Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Beyond Belief

I watched the speeches of the three candidates last night as the primary season wrapped up with a win for Hillary Clinton in South Dakota and a win for Barack Obama in Montana. From the tone of the speeches, it wasn’t entirely clear who the winner was. But it was clear that John McCain is the loser. Some advice to the candidates:

John McCain – Your speech from Louisiana was terrible, what with repeating “that’s not change we can believe in” with that odd sneer-smile laugh.

Hillary Clinton - The 11-year-old boy in Kentucky who you mentioned sold his bike and video games to raise money for your campaign – he wants his bike and video games back.

Barack Obama – The big rally in St. Paul, Minnesota was nice but you should have gone for the victory beer at Stockman’s in Missoula, Montana. Check out Bill Clinton at the Mo Club.

Why didn’t Hillary drop out last night? It’s true that while Barack has clinched the official count, he still needs 46 delegates to settle all disputes, but I think that’s not really it. Hillary just wants to stare up through the glass ceiling for a few more days. And she wants people to come to her web site to say goodbye, and perhaps donate some money to pay off her campaign debts. Actually, Hillary did concede in her speech last night.

This was her congratulations to Barack:

“I want to start tonight by congratulating Senator Obama and his supporters on the extraordinary race that they have run. Senator Obama has inspired so many Americans to care about politics and empowered so many more to get involved, and our party and our democracy is stronger and more vibrant as a result. So, we are grateful, and it has been an honor to contest these primaries with him, just as it is an honor to call him my friend. And tonight, I would like all of us to take a moment to recognize him and his supporters for all they have accomplished.”

And this was her concession:

“You know, I understand that a lot of people are asking, what does Hillary want? What does she want? Well, I want what I have always fought for in this whole campaign. I want to end the war in Iraq. I want to turn this economy around. I want health care for every American. I want every child to live up to his or her God-given potential, and I want the nearly 18 million Americans who voted for me to be respected, to be heard and no longer to be invisible.”

OK, maybe this is a little like the Emperor of Japan’s murky surrender speech that ended World War II but “what I have always fought for” is past tense and “all they have accomplished” is beating her. Still it was fun watching the CNN analysts have a cow saying she did not concede.

“History repeats the old conceits
The glib replies the same defeats
Keep your finger on important issues
With crocodile tears and a pocketful of tissues”

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