by Rafael Noboa y Rivera
Really? I mean, really? Are you serious?
What you’re seeing is my reaction to reading an interview in which Hillary Clinton basically tells every Democrat that she’s in it till the last dog dies and is not going to quit until the Convention.
According to her,
â€œI know there are some people who want to shut this down and I think they are wrong,â€ Clinton said in an interview during a campaign stop here Saturday. â€œI have no intention of stopping until we finish what we started and until we see what happens in the next 10 contests and until we resolve Florida and Michigan. And if we donâ€™t resolve it, weâ€™ll resolve it at the convention â€” thatâ€™s what credentials committees are for.
“We cannot go forward until Florida and Michigan are taken care of, otherwise the eventual nominee will not have the legitimacy that I think will haunt us,â€ said the senator from New York. â€œI can imagine the ads the Republican Party and John McCain will run if we donâ€™t figure out how we can count the votes in Michigan and Florida.â€
I mean, wow. Iâ€™m gobsmacked. The conventionâ€™s not for another five months. Seriously. And sheâ€™s going to hold us hostage as a party until 300 or so people who want to wear funny hats (and incidentally, vote for her) get tickets to Denver? This is the kind of experience that we want answering the phone at 3 AM?
I mean, seriously? Weâ€™ve got things to do â€” Congresswomen and men to elect, a war to endâ€¦and she wants to to waste the next twenty weeks in some kind of random quest for validation?
Seriously? Seriously? Youâ€™ve gotta be kidding me.
Look, I had a hard time keeping a straight face over the last few paragraphs, but what Iâ€™m about to write, I write in all seriousness. If youâ€™re a super-delegate, and you find yourself reading this, I want you to pay attention to this.
Weâ€™re going to have an election April 22 in Pennsylvania; then on May 6, Indiana and North Carolina vote. On April 16th, weâ€™re going to see (well, some of us are going to see, anyway) the 21st debate of this primary campaign.
At that point, we will have more than enough information to decide who will â€” who should â€” be the nominee. We will have seen Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama face off on TV 21 times â€” seven times the normal amount of debates in a general election campaign. We will have seen the two of them campaign in front of almost every audience, across this great country of ours.
At that point â€” possibly on April 23rd, most likely on May 7th â€” you need to make a decision. In some ways, itâ€™ll be one of the toughest ones of your career. Scratch that â€” in most ways, it will be the toughest one of your career, since most folks wonâ€™t ever find themselves in the position that you will.
Assuming everything else is the same, assuming that things stay as they are, with Sen. Clinton winning in Pennsylvania, Sen. Obama winning in North Carolina and Indiana, and the race hasnâ€™t changed significantly, then you need to do the only thing, however imperfect, that can bring this implausible race to a merciful and quick end:
Come off the fence, announce your support the pledged delegate leader, and make that candidate the presumptive Presidential nominee.
Anything else, however well-intentioned, delays the inevitable. Since that pledged delegate leader is prohibitively likely to be Sen. Obama, that means that youâ€™ll be making him the nominee.
I appreciate that this will be tough; Sen. Clintonâ€™s supporters will be massively disappointed, as would be Sen. Obamaâ€™s if the roles were reversed.
The time, though, has come to bring this to an end. If you allow Sen. Clinton to take this race to Denver (my hometown, incidentally), youâ€™ll be complicit in fracturing the party, regardless of who wins the nomination. We need to close ranks behind the delegate leader on May 7th so that we can turn our attention to Sen. McCain, and so that our campaigns across the country can begin to finally organize in earnest to retain control of Congress and regain the Presidency. It takes time and money to build those organizations, time and money thatâ€™s currently being spent on a campaign that, despite the high drama, is essentially over.
No one forced Florida and Michigan to move their primary dates in a quest for relevance; every offer has been made to resolve the quandary, by both sides, and at this point, it doesnâ€™t look like any further progress will be made on that issue. To continue this campaign simply because one candidate cannot accept that the primary is over is the height of political absurdism.
Only the super-delegates can end this, so they should. They donâ€™t need any more information, and they donâ€™t need to vacillate anymore. They asked for the responsibility â€” now they should exercise it, and bring this sad spectacle to a close.
Rafael Noboa is a writer, veteran and political activist. An essayist and public speaker, he was a contributing author to Millennial Manifesto (Basic Books, 2001), and is currently working on a second book of essays concerning his experiences in Iraq. You can find his writings at SquareState, Vet Voice and his own site, RafaelNoboa.net.