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Does Hillary Clinton Have Virtually No Chance Of Winning The Democratic Nomination?

DrTim 2008/03/22 01:55:18
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Taken From Politico.com
behind the story: The Clinton myth
By JIM VANDEHEI & MIKE ALLEN | 3/21/08 1:32 PM EST Text Size:



Clinton's campaign rests increasingly on a game of make-believe.
Photo: AP



One big fact has largely been lost in the recent coverage of the Democratic presidential race: Hillary Rodham Clinton has virtually no chance of winning.

Her own campaign acknowledges there is no way that she will finish ahead in pledged delegates. That means the only way she wins is if Democratic superdelegates are ready to risk a backlash of historic proportions from the party’s most reliable constituency.

Unless Clinton is able to at least win the primary popular vote — which also would take nothing less than an electoral miracle — and use that achievement to pressure superdelegates, she has only one scenario for victory. An African-American opponent and his backers would be told that, even though he won the contest with voters, the prize is going to someone else.

People who think that scenario is even remotely likely are living on another planet.

As it happens, many people inside Clinton’s campaign live right here on Earth. One important Clinton adviser estimated to Politico privately that she has no more than a 10 percent chance of winning her race against Barack Obama, an appraisal that was echoed by other operatives.

In other words: The notion of the Democratic contest being a dramatic cliffhanger is a game of make-believe.

Story Behind the Story
Why news gets covered the way it does

Politico’s top editors draw on their experience at the nation's largest news organizations to pull back the curtain on coverage decisions and the media mindset.

Obama's pastor: The backstory
How the sausage gets made
Why reporters get it wrong
The real question is why so many people are playing. The answer has more to do with media psychology than with practical politics.

Journalists have become partners with the Clinton campaign in pretending that the contest is closer than it really is. Most coverage breathlessly portrays the race as a down-to-the-wire sprint between two well-matched candidates, one only slightly better situated than the other to win in August at the national convention in Denver.

One reason is fear of embarrassment. In its zeal to avoid predictive reporting of the sort that embarrassed journalists in New Hampshire, the media — including Politico — have tended to avoid zeroing in on the tough math Clinton faces.

Avoiding predictions based on polls even before voters cast their ballots is wise policy. But that's not the same as drawing sober and well-grounded conclusions about the current state of a race after millions of voters have registered their preferences.

The antidote to last winter's flawed predictions is not to promote a misleading narrative based on the desired but unlikely story line of one candidate.

There are other forces also working to preserve the notion of a contest that is still up for grabs.

One important, if subliminal, reason is self-interest. Reporters and editors love a close race — it’s more fun and it’s good for business.

The media are also enamored of the almost mystical ability of the Clintons to work their way out of tight jams, as they have done for 16 years at the national level. That explains why some reporters are inclined to believe the Clinton campaign when it talks about how she’s going to win on the third ballot at the Democratic National Convention in August.

That’s certainly possible — and, to be clear, we’d love to see the race last that long — but it’s folly to write about this as if it is likely.

It’s also hard to overstate the role the talented Clinton camp plays in shaping the campaign narrative, first by subtly lowering the bar for the performance necessary to remain in the race, and then by keeping the focus on Obama’s relationships with a political fixer and a controversial pastor in Illinois.
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Top Opinion

  • Denny 2008/03/22 04:18:07
    Yes
    Denny
    +9
    I've said before that this was over just because the press wanted to show how they made the choice for us and told us how we were going to vote. The closer it is, the more money they make. I always thought, however, that the reason Hilly didn't drop out was because it is hard for a person of her caliber to realize that she is not going to be coronated as was thought in the first few months of this campaign. I still don't think she see's the real picture that maybe people are tired of the Hilly and Billy show. She got cancelled and she doesn't even know it.

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  • mk, Smartass Oracle 2008/05/16 20:22:00
  • DrTim mk, Sma... 2008/05/16 21:52:23
    DrTim
    +1
    She's a "Legend in her own mind"!!
  • mk, Sma... DrTim 2008/05/17 00:42:27
  • Mark 2008/05/07 00:27:28
    No
    Mark
    Hillary can win. FL will likely be seated. And the super delegates need to look at the popular vote. They will also look at what states were won.
  • NurseyPaola 2008/04/13 09:37:53
    Yes
    NurseyPaola
    +1
    She has no chance of winning and needs to bow out NOW!

