A Nominee But Not a Nomination?
Passages in a recent AP report: “On NBC’s “Today Show,” Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe said that once Obama gets the majority of convention delegates, ‘I think Hillary Clinton will congratulate him and call him the nominee.’ In a formal statement, the campaign made clear the limits of how far she would go in Tuesday night’s speech. ‘Senator Clinton will not concede the nomination,’ the statement said.” I suppose there is some Clintonian magic that makes a distinction between saying Obama is the nominee but not conceding the nomination — like Bill Clinton’s staff saying he never said the Obama team “played” the race card (because his exact quote was they ”were playing” it). But to normal people that will look like a concession. The notion that merely keeping her campaign on life support gives her any leverage is silly. When Jimmy Carter passed the delegate number in the 1980 primary race, Ted Kennedy let everyone know the race was still on. “The people have decided that this campaign must go on,” he declared. “The people have decided that what counts is not the quantity of delegates, but the quality of their lives.” Any lesser statement from Clinton will look like what it is, surrender.