supporters are apparently as deranged as she is. The reality is that there is a sliding scale of voters in any camp. Some of her voters who are on one end of the scale will happily go over to Obama starting tonight. Some on the other end of the scale will never vote for Obama no matter what. The problem is that every day that Clinton drags this out, we lose more people on that sliding scale.
You lose the ability to convince people further down the scale that she was not robbed, that Obama is fine and that they should be excited enough to turn out to vote for him in November.
In essence, Hillary is holding her voters hostage in an effort to negotiate better terms with Obama. And she's losing the Democratic Party more voters every day she does so.
She had an opportunity to speak to a lot of her supporters on Tuesday night and bring them into the Obama camp. Instead, she had that steely look of deranged determination and plowed on. She said next to nothing about unity, other than one throw away line that seemed completely disingenuous. She continued to attack Obama when her followers were looking for clues as to whether they should support him or not.
Now, she wants to be his VP? I wouldn't trust her under any circumstances. People keep saying that if he picked her, he'd have to watch his back. I assume they are mostly kidding when they say this (I've said it in jest myself). But there is a real component to this. I wouldn't trust her to make decisions that were best for the team, or the campaign, or the administration if they won. Hillary Clinton has shown, once again tonight, without a shadow of a doubt that the one thing she cares about most is -- Hillary Clinton.
That's not someone you want on your team.
I think she has about three days to correct course. Otherwise, everyone is going to realize that still staying in the race after it's over is a real weird and classless thing to do. Not only will she do damage to Obama's campaign, but she will start to do very serious damage to her own reputation and career. And that's the last thing she wants.
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