How long before Hillary admits defeat?

posted at 6:46 am on May 7, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

In the end, it wasn’t North Carolina that made it clear that Hillary Clinton had no chance to win the nomination, but the nail-biter in Indiana. Barack Obama had been widely expected to win North Carolina, at one time by as much as 20 points, but Indiana’s demographics matched up with Pennsylvania and Ohio. When Indiana came down to 22,000 votes and a vigil over Gary and Lake County, the race was over. The only question will be when she admits it:

The twin results solidified the status quo in the Democratic race, one that now gives Obama the clear advantage in the battle for the nomination because of his solid lead in the tally of pledged delegates. Despite her Indiana victory, Clinton emerged even more the underdog in the nomination battle.

The results meant the senator from Illinois would to add both to his pledged-delegate margin and his lead in the popular vote, leaving Clinton with an even more daunting challenge in trying to deny Obama the nomination.

Although she managed to squeeze out a victory in Indiana, the night produced a far different outcome than the Clinton campaign had hoped for. In the closing hours of the campaigns in the two states, her advisers expressed confidence that she was gaining ground on Obama in North Carolina rapidly enough to hold his anticipated victory margin to single digits. They also thought she was positioned for a solid victory in Indiana.

Instead, Obama won North Carolina by 56 percent to 42 percent, and his popular-vote margin there — about 230,000 votes — wiped out the gains Clinton had made with her decisive victory in Pennsylvania two weeks ago. In Indiana, Clinton won by 51 percent to 49 percent.

Barack Obama now leads in pledged delegates, states, and has what looks to be an insurmountable popular-vote lead. Hillary has lost just about every argument that would convince superdelegates to switch to her side, and with nothing but smaller contests ahead of her, she doesn’t have enough potential over the next four weeks to reverse it. Even the electability argument disappeared with her momentum; if she couldn’t win Indiana convincingly, then she doesn’t have any special edge in electability.

Truthfully, Hillary has been a long shot since the first Super Tuesday defeats made Obama the front-runner. Operation Chaos may have helped her to remain in the race, and her predicament certainly made her a better candidate over the last few weeks, but her strategy always relied on convincing superdelegates to dump Obama. His unexpectedly strong showing in Indiana will convince them to stick with the frontrunner.

So how long will it take? Will Hillary really go all the way to Denver before surrendering? I’d guess that they will contest the last few primaries remaining. Kirsten Powers made a good point last night on Fox when she suggested that Hillary sees herself as a safety net — ready to take over if Obama has a “catastrophe” on the campaign trail. It would have to be at least an order of magnitude worse than Jeremiah Wright to knock him off the ticket now, but Hillary may be resting her ambitions on such slender reeds, and she doesn’t lose anything but time and money running out the string now.

Hillary won’t leave until the last primary contest closes its polls.


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Hillary won’t leave period.

Snooper on May 7, 2008 at 6:52 AM

Actual, she will leave.

Leave scorched earth.

Niko on May 7, 2008 at 6:56 AM

His unexpectedly strong showing in Indiana will convince them to stick with the frontrunner.

Strong showing?

He outspent her like 2 or 3-1 and is from the neighboring state..

He should have won Indiana by a large margin, he is supposed to be the Democrat that has “cross over appeal” to Republicans , and Indiana is a Republican State and well.. He lost, and so that myth is now busted.

Chakra Hammer on May 7, 2008 at 6:56 AM

Yeah, She is like Hitler at the end. Well, in some ways.

TheSitRep on May 7, 2008 at 6:58 AM

Only Obama can make Hillary look like a Centrist..

How can someone get to the left of Hillary?

Look up “Left-wing Extremist” in the Dictionary you will see a picture of Barack.

Chakra Hammer on May 7, 2008 at 6:59 AM

We will need extra time to deprogram the Obamabots. You know, we need to do whats “Wright”!

TheSitRep on May 7, 2008 at 7:00 AM

I think she’ll drop out by the end of the week. This will give Barack enough time to consider her as a running mate before the convention. As often as they say there’s no way they’ll do a so-called dream ticket, time heals all wounds.

jimmy the notable on May 7, 2008 at 7:01 AM

Hillary’s only chance now is to hope that Rezko’s deal with the Feds includes some Kodac moments with Obama and farm animals. Her objective now, if it hasn’t been for some time, is to prevent Obama from winning the general, which would open the door for her once again in 2012.

