Hillary Clinton: It’s the Map Not the Math
Jeralyn Merritt recounts a blogger call with Senator Hillary Clinton:
She is staying in the race. She is ahead in the popular vote by 50,000 votes, counting Florida and Michigan which must be counted. She intends to continue to lead in the popular vote when June 3 comes around and everyone has voted.
The number one message: It’s the map not the math. In addition to the popular vote, the electoral map shows her with a cushion and Obama with a deficit. She has won 311 electoral votes to Obama’s 217. While a few of her’s like Texas and Oklahoma will be a challenge in November, many of his states will be: Alaska, Idaho, Utah, to name a few.
This is simultaneously ridiculous and sublime.
On the one hand, it’s absurd beyond words to count Michigan, in which only she was on the ballot, in any “popular vote” count. Especially when, running unopposed in an election that did not count, she only got 55.5 percent of the vote. “Uncommitted” got 39.9 percent. Should Obama get none of those votes? Further, as I’ve noted numerous times, the “popular vote” argument makes no sense, anyway, given the differential conditions involved in the various races. Caucuses get smaller turnouts than primaries, states holding contests on Saturdays have different dynamics than those held on Tuesdays, and so forth.
The “Electoral College” argument, though, is interesting. On its face, it’s silly. The Democratic Party has a set of rules in place for how it selects its nominee. Those rules don’t at all resemble a winner-take-all model mirrored on the Electoral College. Consequently, her opponents didn’t run their campaigns as if that were the case. To now claim that this is how the race should be decided is brazen.
At the same time, though, my colleague Dave Schuler (a Democrat, albeit of the virtually extinct Scoop Jackson/Sam Nunn variety) has observed several times that such a system is what the party should be using. It’s pretty much what the Republicans do and it gives them a relative advantage because it vets its would-be nominees through the same gauntlet that they’ll face in November.
Again, should be and is are different things. But since Clinton’s argument is intended to sway unpledged superdelegates, whose job it is to decide which candidate will represent the party best in the general election, it’s a defensible point. And, frankly, about all she’s got left.
This, though, is just pathetic:
She also talked about the blogosphere, saying she deeply regrets the vitriol and mean spiritedness and insults that have been thrown around at bloggers for supporting her and at women in general, but this too shall pass. She said she’s impervious to the insults and almost sees it as a perverse (reverse?)form of flattery.
The woman started with every conceivable advantage. She began as a household name, having been in the center of the national spotlight since 1992. The Democratic Big Money folks were afraid not to back her because she was the presumptive nominee. She had Bill’s Rolodex and her pick of his old team.
Meanwhile, her opponent’s first name rhymes with a country we’ve invaded, his middle name is the same as the dictator in charge of said country at the time of said invasion, and his last name rhymes with the first name of our most hated enemy. He’s been on the national stage about five minutes. He’s a half-black Muslim who has spent the last twenty years attending a Christian church led by a Louis Farrakhan fan who hates America and, especially, white people. And he won’t even wear a flag pin or give the poor, bitter working man a break on his gas taxes.
And she’s got it tough?