This little missive is directed at Senator Leahy and the other elite Democratic party officials, including Speaker Pelosi, whom I have supported unflinchingly throughout her tenure, as well as the elite progressives, who are suggesting Hillary Clinton drop out of the race. This goes for the mighty superdelegates who think they should weigh in before the rest of the primary votes are counted, as well. I don't expect you to understand this or even like it, but you'd better take it to heart, or you're going to be responsible for handing the presidency to John McCain.
If you continue to try to push Hillary Clinton out of the primary race before a clear winner emerges, you're going to accomplish one of two things, neither of which have anything to do with your actual goal. Taking myself out of this equation entirely, if the Obama elite keep pushing their agenda here's what you'll get:
1. Clinton supporters will harden further against voting for Obama if he becomes the nominee. (Hillary fans are already close to this, so don't push them any further, because you can't win in November without them, especially after Obama's Rev. Wright pastor disaster, which is already causing problems in the larger electorate.)
2. Clinton supporters will protest your overbearing and undemocratic interventionism by casting a protest vote for John McCain. (Lunch bucket and Reagan Dems don't trust McCain on the economy, but Clinton's their man in this race, because they believe she's the one who can get us out of this economic mess, but they hate elitist political snobs even more, so voting for a heroic veteran like McCain won't be that hard for them, especially if these same people took their vote away, too.)
I'm not even going to get into all the bellyaching coming from the Obama contingent about the alleged negative campaigning. As if McCain and the Republicans can't figure out how to run negative ads without the main Democratic challenger of Obama pointing out what gifts he's given to Republicans starting with Rev. Wright. It's true that Democratic primary voters don't care about Wright. But they're not your general election voter. Already, Rev. Wright has cost Democrats my home state of Missouri.
Few people know the mood of Clinton supporters better than myself. I've been talking to these die hard Clinton supporters for months and months. I've got stacks of emails on which to base this post and others I've written on the subject, which foreshadow dangers coming in November on the Democratic side. Many Clinton supporters started out willing to accept Obama, though that was before Rev. Wright's greatest hatred hits, as well as Obama's unwillingness to explain how he sat in a church for 20 years without walking out. Obama taking Clinton voters for granted didn't help. His appearance on "The View" didn't do it either, by the way. Read Tapper's column, which catches Obama in what may be an unending unwinding of details that don't add up. It's also not very impressive when Obama finally says he would have left the church, but only after Hillary Clinton led the way days earlier by saying the same thing. Playing follow the leader, with Clinton the leader, doesn't help.
Also, the Obama team needs to understand that there isn't a Clinton supporter who doesn't know the uphill fight she faces to the nomination. That's especially true since Obama won't let Michigan and Florida votes be counted. It's not a minor fact that legitimacy for the eventual nominee depends on counting Florida and Michigan before, not after, the fact, because Democrats are either for counting all of the votes or we're not. This one isn't multiple choice.
Right now, nobody has enough votes to claim the nomination. That's just a fact. Read Marc Ambinder's piece if you want to know just how close this race really is.
But as sure as Democrats know all about "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory," if you Obama elites keep trying to push Clinton out of this primary race you're going to end up with a much bigger problem. Clinton's voters will dig themselves in and protest your undemocratic actions by either staying home or voting for John McCain.
Listen to Chuck Todd, if an in your face Show Me State former Missourian like me isn't good enough for you:
Ultimately, the Wright issue will never be fully behind him. He will have to address the issue again at some point because race is like catnip to the media, as well as to the public at large. As a society, we can't help but examine the issue any chance we get. For the press it is like a car crash story: We hate to report it, but we always do.
Moreover, I would argue the Wright story turned off enough older white voters so that Obama can no longer argue that when compared with Clinton he will expand the electoral map in a general election with McCain. ... ..
... .. The party ought to lay off the calls for Clinton to drop out, at least for now, because her presence at worst is making Obama a better candidate. ... ..
It's also time to ask yourselves why Senator Obama, if he's such a uniter, has a good portion of Clinton voters refusing to vote for him. That's not a sign he can even unite the Democratic party, let alone the entire nation.
But if your guy wins fair and square, Clinton supporters are likely to swallow their pride and eventually join the fight against John McCain, who simply cannot be allowed to win in November. But if people keep trying to push Clinton out before the votes are counted, you're going to lose more than Clinton votes in November, and you're also going to hand the presidency to John McCain.
Don't say I didn't warn you.