Electorate Of One
Posted May 12, 2008on:
The U.S. presidential election nomination process is pretty much over. Barack Obama now leads by every single measure and it would more-or-less take a miracle for Hillary Clinton to win at this point.
Over the last few months Hillary Clinton has been running what her campaign has called a “kitchen-sink” strategy, whereby she has thrown everything she could think of at Obama, in the hope that something would stick. At times that has meant going very close to the line of what is acceptable to say about someone on the same team as you, and sometimes it meant blatantly crossing that line, like when she suggested that the other party’s nominee John McCain is more qualified than Obama (43 second video).
Well, guess what? That sort of thing works. Not well enough to win, in this instance, but well enough to galvanize her supporters sufficiently against Obama that over half of them said in the last exit polls that they wouldn’t vote for Obama in the general election. I was reading the user comments on an ABC News election article a few days ago, and some of the Clinton supporters are vitriolic about Obama. I probably don’t need to say it, but that’s a disaster.
So it seems to me that Clinton now wields an enormous amount of power. There’s no doubt that she’ll support Obama when he’s finally nominated, but I think the enthusiasm and believability of that support will be crucial. I really hope that she spends every day for the next six months telling the world that Obama is the best thing since sliced bread, because I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that her influence over her supporters could very well decide the result of the general election.