This isn’t quite as hypocritical as her critics on the left are making it out to be — you can oppose a system while resigned to the fact that you’re stuck with it for the time being — but it looks pathetic, which in turn points to how desperate she is, which in turn is delightful. Feel her pain:
Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, who backs Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for president, proposed another gauge Sunday by which superdelegates might judge whether to support Mrs. Clinton or Senator Barack Obama.
He suggested that they consider the electoral votes of the states that each of them has won.
“So who carried the states with the most Electoral College votes is an important factor to consider because ultimately, that’s how we choose the president of the United States,” Mr. Bayh said on CNN’s “Late Edition.”
Hillary, November 20, 2000: “I believe strongly that in a democracy, we should respect the will of the people and to me, that means it’s time to do away with the Electoral College and move to the popular election of our president.” Utterly inconsistent with Bayh’s position? No. Begging for a question at the next debate about whether she’d still support abolition of the Electoral College for November’s election? Sure. Better yet, try this one on for size, as you may be seeing it quoted again in the not-distant future if Her Majesty pulls off a “selected, not elected” nomination swipe via the superdelegates. From the same CBS article:
The first lady also said that because of the closeness of this year’s presidential election, “I hope no one is ever in doubt again about whether their vote counts.”
Bayh’s point is stupid, not only because many of the big states where she beat Obama will go blue in November no matter who the nominee is but because, as Jay Cost notes, Democratic primary voters aren’t the same as general election voters. Maybe having Hillary as the nominee will be better because it motivates more of the base in those states to turn out, or maybe most of them will turn out anyway for Obama and he’ll pull in all sorts of independents and Obamicans in the battleground states who didn’t vote in the primary. Hard to say. And maybe just maybe Hillary only won those big states because that’s where she dumped all her money while Obama was smartly playing for cheap delegates in the caucus states. From the Journal:
“She can win every Democratic vote in the world [during the primary] and not win a general election,” says Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. He points to the small segment of more liberal Democrats who participate in a primary compared to the huge cross section of voters likely to turn out in a general election.
Sen. Clinton won Ohio, for example, with 54% of the vote, compared with 44% for Sen. Obama. But a recent Rasmussen poll of likely voters projected her losing Ohio to Sen. McCain in a general election, 46% to 40%. The poll showed Sen. McCain defeating Sen. Obama in the state by the same margin; 14% of respondents said they were undecided.
Allan Lichtman, a political historian at American University, says a candidate’s primary showing has very little to do with the general-election result. “The argument holds no water at all, not even a thimbleful,” Mr. Lichtman says. He points to the 1980 primary, when incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter carried most of the big swing states, and early polls predicted he would defeat Republican Ronald Reagan in the general election by as much as 25 percentage points. Instead, Mr. Reagan decisively captured the White House.
The silver lining: A woman of her high public profile has no limit to the sorts of things she can do after she drops out. Dare I suggest … acting? Co-starring Fred Thompson as grizzled yet lovable NATO liaison Rusty “Steel” Cobb…