God Bless her.

Syd B. on May 7, 2008 at 7:02 AM

The question is, what will she do to destroy Obama?

JellyToast on May 7, 2008 at 7:03 AM

“We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in Kentucky and West Virginia, we shall fight on the rally stages and in the dinners, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength on the air. We shall defend our campaign, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the telephones, we shall fight on the Internet, we shall fight in the party backrooms and in the streets, we shall fight in the newspapers and magazines. We shall never surrender!”

TheBigOldDog on May 7, 2008 at 7:03 AM

All she is now doing by staying in the race is proving more and more how delusional she and her followers are. They all believe that she should be the President strictly on entitlement alone, as if the office is hers by right. The woman and her lackeys are obsessed with obtaining power and then gaining more power after that. Frankly, she is now the Ron Paul of the Democratic Party. She has now become a national joke.

Smartest woman in the world? It’s a wonder she can tie her own shoelaces.

pilamaye on May 7, 2008 at 7:04 AM

I’m sure she’d like to go on just to stick it to Barack but now it’s all about money, it’d be just pissing it away.

lowandslow on May 7, 2008 at 7:06 AM

We will need extra time to deprogram the Obamabots. You know, we need to do whats “Wright”!

TheSitRep on May 7, 2008 at 7:00 AM

Again, I ask. What happened to Rev. Wright? When he was thrown under the bus, I didn’t know that he was also run over. His silence since Obama ripped him one is rather suspicious.

Syd B. on May 7, 2008 at 7:06 AM

TheBigOldDog on May 7, 2008 at 7:03 AM

Comment of the Day Week™

steveegg on May 7, 2008 at 7:08 AM

Syd B. on May 7, 2008 at 7:06 AM

The check cleared.

TheBigOldDog on May 7, 2008 at 7:09 AM

This is bad news. Of the three candidates, she was the most conservative in the race.

tgillian on May 7, 2008 at 7:11 AM

There’s still time for a plane wreck (figuratively speaking, of course).

stenwin77 on May 7, 2008 at 7:11 AM

There’s still time for a plane wreck (figuratively speaking, of course).

stenwin77 on May 7, 2008 at 7:11 AM

Or a trip to a DC-area national park….

steveegg on May 7, 2008 at 7:13 AM

Leave?

We are not that lucky. She will work to undermine an Obama candidacy, denials aside, so she can run in 2012. If she doesn’t get elected President all history will remember of the Clinton’s is a “blue dress”.

They both know it.

patrick neid on May 7, 2008 at 7:14 AM

This is bad news. Of the three candidates, she was the most conservative in the race.

tgillian on May 7, 2008 at 7:11 AM

HAHA!

What a h00t! NOT..

Obama(Mega Mega Liberal), Hillary(Mega Mega Liberal), McCain(Centrist-Conservative)

Chakra Hammer on May 7, 2008 at 7:16 AM

I can’t see why she should quit at all. Look,
Hillary may already know that she can’t win the nomination,
but there’s still 2012.
Her best chance in 2012 is to damage Obama enough so that
he loses the general election to John McCain. I like
McCain, but he is getting a bit old. You can see it in
his speaking. He has well thought out positions, but there
is some shakiness and some hesitation in his delivery.
There’s a good chance that by 2012 he will step aside.
Not so much chance Obama will step aside, (though we may
be nuked before 2012 if Obama wins and if that happens all
bets are off) so from the sheer cold calculation
sometimes called quitters never win, it makes sense for
Hillary to ensure that Obama loses. Tell me why this
isn’t the most reasonable explanation.

davem on May 7, 2008 at 7:30 AM

We are not that lucky. She will work to undermine an Obama candidacy, denials aside, so she can run in 2012. If she doesn’t get elected President all history will remember of the Clinton’s is a “blue dress”.

