Thursday, April 17, 2008

Clinton Acknowledges There's No Good Reason For Her to Stay in Race

Only two things really matter about last night's debate. First, it was probably the worst performance by "moderators" in a presidential debate. Ever. It really was that bad, and we cannot let that happen again where Democratic positions are under relentless attack by the moderators without a Republican candidate on stage. It wasn't a debate, it was an interrogation. The only difference between the ABC interrogation and an interrogation perpetrated by the Bush administration was that ABC probably never considered waterboarding.

As for the Democratic nomination, here's the only exchange from last night that mattered:

MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me pick up on this. When these comments from Senator Obama broke on Friday, Senator McCain's campaign immediately said that it was going to be a killer issue in November.

Senator Clinton, when Bill Richardson called you to say he was endorsing Barack Obama, you told him that Senator Obama can't win. I'm not going to ask you about that conversation. I know you don't want to talk about it. But a simple yes-or-no question: Do you think Senator Obama can beat John McCain or not?

SENATOR CLINTON: Well, I think we have to beat John McCain, and I have every reason to believe we're going to have a Democratic president and it's going to be either Barack or me. And we're going to make that happen.

And what is important is that we understand exactly the challenges facing us in order to defeat Senator McCain.

He will be a formidable candidate. There isn't any doubt about that. He has a great American story to tell. He's a man who has served our country with distinction over many years, but he has the wrong ideas about America. And those ideas will be tested in the cauldron of this campaign.

But I also know, having now gone through 16 years of being on the receiving end of what the Republican Party dishes out, how important it is that we try to go after every single vote everywhere we possibly can to get to those electoral votes that we're going to need to have the next president elected.

MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: But the question is, do you think Senator Obama can do that? Can he win?


Hillary Clinton and her surrogates have petulantly claimed that the reason why she should stick around after it's clear that there's no way she'll overcome Barack Obama's lead among pledged delegates is that the superdelegates could decide to go with her instead of Obama. The superdelegates' rationale for doing so would presumably need to be based on questions of electability. Hillary Clinton, in the exchange quoted above, said there is no electability argument that can be used against Barack Obama.

The voters have demonstrated a clear preference for Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton. She cannot overcome his lead. Hillary Clinton acknowledges that Barack Obama can beat John McCain. Thus, she's lost, and she has no argument that it's a threat to Democrats to have Barack Obama as our nominee. Therefore, there's no reason for Hillary Clinton to continue her campaign.


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