I’m starting to doubt it. The newest poll numbers give Hillary Clinton approval ratings, that are almost a match to President Bush’s. She is still head to head, however, when it comes to a match up with Barack Obama at 45% to 45%. But the damage to the prospects of either candidate is visible:
One thing about these head-to-head matchups: Our pollsters found that for the second poll in a row, more than 20 percent of Clinton and Obama supporters say they would support McCain when he’s matched up against the other Democrat. There is clearly some hardening of feelings among some of the most core supporters of both Democrats, though it may be Obama voters, who are more bitter in the long run.
Despite Obama’s lead in pledged delegates and the popular vote, the Democratic Party and the super delegates continue sitting on the fence, unable or unwilling to bring about a decision. If a leading Democrat dares to speak out on this issue, he or she better beware. Bill Richardson, who all but said outright that Hillary Clinton should give up when he endorsed Barack Obama, was called a “Judas”. Nancy Pelosi, must have missed the bigger picture, too. She said that it would be damaging for the party if the superdelegates overturned the popular vote or the count in pledged delegates. Subsequently she received a letter from Clinton campaign donors, who thinly veiled the threat to discontinue donations for the Democratic Party, the Washington Post quotes and reports:
“You suggested [in a recent television interview] superdelegates have an obligation to support the candidate who leads in the pledged delegate count as of June 3rd, whether that lead be by 500 delegates or 2,” the Clinton backers wrote. “This is an untenable position that runs counter to the party’s intent in establishing super-delegates in 1984.”
[...] But the letter made it clear that the fundraisers believe their voice should carry real weight with the speaker. Noting their past financial support, they wrote, “We . . . hope you will be responsive to some of your major enthusiastic supporters.” (emphasis added)
The party’s intent on establishing superdelegates can’t be voiced more clearly than the Economist did it in his story “Inside the minds of the superdelegates” :
[Superdelegates] are party bigwigs: members of Congress, sitting governors, former presidents and the like. There are some 800 of them—a fifth of the total number of delegates. Their role in the nomination process dates back to the 1980s, when party bosses decided that people such as themselves should be empowered to break a tie or stop the great unwashed from picking someone unsuitable.
In other words they are here to make sure an establishment candidate gets the nomination.
If you look at Barack Obama now, he did things that simply are not done, like publishing his tax records, publishing his earmarks, generally making good on his promise to work for more transparency in Washington. With all the skeletons in Washington’s closets, Hillary Clinton’s candidacy certainly looks really attractive to the establishment. And should she fail in getting the nomination, Barack Obama’s campaign can be damaged enough to not win against McCain. Obviously, four more years of Republican Presidency are the lesser evil to some.
That’s not possible? Well it has been done before. Seymour Hersh writes in his book “The Dark Side Of Camelot” (Backbay Books 1998, p.39):
[JFK's grandfather] “Fitzgerald served Joe’s [Kennedy] needs by running as a spoiler in the Democratic senatorial primary in Massachussetts against an attractive New Deal Democrat named Joseph E. Casey, one of FDR’s favourites in the Congress. Fitzgerald, whose daily campaign activities were heavily subsidized by Kennedy – and carefully monitored by one of Joe’s high-powered and well-paid speechwriters - took 80’000 votes away from Casey in the primary, and inflicted so much damage that Republican Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., won the general election easily.”(emphasis addded)
What will Hillary Clinton get out of this? Another chance in 2012?