Do you think Obama can be stopped? Say what you want, but he has a large number of pretty enthusiastic supporters. McCain doesn’t. (I say that as an Ohio Republican who will hold his nose and vote for McCain; most Republicans I know feel the same way.) And, Obama will be supported by a media that is probably more biased in favor of a Democratic candidate than at any point in the past 20 years–no small feat. Plus he has a huge fundraising advantage.

It seems our only hope is the electoral college beancount. You have to win two of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania in order to win the presidency. McCain generally beats Obama by pretty good margins in each of those states, and Hillary won each of those states’ primaries fairly convincingly.

Outlander on May 7, 2008 at 7:36 AM

TheBigOldDog on May 7, 2008 at 7:03 AM

Please, let us not denigrate Sir Winston by prostituting his words.

However, TBOD is right: Mrs. Slick is not going to give up. The reason she did so badly in NC and Indiana is that the moonbats have completely abandoned her (which is why she’s been courting the blue-collar vote). Obambi wins the Black-and-’Bats vote hands down. And yet she did scrape by in Indiana, which means that Obambi has yet to win a big state outside of Illinois. This is a powerful argument for the superdelegates.

Ordinarily, this argument would prevail, but since Obambi has convinced everyone in the party (and himself) that he is ‘black’, the general sentiment is that “We have to vote for him because he’ll be the first black President.” Never mind that this is both a racist and irrational argument; it’s the Liberal Democrat argument.

I guess that goes without saying.

So the ‘supers’ aren’t going to risk an explosion at the convention and in the streets by denying “the first black President” the nomination. Not, that is, unless Mr. & Missus Slick (looking a bit like used oil, these days) can contrive to focus the media on an Obambi scandal greater than Wright and Ayers and Rezko. What could that be?

I’ll give them a hint:

Hussein. Iraq. Saddam. Rezko’s Arab connections. Islam. Farrakhan. Apostasy. True conversion? Manchurian candidate. . . . .

They’ll need a smoking gun (or two or three). I’ll bet they have people looking hard, right now. They need a tale so damaging that Obambi can’t talk his way out of it, that’ll cause the delegates at the convention to turn on Obambi as “the only way out.”

Can they find such a sinister tale? We’ll see. This could be better than a novel. /Mr Lynn

MrLynn on May 7, 2008 at 7:36 AM

She’ll stay to the end. As whoever said, she’ll hold out as the Democrats’ safety net, in case Obama gets tanked somehow.

Seixon on May 7, 2008 at 7:45 AM

Hillary will make one last stand for Florida votes, when the door gets slammed in her face, she will leave.
I am shocked by her large loss in NC, a weak showing.

right2bright on May 7, 2008 at 7:57 AM

HAHA!

What a h00t! NOT..

Obama(Mega Mega Liberal), Hillary(Mega Mega Liberal), McCain(Centrist-Conservative)

Chakra Hammer on May 7, 2008 at 7:16 AM

“And yet when President Bill Clinton nominated Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsberg to serve on the high court, I voted for their confirmation…” John McCain

There are many other examples of McCain’s liberal leanings including Finance Reform, Immigration Reform, Global Warming.
McCain will “do what it takes (and voters be damned)”, while Hillary will check which way the wind is blowing.

Who ends up more conservative? We’ll see.

tgillian on May 7, 2008 at 7:58 AM

I have a feeling she’ll be gone by the end of the week.

And if she decides to stay in, then it’s time for the super delegates to step in and end it. They were established to ensure that the primary process didn’t hinder the democrats chances in novemeber. I can’t think of a better chance for them to do what they were created to do than ending this now if Clinton doesn’t.

Tom_Shipley on May 7, 2008 at 8:05 AM

Fox was reporting last night that she has a super-delegate campaign planned for after the last primary – mailers, personal calls, etc.

Quisp on May 7, 2008 at 8:06 AM

She may “suspend” her campaign, hoping for a photo of Obama and B. Dohrn dancing naked on a trampled U.S. flag to show up.

But she’ll never give up.

Barry is an interloper, a usurper, a buttinski, a guy who jumped ahead of her appointment with History.

He must be punished for his insolence.

And crippled for any future bids.

He has made a lifelong enemy in her.

