As Hillary starts negotiating the terms of her surrender it would be so surprising and so uplifting if she would take the high road. Surely her last-ditch message to superdelegates cannot be an argument that America is too racist to elect a black president. That just cannot be the legacy of her historic campaign.
As I've written here before I gave Mrs. Clinton the benefit of the doubt for months while others saw Machiavellian manipulation, but these last death throes of her presidential bid are becoming dangerously depressing.
I keep going back to John Edwards's seemingly off-the-cuff response in the South Carolina debate. When asked if he thought some would vote for him precisely because he was neither a woman nor black he shot back, "If that's the only reason they're voting for me I don't want their vote."
With at least twenty percent of white Clinton supporters in both Kentucky and West Virginia admitting that race was a factor in their decision-making how hard would it have been for Hillary to say she didn't want to win that way; that the America she intended to lead was better than that. When John Edwards saw that ugliness he jumped back in and endorsed Obama and Jim Webb, Appalachian himself (and Obama's future VP), just chimed in urging tolerance and mutual understanding.
Instead of ducking, winking and nodding if Hillary had addressed the issue head on, wouldn't that have been the Presidential thing to do?
And as Machiavelli could have told her from his grave, she'd still have gotten the racist vote, she just wouldn't look as if she were courting it.
Trey Ellis is the author of Bedtime Stories: Adventures in the Land of Single-Fatherhood.
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