March 7, 2008

If I were Hillary I'd ...

... well, fill in your own punchline.

But if I were in her shoes ... nah ...

Okay, Hillary likely can't catch up in delegates unless Obama gets caught in some scandal that doesn't have anything to do with race. It can't be something that black politicians are stereotypically caught at, like money or sex or drugs, or it won't get any play. Because, you know, then it would be a stereotype and stereotypes can't be true.

Thus, Obama's got to show up on Youtube pummeling an endangered raptor to death with his putter because it cawed during his crucial putt on the 18th green, or some other kind of scandal that Ted Knight's Judge Smail's character in "Caddyshack" would get caught in. (By the way, Obama is a fairly enthusiastic golfer, but that doesn't get mentioned much.)

So, then it comes down to the Superdelegates. The point of the Superdelegates is to huddle in a smoke-free room and come up with the nominee who is best for the Party. But if Obama comes to the Convention with a lead in regular delegates of, say, 48% - 45% over Hillary, it's going to be hard for the Supers to come up with a plausible reason to overrule the regulars. What, Hillary didn't get a fair chance? She lacked name recognition? C'mon ...

To have a chance, Hillary's got to win it in the polling booths. But she's just about run out of states to make the case that she'd be the better candidate in November because momentum is now on her side. All Obama has to do is run out the clock and not screw up.

What Hillary should do, therefore, is call for a Best of Three Big Purple State Playoff: Pennsylvania, plus re-doing Florida and Michigan, which the Democratic National Committee said they wouldn't count because they moved their primaries to January. Those three states comprise 65 of the 270 electoral votes you need to win.

Florida and Michigan say it would cost $28 million to hold another election. Hillary should offer to pay for the elections herself, if necessary.

This would put Obama in a bit of a spot. "Let's not let Florida and Michigan participate in selecting the nominee" isn't an appealing slogan.

His better response would be along the lines of, "Sure, let's compete in Florida and Michigan. I certainly can't afford to pay for the elections (as you all can see by looking at my tax returns, which, by the way, I've released), but if Senator Clinton can somehow afford it, let's do it. But this "Best of Three" stuff is nonsense. There's no reason any one state is more important than any other. Just add up all the delegates after all the states have voted and see who's ahead. That's the fair way to do it."

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

Hillary has to get primary votes from Michigan and Florida counted so that, assuming she does well going forward, she can get the most actual votes as opposed to delegates. Then she can invoke Al Gore from 2000, she got the most votes but the electoral college, er, delegate selection process, was anti-democratic, which of course it is. The fact that Hillary is close to or ahead in the popular vote when she really hasn’t contested the small red states that Obama ran up his delegate count and votes in is testament to how well she has done in the major states, including those that will actually be contested in the November general election.

Anonymous said...

Hillary's best plan:

(1) argue for the will of the people (primary voters) not extreme party insiders (caucus voters) with shades of Gore as mentioned

(2) argue that she's more viable in winning the clear majority of both large states and states that Dems traditionally need to win to beat McCain

(3) Engineering a well-timed major domestic terrorist incident so McCain becomes a more viable opponent. The Dem superdelegates will then realize they can't shove either candidate down the public throats and will have to consider points (1) and (2) more seriously.

Muswell Hillbilly said...

Well, I'm no horse-race afficionado, but my basic experience (such as it is) tells me to never count out the kind of person, as Christopher Hitchens put it the other day, "who have no life except the worship of power . . . people who don't want the meeting to end." He described them as "horrible and undefeatable."

And besides, aren't the superdelegates the types to feel threatened by Obama? He represents the upstarts who don't wait their turn within the party machine. Hillary is the one on whom they can count for traditional patronage-style rewards, no?

Anonymous said...

Interesting dynamic here in the Northeast - Kennedys going heavily to the mat for Obama in MA and RI, and Hillary cleaning his clock in both states. LOL at Democrats.

Concerned said...


nice plot for a movie but but Steve is right. Hillary is checkmated. I thought Ohio moved her out of checkmate territory but that was an illusion. It didn't really change things - although it does point out what a weak General Election candidate Obambi is.