Good luck, liitle Barry.

profitsbeard on May 7, 2008 at 8:08 AM

Again, I ask. What happened to Rev. Wright? When he was thrown under the bus, I didn’t know that he was also run over. His silence since Obama ripped him one is rather suspicious.

Syd B. on May 7, 2008 at 7:06 AM

Uh, yeah.

funky chicken on May 7, 2008 at 8:12 AM

tgillian…did you read the context of that quote, or are you just repeating MDS sites and cutting and pasting? The whole speech was about how crappy it was that people were going to vote against Alito based on partisan concerns, and how elections have consequences, one of which is that the president gets to nominate justices for SCOTUS, and the Senate’s job is advice and consent, not playing scorched earth politics….

Really, here’s the link:
http://www.stephenbainbridge.com/punditry/comments/mccain_and_judges/

You are factually wrong, but hey, what’s facts got to do with MDS?

Obama’s reply to McCain’s speech yesterday? He believes that justices must be committed to “social and economic justice.” Do you even understand what liberals even mean by that?

With the CPAC promise on the record, anybody who thinks John McCain would nominate Koh or anybody remotely near him on the ideological spectrum is suffering from such an extreme case of McCain derangement syndrome that they’re beyond the help of even modern pharmapsychology.

Stephen Bainbridge is the William D Warren Professor at the UCLA School of Law and blogs at http://www.ProfessorBainbridge.com

funky chicken on May 7, 2008 at 8:21 AM

It matters not who wins the nomination . . . Marxist mediocrity will reign supreme within the nanny states of America. Sad but true.

rplat on May 7, 2008 at 8:24 AM

Outlander,

“Do you think Obama can be stopped? Say what you want, but he has a large number of pretty enthusiastic supporters.”

I don’t know it he can be stopped but I do think he is easier to defeat than Hillary. That has been my position since Nov. 04.

I think some Hispanics, blue dogs and independents have a greater chance of switching to McCain if Obama is the nominee. I think Hillary would beat McCain 53-47 even with some Blacks staying home.

patrick neid on May 7, 2008 at 8:26 AM

I say something new comes out between Thurs, 2pm, and Fri, at 4:30. Something along the lines of Wright saying something whackadoodle, and HopeBama sitting there cheering. Or something, something we haven’t anticipated, and if the freakin’ media had shaken off that thrill running down their legs and done their job, we may have gotten all this out a year ago.

At least, I sincerely hope that SOMEone has some more ammo against him. If you’ve got the nukes, now is the time to deploy them.

JamesLee on May 7, 2008 at 8:27 AM

I will make one other comment. We are dragging out this process for no good reason. We all know what the outcome of the vote is going to be. We have other pressing business, including lobbying reform, which needs to be taken up by this body. We have pending the issue of the PATRIOT Act. There are many issues we should be addressing and at least beginning to work on, rather than dragging out this process. I wish my colleagues on the other side of the aisle would see fit to bring this process to a close and let us vote on Judge Alito and move on to other pressing issues.

The fact that there will probably be a large number of votes on that side of the aisle against Judge Alito doesn’t upset me as much as it saddens me. I didn’t agree with the judicial philosophy of Justice Breyer or Justice Ginsburg. I knew that Justice Ginsburg worked for the ACLU and held liberal views. But I also believe that elections have consequences. The President of the United States-at that time, President Clinton-nominated them as his selection. There were very few-a handful of votes against either Justice Breyer or Justice Ginsburg.

When there is a large number of votes against this highly qualified individual, it is a symptom of the rather bitter partisanship that exists in this body today, and I regret that very much.

http://www.stephenbainbridge.com/punditry/comments/mccain_and_judges/

funky chicken on May 7, 2008 at 8:28 AM

His silence since Obama ripped him one is rather suspicious.

You mean his silence since his media blitz last week?

Man, conspiracy theorists never rest.

Tom_Shipley on May 7, 2008 at 8:35 AM

Baraks a weaker opponent- this is good news.
It looks bad because the MSM is gonna get damp 24/7 til November, but that won’t change his extreme left positions.
Judges committed to social justice?
Target-rich baby!

jjshaka on May 7, 2008 at 8:47 AM

McCain CPAC promises are as good as the air they travelled through. Here is McCain’s “lesson learned” on comprehensive immigration reform.