  • betty 2008/04/02 00:14:26
    No
    betty
    +1
    Hillary Clinton has a very good chance of winning the nomination.... But the press doesn't want you to know that... They are in love with Obama
  • pat 2008/03/31 20:57:54
    No
    pat
    +1
    with the things we now know about obama how is it that they would pick a racist we need hillary in the race
  • Mark pat 2008/05/07 00:29:50
    Mark
    I do feel that a vote for Obama is a vote for McCain.
  • toni 2008/03/26 23:02:04 (edited)
    Yes
    toni
    +2
    Cheat, lie, change the rules ...Clintons will do anything to win even if it distroys the Dem party.
  • GloriaWill 2008/03/26 21:48:28
    Yes
    GloriaWill
    +3
    Hillary has proven to be more stubborn and unwilling to admit defeat than Bush! I didn't think that was possible until now. Sickening.
  • Raymond 2008/03/24 18:20:58
    No
    Raymond
    But then I am not a democrat, so I'll keep out of this one and just watch the fur fly.
  • Raymond Raymond 2008/03/24 18:22:37
    Raymond
    +2
    oops, that should have been a YES, she has no chance.
  • The Beaver 2008/03/24 17:44:38
    Yes
    The Beaver
    +4
    SHE IS FINISHED! GOOD BYE WEAKEST LINK!
  • Roxie 2008/03/24 03:04:43
    Undecided
    Roxie
    +1
    She has every chance!
    Why does that make you so angry?
  • Sister Jean 2008/03/22 23:13:32
    No
    Sister Jean
    +2
    all 3 have a chance...very tight race
  • ~♥Vikki♥~.:Jordan Owns:. 2008/03/22 21:17:46
    Undecided
    ~♥Vikki♥~.:Jordan Owns:.
    +1
    i dont follo this capain sh** whos winning anyway??
  • Wesloco 2008/03/22 19:29:37
    Undecided
    Wesloco
    +2
    You know, neither of the Dems can win without the Super Delegates and the Super Delegates are not committed to vote anything other than their choice. It's a dumb system developed after Carter's win of the nomination in '76 but with this system in place Hillary has just as much a chance of being the nominee as Obama. So no she's not out and yes she has a chance!

  • CHUCK -... Wesloco 2008/03/22 22:28:34
    CHUCK - Liberal in Seattle
    +3
    In the end when the dust is clear and she can't win, nobody will! Lets just keep this circus going till June, that wil gurantee it.

    I'm a TRUE democrat and i will vote for the party!
  • Wesloco CHUCK -... 2008/03/22 23:09:20
  • Mark CHUCK -... 2008/05/07 00:32:14
    Mark
    As another true democrat, I believe that Hillary is the best chance for us to get back into the White House.
  • crsone 2008/03/22 19:15:22
    Yes
    crsone
    +5
    First -- thanks for the interesting post from Politco.com

    I do think her chances of winning are pretty slim, even though I would support her should it happen. What I shudder over daily is how much this divison is helping McCain. The US can afford an Obama Presidency, even if it does turn out he has to do someone on-the-job training. It can afford a(nother) Clinton Presidency, even if it means more of the same old Democratic politics. What it can't afford is the McBush presidency (to steal someone else's wonderful label) -- quite literally as well as figuratively can't afford.
  • DrTim crsone 2008/03/22 19:29:06
    DrTim
    +4
    Right On!!
    You're one of the few who has said what I think the "Biggest Problem"is!
    Democratic In-fighting!
    One of the oldest tactics in warfare is "Divide And Conquer"!
    The Democrats are shooting themselves in the foot,by driving the"New Republican Independents" back to the G.O.P.
  • Win 2008/03/22 15:50:11
    Yes
    Win
    +3
    The Clintons are putting the American people into the Land of Oz.
  • Ranedthel 2008/03/22 14:24:32
    Undecided
    Ranedthel
    It's not even April yet and with all that's already happened I can count no one out. There are many in the media that broadcast and write stories that will enhance their own careers or sway for their personal or company position. The Democratic race is still on and the Democrates have their hands full with all that's happened so far, True. The Super Deligates will have to think and re-think and re-think their positions and the convention may yetprove to be acircus.... Who knows? For 23 years I was involved in the media and can tell you that I have little use for journalist and so called experts that aspire to be fortune tellers. These media members seek to satisfy their own egos, promote their own interest, and attract readers and viewers in order to sell advertising. Note: With the Economy suffering as it is the multi-billion dollar media world has to work much much harder to incourage advertisers to spend on commericals and ads when many would rather hold off until Summer or Fall. In short, "Don't believe everything you read kiddo" and "Just because they say it on T.V. or Radio doesn't mean it's true." Good Question.
  • Warren - Novus Ordo Seclorum 2008/03/22 14:08:58
    Yes
    Warren - Novus Ordo Seclorum
    +3
    Her only chance is to twist the arms of the superdelegates and disenfranchise the Democratic voters. If she succeeds, get ready for President McCain in 2009.
  • Mark Warren ... 2008/05/07 00:34:06
    Mark
    a vote for Obama is a vote for McCain.
  • Warren ... Mark 2008/05/07 03:19:17
    Warren - Novus Ordo Seclorum
    What's funny is that I posted that picture before Hillary acually did threaten to nuke Iran! Too funny.
  • Deanna 2008/03/22 13:50:17
    Undecided
    Deanna
    +1
    I never count a Clinton out, until the fat lady sings!

