The newspapers --except for the Pittsburgh Gazette, which is still fixated on ice hockey -- all led with news that Barak Obama has the delegates he needs to win the Democratic nomination for president. He has, for all intents and purposes, won the nomination.
I had believed all along that Clinton win. This wasn't sentiment as much as cold-blooded calculation that she had the stuff to do it.
I read a lot of speculation today about why Clinton won't concede. Much of it swirls around some perceived flaw in her psyche: she's in denial, she doesn't live in reality, she's too much of a crazy, shrill she-witch (not that that characterization is sexist!) to let go. But nobody has brought up an obvious thought that must be on her mind: Gore in 2000. He conceded, then unconceded, making him look the weaker candidate. And as a result, he was killed off by the Supreme Court. In fact, the Supreme Court --or a vote recount--may well have killed him off anyway, but his vacillation at a crucial point didn't help.
Clinton apparently doesn't have a lot to gain by conceding now. Maybe Obama and the Democrats need to offer her a good deal. She's got to know she can deliver a big constituency that Obama needs. Why wouldn't she hold out for a deal?
Several things have bemused me about this campaign. The first is why Clinton is relentlessly attacked as "ambitious." Shouldn't it go without saying that anybody who runs for ... President ... is ambitious? President of the United States? Most powerful position in the world? Were the other candidates all shrinking violets dragged to the podium or selfless altruists in quest of marytrdom? Hhmmm. None that I can think of. Obama isn't ambitious? McCain isn't? Guiliani wasn't? Edwards? Yet why is this word always hurled at Clinton as some sort of accusation? It's hard not to see this as (unconscious) sexism, some sort of deep-seated belief that woman shouldn't dare to compete-- and that a woman who does should be taken down simply for the pure fact of having ambition.
Second, and related, is the idea that Clinton ran an opportunistic, win-at-all-costs campaign. That's what people do. Why single her out? Plus, what if she truly, at the bottom of her heart, and all through and through, believes she is the best candidate to run the country? What if it's less, to her mind, about grabbing the presidency, and more about a frustrated knowledge that she could do a good job at fixing the country's problems ... if only people would put her in the position that would give her a chance?
Third, she's attacked for not being a good team member, vis-a-vis the Democratic Party. But surely she must know that few woman have gotten anywhere by playing by the rules. In a man's world, she has to be expected to make her own way.
I will support Obama in the fall election. But I do worry about his lack of experience. And I wish he would do more to reach out to women.