Saturday, May 24, 2008


Hi, Steve here. Yes, I'm still on vacation until Monday night, but I was just appalled by the story about Hillary Clinton's Barack Obama assassination scenario. I see from a quick look at Memeorandum that many bloggers have appropriately expressed outrage. I just want to make two points.

First, I see that she said essentially the same thing in March. I'm not really in a good position right now to dig up a link, but I want to point out that this was around the time I was reading comments in the press from African-American voters, particularly older ones, who were wary of voting for Obama because they assumed there was a good chance he'd be killed if he got too far. Senator Clinton has a different reason for saying this now, but if she said this in March, I have to assume she was, at least in part, encouraging black voters not to vote for Obama for this reason. She was trying to reinforce those fears. That's reprehensible.

The other point I want to make is that her argument now -- that she has to stay in the race in case Obama is literally incapacitated -- makes absolutely no sense. I said this a few days ago in reference to a possible Obama scandal, and I'll say it again in reference to this: Why does she have to continue running in order to be the person who assumes the mantle if he can't? As the obvious first runner-up, wouldn't she have remained the obvious first choice to take his place even if she'd dropped out last week, or last month, or the month before?

By her logic, if Bill Clinton, running unopposed for his party's nomination, had died in June 1996, the Democratic Party would not be allowed to field a substitute candidate --not even the new president of the United States, Al Gore -- because the substitute candidate would have to be a person who was, at the moment of the front-runner's death, actively running against the front-runner.

By her logic, if John McCain were to pass away next month, the Republicans would not be allowed to turn to Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee -- they would have to give the nomination to Ron Paul, in defiance of the wishes of the vast majority of the party, because he's the only candidate apart from McCain who hasn't fully dropped out of the race.

Apart from being an obnoxious and tasteless invocation of a nightmare scenario, what Clinton says is absurd on its face.


And now back to your regularly scheduled guest bloggers.

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