Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Hillary Gambit

Why is Hillary Clinton staying in the race?

Three reasons: Ambition, Calculation and Strategy

The obvious answer is that she possesses ambition to shame Brutus and Antony together. But while true and what is ultimately driving her its also trivial.

Stubborn she may be but she's crazy like a fox. An announcement by her campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe today that the race for the Democratic nominee will be over by early June exposes light on Mrs. Clinton's final toss. Why is early June important? All the primaries will be over by then but more importantly the credentials committee that determines whether the Michigan and Florida delegations will be seated meets on May 31.

The Obama crazed media doesn't like to mention it but if the delegates from those two states are seated it makes the gap between Obama and Clinton materially closer. Let's look at the numbers.

In Michigan where Obama removed his name from the ballot Mrs. Clinton won 51% of the popular vote which is worth 80 delegates. 35% of the electorate voted for other candidates which works to 55 delegates.

In Florida where Mrs. Clinton beat Obama by a 50-33% in the popular vote which would mean a delegate advantage of 113 to 72 or a difference of 41 delegates.

If you add the two Mrs. Clinton makes up 121 of the approximately 150 by which she currently trails.

Clinton will win West Virginia and Kentucky handily which could make up the 30 delegates left which could mean a dead heat before the superdelegates are counted. The Clinton campaign is betting that the DNC dare not antagonize both Michigan AND Florida and while the likelihood of the math working exactly as I've described is small the Clintons are hoping for a successful Hail Mary.

Finally there is a minute but possible chance that Obama accidentally says what he thinks after losing West Virginia by 25 points, namely, "Only DUMB white people vote for Hillary"

Even if that does not work winning 6 out of the last 7 major contests could make her a more plausible VP nominee.

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