This is like the game Bobby Fischer played against Don Byrne in 1956 (age 13!) where he sacrificed his Queen, but won with a genius attack of all his smaller pieces.

She can't win this nomination unless she wins PA, Michigan and FL by whopping margins. The Dems are too inept to mount primaries in MI and FL.

Steve is right - Obama will be a cool cat and run out the clock. He'll get the nomination.

But - he goes into the General a more subtly wounded candidate, and all the questions that are beginning to be asked now about his associations with Rezko, Bill Ayres, Bernardine Dohrn, will be asked.

And his church will be scrutinized.

AND - someone will go over his DREAMS book with a fine tooth comb and find numerous instances of plagiarism, and anti-white rhetoric.

Somehow Obambi is going to win over the Reagan Dems who voted for Hillary in Ohio in the General, after hearing about all this?

Anyone who thinks that should be forced to read Daily Kos every day for his next 10 lifetimes.

Anonymous said...

Read Mark Steyn today (3/8) for the funniest comments yet on the Dems identity politics-driven race this year. You come up with some pretty witty comments Steve (...stereotypes can't be true..), but Steyn is a master.

Let's! said...

If I were Hillary I'd at least be glad that this fight was happening in the Democrat party. If the media was biased against her party, we'd be treated to obsessive, concern-feigning "analysis" wire stories like this one I made up...

"The Democratic party slipped further into chaos and confusion as Sen. Hillary Clinton re-took delegate momentum from Sen. Barack Obama, winning three of four primaries on Tuesday.

Nervous liberals and left-wing commentators had been eager to see the drawn-out nomination fight end soon, since Sen. John McCain had only faced token opposition after Super Tuesday, and essentially sealed the nomination on March 4.

After Obama and Clinton remained neck-in-neck in the delegate count, the campaigns once again frantically pleaded with donors to continue funding their mounting and at times extravagant expenses.

At least one senior Democratic National Committee official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the press, worried that donors large and small would be exhausted and tapped-out for general-election season.

'Some of these activists have been giving $100 a month to their favorite candidate since last fall, but they expected to take a breather in their giving between the primary and general election seasons,' he said. 'They're not getting that break.'

The next major primary is over six weeks away, when Pennsylvania votes on April 22.

Meanwhile, Sen. McCain has cruised into general-election mode as speculation swirls around who is vice-presidential pick might be.

Even worse for the Democrats, votes in the key states of Florida and Michigan remained in limbo as infighting raged between the Democratic National Committee, the state parties, and the Clinton campaign.

African-Americans, a loyal component of the Democrats' base, would be furious at the idea of letting the original Michigan results stand, since Obama was not on the ballot there.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, an Obama supporter, warned that demoralized African-American voters could stay home in November if they feel like their votes weren't counted.

'Whoever the party's nominee is will need a strong African-American turnout. On Election Day, will we be fired up and ready to go?'

It wasn't supposed to be this way. As recently as January, Democrats, angry after eight years out of the White House, gleefully anticipated a muddled five-way GOP race between McCain, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani..."

Grizzlie Antagonist said...

Steve, one of your very few weaknesses is that you focus almost exclusively on what others refer to as racial "stereotypes" without carrying the same analysis over to "gender".

So much of what you say about race can be carried over to a discussion about gender, but you don't make that leap or you don't make it very often. I might have more to say about that in some other blog response.

How can Hillary win the nomination? She can cry for it, of course. She's done it a few times in this campaign, and it's helped her each time.

Because "gender stereotypes" work the same way that racial ones do. It's in a man's nature to respond empathetically to a crying woman. But women, on the other hand, are carnivores who band together in support of each other.

So tears WORK for women, regardless of whether they are delivered before a male or female audience.

You're just not allowed to point them out, that's all. You're not allowed to use them AGAINST her. You're not allowed to suggest that tears might be inappropriate for a commander in chief. Because THAT would be an unacceptable stereotype.

So Hillary has everything to gain and nothing to lose by turning on the waterworks at the right time

Anonymous said...

Hillary's main argument is to poison Obama as a candidate in the general election and argue "look I'm the best alternative."

