Bob Franken

Hillary: We Really Don’t Care

Posted May 18, 2008 | 01:06 PM (EST)

In my role of television Pundit-Wannabee, I joined the likes of Tim Russert and many others within the last weeks in reporting that we thought the Democratic nomination contest was over (My particularly clever words were “It’s over. It’s over”). We stating the obvious: Barack Obama appeared to have beaten Hillary Clinton.

There’s an important difference, however, between that and advocating that she withdraw. I can only speak for myself: I couldn’t care less. It’s just as good a story if she fights on or throws in the towel.

Her actions make it crystal clear she’s not ready to accept our brilliant analysis. Senator Clinton slogs on and we’re reduced to guessing why. Is it ego, an effort to get some political advantage, or that she truly believes she still has a fighting chance? Does she really mean it when she insists all party voters in all the primaries have a right to be heard? Sincerity is always a possibility.

But you don’t need a Yale education to read the handwriting on the wall. So she’s being very careful not to further alienate front runner Barack Obama and leave herself open to charges she had become a divisive force in her party.

Why do that when she can dump on the media and run an ad claiming the pundits want her to quit? It pushes a lot of the right buttons. She can be a victim and fighter at the same time. She can associate with all those who believe journalists are overpaid scumbags.

In my case, I must take exception. I am not overpaid! Still the media world these days is a chaotic one, producing a product that is often more babble and graffiti. The ranting can sometimes drown out the informed commentary. It is also true that a lot of pretend-journalists have taken sides, giving up their roles as everybody’s skeptics. So we’re an easy, simplistic target for the Hillary Clintons of this world whochoose to paint with a broad brush when they need someone to blame for their predicaments.

In Clinton’s case, her predicament is that she’s lost. To say it again, it’s over. That’s different that advocating for her to surrender.f want battle on, she should knock herself out, all the while being careful not to knock herself out even before she begins her next fight.

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