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Hillary's 2012 End Game: Part 2

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Hillary's silence is deafening. And it's, in some measure, the reason why Obama's lead has disappeared against McCain.

Of course, this was predictable given her acrimony during the primary season. All that's happened, since her ungracious concession, has been an announcement that Bill Richardson is going to try and help them raise funds to pay down their huge primary campaign debts and that she will campaign for Obama in Florida and Nevada.

Clearly, the Clintons are aiming for 2012. They began doing so when they turned nasty against Obama during the primary marathon. They are betting, and by so doing they are helping, McCain win a one-term presidency. By that time, Hillary will have been re-elected to the Senate and Bill's business activities and some questionable associations will be ancient history. But that's just Bill's "fairy tale" ending.

Here's what I wrote in the Huffington Post about this on June 1 followed by a few quotes from HP readers who now look prescient:

By Wednesday morning, Hillary and Obama will up neck and neck in popular vote, give or take 100,000 votes between them.

That means the pressure will be on for him to make her his running-mate.

But she may not be interested. In fact, she will likely turn down recruiting efforts. If you take the Clintons at their word Obama is doomed to failure so why would she want to go down in flames with him this fall against McCain?

It's not like she hasn't made this perfectly clear. Her feelings about Obama's inadequacies have been articulated and broadcasted for months.

She has said he is an untried rookie who shouldn't get the nod and can't beat McCain. Her character assassination has been subtle but effective: The reference to Bobby Kennedy. Her doubts about his beliefs, (he's Christian or so they tell me). Her attacks on his manhood. Her husband's description of Obama's entire campaign as a "fairy tale."

All these statements and others will be generously splashed across Republican ads this fall to the point that some voters, who only wake up to their democracy during elections, may actually think she is McCain's running-mate.

Joining the Obama teams means she will have shot herself in the foot beforehand.

So what emerges is what I believe is the Clinton no-lose strategy.

They have used Obama's unelectability as their excuse to continue running against him even though they cannot win because, by saying he's unelectable, they help in part to bring about his defeat.

His defeat by McCain would make them look really smart and also set them up for the nomination and run in 2012. This is based on their professed logic that only Hillary can win against McCain; McCain will be a one-termer because he will be decrepit in four years and there will be a job vacancy in 2012 for the White House.

The tricky part for Hillary will be to appear to be a team player if she declines the VP slot or isn't even asked. Obama will offer both of them something in return for a few stump speeches made in between long absences from the campaign due to "exhaustion."

Here are a few choice comments from HP posters following this entry which point to why Obama is lagging and not getting Hillary's voters.

Bakossi wrote:

The tricky part for Hillary is that if Obama loses this fall, a lot of his supporters (myself included) will be as angry with her as her supporters are with Obama. We will look at the exit polls, look at how many white older women, for example, went over to the other side because of her repeated gender card plays, and begin organizing immediately (b/c a lot of the grass roots organizers are Obama supporters) not only to deny her any chance at the 2012 nomination, but to unseat her from the Senate as well. Unlike Lieberman in Connecticut, if she loses the Democratic primary in NY, she's toast, and we may support an independent against her as well, just to make sure. If her supporters decide a term of McCain is just 'punishment' for alleged Obama 'sins,' our attitude is going to be: "why not two?" So to Hillary supporters in advance, if this is the plan, we're letting you know: WE told YOU so.

Nostalgia:

Someone has to pay Clinton to play.
"Negotiations are understood to be taking place between the Obama and Clinton campaigns about the Illinois senator helping to repay some of the massive debt incurred by his rival. One of Hillary Clinton"s donors said that the former First Lady"s campaign was as much as $40 million in the red.

Dawlishgal:

She has already damaged Obama to the point that she can't do much more harm, and she has inflamed her crazy people so that they won't vote for him even if she tells them to. But, hey Obama might win anyhow.
And she can't be expected to campaign for him because Hillary does not campaign for presidential candidates....remember 2000 and 2004 where she and Bill sat on their hands and waited for Bush victories so they could keep the seat warm for her;

Fourex:

My guess is that Bill and Hillary will actively undermine the Obama campaign in the general election. The animosity they displayed to those who supported Bill's eight years in the WH is mind numbing. Then they disgustingly courted the Bush bigots to continue the race. They have the hubris to slander most of the party and then run as Democrats in 2012.

Paralogos:

From the moment Hilary Clinton endorsed John McCain over Barack Obama in the famous "commander-in-chief test" soundbite, she made it clear that she is NOT a team player. She staked everything on grabbing the nomination this time. If she fails - and it sure looks as if she is failing - her aspirations to be the Democratic candidate for president, or indeed to hold any national position for the Democratic party, are dead. That's one of the reason's she's carrying on so desperately.

Lisakaz:

She probably is angling for 2012 but make no mistake: Obama supporters DO NOT WANT HER AS VP. Sorry. To present this like that door is open is its own "fairy tale" I think.

But as many commentators have pointed out recently, Carter led Reagan in the polls until the 1980 debate when Ronnie landed a KO punch just as Obama likely will.

What do you think?

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