So Steve sex or drugs or particularly money would be a great angle. The Rezko-Auich (Saddam's bagman) paying for Obama's house, Obama's staffers getting jobs with Blagovech via Rezko, other stuff implying Obama is owned by Saddam's bagman is a good blow. Not a knockout but a good one.

Then, push his staffers ties to FARC and his "secret plan" to negotiate with that terrorist group holding Americans hostage. Not a knockout blow but a good one also.

Next run through all the noxious ties Obama has to Farrakhan, his Pastor's statements that "whites had 9/11 coming" and other nutty/insane black racialist stuff. Tie him to the bombing of the military recruiting station in Times Square.

Finally, do as much as possible to make Obama unelectable and obviously so. Deliberately provoke the hard left loonies into violence and argue to the Superdelegates that Obama as the candidate will drag down all but the Pelosis into defeat, and destroy the Party. That the hard-left ANSWER/Code Pink types need purging and MUST be purged in order to win and protect not just Blue Dog Dems but nearly everyone not in a totally safe SF district.

Hillary has to push Obama further left (won't be hard) and argue that it poses an existential risk to most of the Party.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes one more thing. I'd hit Obama on the refusal to back Jay Rockefeller's FISA reform bill (via deniable proxies) that would give retroactive immunity to telcos for helping the NSA wiretap AQ.

There is a huge gap between Dem orthodoxy: there is no threat from terrorism, we need to extend constitutional protections to all even foreign terrorists, and that of the American public: no there is no constitutional protections for foreigners abroad, stop another 9/11.

This gap also poisons Obama as a general election candidate and makes him a disaster. His own National Security advisor has called him "knee-jerk" and "naive" on this issue, so it's a good one. Particularly as it hits his "soft on Muslim terror" angle and his Dukakis style uber-liberalism.

Anonymous said...

"Obama gets caught in some scandal that doesn't have anything to do with race. It can't be something that black politicians are stereotypically caught at, like money or sex or drugs, or it won't get any play."

Um, aren't those the things that most politicians, hell most people, get caught in?

ben tillman said...

Then she can invoke Al Gore from 2000, she got the most votes but the electoral college, er, delegate selection process, was anti-democratic, which of course it is.

Actually, the use of an electoral college is more democratic than a reliance on a direct vote. The electoral college is designed to limit the ability of centralized power to indoctrinate voters. The electoral college is a decentralizing and thus democratizing institution.

KlaosOldanburg said...

ummmm, Israel?

being jewish trumps any other 'diversity'-based privilege (like farakahn, the anti-semite - his views on whites don't matter). and i'm sure those super delegates love Israel and believe that if Obama isn't perceived as tough about Israel then he's vulnerable in the general election.

then that forces obama to choose between the super-delegates (AIPAC policy), or the PINKo commies.

his typical 'i have understood you' jedi mind trick won't work with Israel. AIPAC/"The Likudniks" demand full, unconditional, explicitly defined support for Israel.

Proofreader said...

... stop my womanizing- particularly with the wrong sort of women, like Saudi plants- shave off my moustache, get closer to Bill and daughter, and generally play the likable old lady.
I'll stop being a Rosa Luxemburg and a militant lesbian.... against my innermost nature.

c23 said...

I think it would be almost impossible for Obama to blow it at this point. Can you imagine the cries of racism if the superdelegates took the first black presidential nominee's nomination away from him? Democrats simply wouldn't do that, short of an Obama-Osama sex tape.

That actually works out nicely for the Republicans. It's impossible for Democrats to vet a black candidate, because that would be racist, so any deal-breakers that may exist will only come out in the general election, not the primary.

Anonymous said...

"But women, on the other hand, are carnivores who band together in support of each other."

...why thank you! Such belief in our solidarity! So often the world carnivorous would be used by men claiming we ladies are at each others' throats.

btw, I once read that during the French Revolution days of terror, the crowd only expressed sympathy for those condemned who had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the guillotine. Those who went calmly and quietly did not get any sympathy at all. I guess most put themselves in the culottes of the kickers and screamers while calmness seemed inhuman under the circumstances.