Saturday, May 17, 2008

Almost Over, Apparently

Campaigning on 5/14/08 in South Dakota, Hillary Clinton scolded the nation's two top Repubs for opposing a farm bill passed by Congress and which the President vows to veto. "When Bear Stearns needed assistance, she declared, "we stepped in with a $30 billion package," Clinton said. "But when our farmers need help, all they get from Senator McCain and President Bush is a veto threat." And the New York senator charged that Mr. Bush's effort to equate opponents of his foreign policy ( (taken as a shot at Senator Obama) with Neville Chamberlain was "offensive and outrageous, especially in light of his failures in foreign policy."

The following morning, NBC's Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" commented "for the first time now, her [Hillary] people, her closest aides, are saying, ‘she knows the reality, we know the reality.’ They’re acknowledging that she’s not going to win this―that she is really just going through the motions. And that’s a big change.”

It appears that Mrs. Clinton has transitioned into the post-primary, pre-convention strategy critics of hers have been demanding. No need to drop out, they say, merely refreain from criticizing the front-runner. (Note to Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, or others: If you're 12 points behind late in the fourth quarter, give up.) She may have altered her approach for reasons of altruism; for maintaining viability as a credible candidate for a Democratic Presidential nomination in 2012 or 2016; or to negotiate for assistance in retiring her considerable campaign debt, for leadership in the Senate on a health-care bill in an Obama administration, and/or for selection as the Vice Presidential nominee. Her more congenial tone, whatever the motive(s), doubtless comes as a relief to the Obama camp, which may later wax nostalgic about this campaign when it finds a general election campaign far more vicious than anything they've encountered from a fellow Democrat reluctant to alienate core Democratic voters.

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