Watch and then contact Coburn’s office and ask him if this is enough of a CPAC betrayal to keep him in line.

On immigration, John McCain was trying to solve a problem which, incidentally, hasn’t improved much. He listened and learned and decided the facts were on our side. He doesn’t have a secret plan to enact blanket amnesty as president. And, if he did, he knows I’d kill it.

If Coburn can be duped like this, why not you?

Valiant on May 7, 2008 at 8:56 AM

Again, I ask. What happened to Rev. Wright? When he was thrown under the bus, I didn’t know that he was also run over. His silence since Obama ripped him one is rather suspicious.

Syd B. on May 7, 2008 at 7:06 AM

On a recent thread I stated my belief that the Wright thingy was a (poorly managed) bad cop, good cop scam.

I was in error. It was not poorly managed – at all.

OldEnglish on May 7, 2008 at 8:59 AM

If you saw Bill Clinton’s face last night behind Hillary’s during her speech, it was like a husband-wife version of “The Picture of Dorian Gray” — Hillary puts on the relatively happy face, while Bill shows that this is not a couple that’s despondent right now, this is a pair ready to go out and whack some people, inside and outside their campaign staff and the Obama campaign, over Tuesday’s results, and who don’t plan to give up at least in the immediate future.

jon1979 on May 7, 2008 at 9:01 AM

Continuing to engage Obama is only a futile strategy if you limit your consideration to this election. Bleeding Obama so that he will lose to McCain positions Hillary to eliminate President Obama from blocking her next attempt at the Presidency in 2012.

Remember, the Clintons have no loyalty to anyone but themselves and do nothing that does not serve their ambition. That’s why they have left a debris field of broken friends and supporters in their wake, people they have used up and sucked dry or people they have carelessly wrecked to advance themselves. If destroying the Democrats chances of winning advances the Clintons chances of winning, they will gladly do so. The Clintons are the epitome of the Left: They want to win even if winning means standing alone on a pile of smoking rubble.

Tantor on May 7, 2008 at 9:13 AM

Hillary sees herself as a safety net — ready to take over if Obama has a “catastrophe” on the campaign trail.

Lots of potential for the dirty tricks bag between now and Denver.

What was that false report a few months back about Hussein being a homosexual?

Lots of potential for the dirty tricks bag between now and Denver.

BowHuntingTexas on May 7, 2008 at 9:13 AM

McCain supported Bork in 1987. He didn’t like the Souter nomination. He’s supported conservative judges for many years.

He’s been wrong on immigration for probably as many years.

He’s a mixed bag for sure. But that’s better than the Obama bag, which is full of only bad stuff.

funky chicken on May 7, 2008 at 9:19 AM

You are factually wrong, but hey, what’s facts got to do with MDS? funky chicken on May 7, 2008 at 8:21 AM

No MDS here. The fact is that McCain voted to confirm Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. You are welcome to read the whole thing, but it won’t change his vote.

No, I’m not factually wrong. John McCain’s words and deeds. Sorry.

tgillian on May 7, 2008 at 9:21 AM

The woman and her lackeys are obsessed with obtaining power and then gaining more power after that.

The scary thing is that I see Michelle Obama sliding into that role quite comfortably. If Obama isn’t defeated in the general, they’ll be the next “power couple” who will refuse to leave when their time is up.

crazy_legs on May 7, 2008 at 9:32 AM

And if she decides to stay in, then it’s time for the super delegates to step in and end it. They were established to ensure that the primary process didn’t hinder the democrats chances in novemeber. I can’t think of a better chance for them to do what they were created to do than ending this now if Clinton doesn’t.

The problem with your scenario is that the supers can’t vote until the convention. All of ‘em could say today that if the convention was now they’d vote for Obama and it wouldn’t matter in the slightest. That’s the whole point of them – to “save” the Democrats from the voters.

