I’m not glad Hillary Clinton won in Pennsylvania, and won by juuuuuust enough of a margin to justify hanging around for a while as her aides petition the Board of Regents at MIT to change the laws of mathematics and thereby make it possible for her to win the Democratic nomination. I was really hoping she’d win in a squeaker and that her campaign would fold amidst an avalanche of calls for her to just…go…away…already before both candidates are too damaged to be elected. I’m one of those Republicans who would like to see a race between the two best candidates on the premise that its best for the country, rather than one of those Republicans who wants Hillary to get the nomination because she’ll be the easiest to beat. Ergo, I want her to be dumped unceremoniously on the side of the road.
However, since she hasn’t been so dumped yet…and saying this feels in my mouth like chewing on a rusty nail…I’m glad she raised $10 million in the 24 hours since she won Pennsylvania. And here’s why: it would really suck if the only reason a semi-viable candidate, in an American election, had to quit was solely because he or she ran out of money.
I was watching MSNBC as the Pennsylvania result came in, and even as the pundits were discussing her victory, they were also lauding Obama’s campaign for spending so lavishly in Pennsylvania, forcing Clinton’s campaign, which was and still is considerably less flush than Obama’s, to do the same. The talking heads – including Air America’s Rachel Maddow who you’d like to think would eschew such distasteful cynicism given that she’s a left wing liberal and therefore hates money – were all saying what a strategically smart move it was, because it basically meant that yes, Hillary won the state she needed to win, but exhausted her treasury in the process and now can’t go on. So even though she’s just proven that she does have an appeal to a fairly significant Democratic voting bloc (I can’t believe I’m sticking up for her…this post is plunging me into an existential crisis), her message will be inevitably silenced because…she’s out of money!
And here’s the thing – nobody on TV seemed even bothered by it, nor to grasp the rather dispiriting and lamentable significance of what they were saying. It was eerie and disquieting: In America, the world’s greatest democracy, all you have to do in order to get a party’s nomination is grab an early lead and then outspend your opponent, or make him or her “bleed to death” as one of them so Putinishly put it. If that’s Obama’s “new politics” then this is one twentysomething who isn’t along for the ride.
So Hillary, here’s hoping your campaign, and indeed your entire political career, comes to a quick end because the electorate wakes up to the fact that you are a dishonest, opportunistic, paranoid boor, or because the real truth behind your myriad shady financial transactions finally comes to light, and you and your insufferable nymphomaniac husband are never heard from again. Any of those reasons would be fine.
Just not because you ran out of money.