  • Wesloco Deanna 2008/03/22 19:35:03
  • DrTim Wesloco 2008/03/22 19:39:35
    DrTim
    +2
    Where "ARE" my flowered pants??
  • Deanna Wesloco 2008/03/22 23:26:36
    Deanna
    +1
    Give her a ham sandwhich

  • Wesloco Deanna 2008/03/22 23:37:44
    Wesloco
    +1
    Poor Mama Cass! She was awesome!

  • Deanna Wesloco 2008/03/22 23:40:52
    Deanna
    +1
    That was a great group!
  • NurseyP... Deanna 2008/04/13 09:33:51
    NurseyPaola
    +2
    ~LoL~ ...or a pretzel.

  • emmi 2008/03/22 13:45:49
    No
    emmi
    +2
    Hillary is not out of the game- especially in light of the facts that become more and more evident about Obama. I've spoken to many people across this country- their views of him have changed and if they could take back their previous vote for him- they would! Which means, in my mind- they will do just that in the General. Don't ask me why he is still the media darling- the press is pushing hard for him- all he needs to do is to get caught in one more lie- and there are plenty already. If Obama wins the primary- the Dems will lose in November... and the super delegates know it.
  • mentonemommyisgoingtofacebook 2008/03/22 08:13:27
    Yes
    mentonemommyisgoingtofacebook
    +3
    I think she is finished. I think Bill screwed up by starting the bad mouthing and Hillary hasn't shown courage and stopped her staff from spreading rumors about Obama. I used to have a lot of respect for both of them-now I think this election has changed them-and not for the better. Makes me sad, really.
  • Denny 2008/03/22 04:18:07
    Yes
    Denny
    +9
    I've said before that this was over just because the press wanted to show how they made the choice for us and told us how we were going to vote. The closer it is, the more money they make. I always thought, however, that the reason Hilly didn't drop out was because it is hard for a person of her caliber to realize that she is not going to be coronated as was thought in the first few months of this campaign. I still don't think she see's the real picture that maybe people are tired of the Hilly and Billy show. She got cancelled and she doesn't even know it.
  • betty Denny 2008/04/02 00:23:21
    betty
    You have got to be kidding.... The eight years the Clintons were in the White House were the best years of my life... I want more of the same.... Don't you remember when we were in the black, and not in a war that is costing us our young peoples' lives and billions every month... Don't you remember when other countries respected us,and the American dollar was worth something?? Don't you remember when American had 22 million jobs and now we are down to five million jobs.... I say only a Clinton can get us out of this mess Bush has made... certainly not an Obama... and McCain would be just another Bush... He doesn't care if the war in Iraq lasts a hundred years, he admits he knows little about the economy, and he wants to keep the tax cuts for the rich....

    Do you ever read the papers, or watch T.V.??? If you did you would know the Clintons were the best thing that ever happened to this country....
  • Denny betty 2008/04/02 01:12:30
    Denny
    +2
    Don't you remember World Trade Center bombing? Don't you remember USS Cole. We were at war and Lewinski didn't even know it. As for being in the black that was because of Hilly losing Congress for the first time in 60 years with her healthcare.
  • Warren ... Denny 2008/04/13 13:34:51
    Warren - Novus Ordo Seclorum
    And don't forget the internet bubble and the Cold War peace dividend that were also helping us to keep in the black during Clinton's years. With that said, either Clinton would be vastly preferable to Bush. But Bush isn't running.

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