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Robert Guttman

Robert Guttman

Posted: February 21, 2008 12:38 PM

Democratic Double Standard: If Obama Had Gone 0-10 in Primaries and Caucuses


If Obama Had Gone 0-10 in Primaries and Caucuses There Would Be Calls for Him To Leave The Race To Unite The Party; Where Are The Calls For Hillary to Leave The Race and Unite The Party?

In politics there are winners and losers. That is why we have elections. Senator Obama has convincingly won the last ten contests and just won the Democrats Abroad election.

Senator Clinton has lost by large margins in these last ten contests yet the Democratic Party leaders are not calling for her to leave the campaign trail and back the likely Democratic nominee Barack Obama in order to unify the party.

If the results had been the reverse and Obama had lost the ten elections by these very large percentages there would have been calls for him to suspend his campaign and back Hillary Clinton. Democratic Party leaders including former President Bill Clinton would have been leading the calls for Obama to support the frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

Senator Clinton is getting a pass from Democratic leaders because she is named Clinton. There seems to be some belief that she will perform some magical event and win the nomination because Clintons (as this theory goes) never lose and never give up). She is losing and she is also not giving up.

With the proportional representation system the Democrats have in place, Senator Clinton will not score a knock-out punch in either Ohio or Texas.

Why is Senator Clinton getting the benefit of the doubt that would not have been offered to Senator Obama or even John Edwards? Why is a candidate who is 0-10 in their last elections still being considered as a front-runner?

Obama has the crowds, the momentum and is leading in delegates at the moment. Clinton is struggling but Democratic leaders somehow dismiss this lack of momentum, lack of money, lack of crowds as an aberration that will correct itself once the voters realize she may not be the nominee of the party.

Now the Clinton campaign is discussing why caucuses are really not that fair, as working people do not participate because they have to work late. This is just another form of rationalization by the Clinton campaign that makes no sense in the real world of politics. They are just trying to muddy the waters and downgrade some of Obama's successes in the caucus states.

Senator Clinton is not being the gracious loser either. She moves on to the next primary/caucus states without looking back. Several times she has not even offered a concession speech and applauded her opponent for winning, which is standard procedure in politics.

This does not really help her in the general election were she to be the eventual nominee--which she most likely will not.

Voters in states do not like to be forgotten only minutes after an election just because the candidate did not win and has flown to another state and is already giving her standard speech without even discussing her loss earlier in the day. It is rather surreal to say the least.

If the Clintons--and let's face it--it is the Clintons that are running for the Oval Office--try and change the rules on Michigan and Florida, then the Democrats face a chaotic and confusing convention that will only help Senator John McCain.

There is a double standard in the Democratic Party. The Clintons are getting a pass because of their last name. A former president deserves respect but he and his wife shouldn't be allowed to change the rules in the middle of the election and they shouldn't be allowed not to be labeled as losers, as Hillary Clinton has overwhelmingly lost this month of February from coast to coast.

If the Clintons support the Democratic Party over personal ambition they would see the handwriting on the wall---the election results---and graciously bow out and support Senator Obama thus uniting the party and moving toward success in the polls next November.

Don't look for this to happen. The Clintons will find ways to try and say losses are really not losses and other Orwellian phrases will be mentioned until they realize--if they ever do--that the party has a new hero and his name is not Clinton.

What should happen will not happen and the Democratic double standard will stay in place and the Clintons will continue to try and win the Democratic nomination by every means possible all the way up to the roll call in Denver this summer.

Let's hope some sane Democratic Party voices will be heard and the party will not tear itself apart in a year when all the odds favor their return to the White House.