There’s still a long way to go before the convention, and if Obama steps in it even the day before the delegates are seated, the supers could still sway it for Hillary even though Obama by then would’ve won the pledged delegate count.

crazy_legs on May 7, 2008 at 9:36 AM

crazy_legs on May 7, 2008 at 9:36 AM

Yeah, but there’s long been talk of the Super Delegates stepping in and collectively promising their vote to one of the candidates to decide the race.

If they did that, even if Hillary stayed in the race, her impact would be greatly diminished and she would only be harming herself in doing so.

If she doesn’t get out this week, I could see the DNC and superdelegates getting together and “all but” ending it before the convention.

Tom_Shipley on May 7, 2008 at 9:52 AM

Only 2 or 3 senators voted against Ginsburg. I guess the whole lot of the GOP is just too liberal, huh?

The role of the senate is not to throw hissy fits if the president nominates folks of opposite ideology. McCain seems to understand that, as did the majority of GOP senators who voted to confirm Ginsburg’s nomination. And here I thought you “True Conservatives” were the defenders of the Constitution and historical observation of such. Just like Ron Paul.

funky chicken on May 7, 2008 at 9:52 AM

About the oft-noted McCain Derangement Syndrome. Cute but lazy, and wrong. We clear headed individuals who are old enough to have seen McCain in Washington for the past few decades are not deranged, are not set off kilter due to hate of McCain. It’s an educated assessment of who McCain is and what he has done which leads us to speak out against him.
I refuse to wear the rino-colored glasses, friends, and so should you.
Yes, I am voting for him. However it was accomplished, he is the standard bearer of the Republican Party. But don’t expect me or any of us to hug him. He’s earned our contempt, not our applause.

Doug on May 7, 2008 at 9:54 AM

This could be Hillary’s last hurrah. The question is”will she push for the VP spot?” She is power hungry and wants to top Bill big time. This is her last shot at the big stick, and she knows it.

saiga on May 7, 2008 at 10:17 AM

Yeah, but there’s long been talk of the Super Delegates stepping in and collectively promising their vote to one of the candidates to decide the race.

But most of that talk comes from Howard Dean, who has about as much understanding of the rules of the party he allegedly runs as a garden slug.

I’m not agruing with your assesment, but I could easly see Hillary taking Howie to task for strong-arming the supers before the convention, especially with Florida and Michigan still up in the air.

crazy_legs on May 7, 2008 at 10:21 AM

The FIRST Black President and his wife got their rear ends kicked by a BLACK guy !!! … hmmmmmmm … ha ha ha

aniladesai on May 7, 2008 at 10:22 AM

Actual, she will leave.

Leave scorched earth.

Niko on May 7, 2008 at 6:56 AM

Great tactic! Worked for Stalin….

Tim Burton on May 7, 2008 at 10:29 AM

How many slightly-stale FBI files does herself have with superdelegates names on ‘em?

GeneSmith on May 7, 2008 at 10:37 AM

Or she’s trying to guarantee a position of power within the Democrat party as a consolation prize for walking away quietly. Say, majority leader in the Senate.

spmat on May 7, 2008 at 10:44 AM

It’s all over except the negotiating for where Shrillary ends up after Barry is in the White House. Do you suppose she is getting fitted for her Supreme Court Justice robe about now?

Mallard T. Drake on May 7, 2008 at 11:03 AM

I find it funny that Hillary is almost certainly correct that Obama can’t win, but that she is unable to say why. It’s the identity politics (not Black racism)of the AA community that has put Obama over the top. He can’t win a mojority of White voters even in the Democrat primaries, but the monolithic support of Black voters has been enough to put him over the top there. While they are a big enough minority of the Democrats to save his butt, they are way too small a minority of the general electorate to do it. White racism also has nothing (or at least, very little) to do with it. Obama is a far left liberal who is very unlikely to be elected President. If he were White, he would not have received 93-95% of the Black vote, and he wouldn’t be the nominee. The coalition of Blacks and latte liberals that support him could never have come about for a White candidate.

Buford Gooch on May 7, 2008 at 11:39 AM

Admit defeat? Depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is.

TooTall on May 7, 2008 at 11:41 AM

Who is going to break the bad news to Hillary?
Bill Clinton: Not me buddy, I have to live with her.

RobCon on May 7, 2008 at 12:33 PM