March 3, 2008

Playing by the Rules?

NOTE: I have been following the presidential primaries closely, but I haven’t had much time to comment on them. Tomorrow, however, could be an important day in determining the nominee of the Democratic Party (or not), and this seems a good time to make a brief comment about Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. Let me begin with a disclaimer: My first choice for a nominee was John Edwards, but I am now supporting Barack Obama.
The Clinton campaign has suggested that it might argue that Clinton “victories” in Florida and Michigan should give its candidate additional delegates. The Democratic National Committee, of course, penalized Florida and Michigan for disregarding its regulations about primary dates, and the expectation was that no delegates would be seated from those states. Democratic candidates—and there were a lot of candidates when Florida and Michigan voted—pretty much eschewed campaigning in those two states, though Clinton celebrated her “victories,” even if they were essentially uncontested. Now there are rumblings that Clinton might also protest the admittedly idiosyncratic primary/caucus system in Texas, which is widely thought to favor Obama, though not because of anything he has done personally.

What’s wrong with this picture? Are not people are fed up with the brazen partisanship of the Bush administration, with its take-no-prisoners disregard for law and the Constitution (not to mention science and human decency)? Hillary Clinton’s similar attitude of winning at any price and trying to circumvent the rules that everyone knew in advance does not suggest that she is the kind of person the American people want to see in the White House. Is her attitude toward rules of the Democratic Party a preview of how she will treat Federal law and the U.S. Constitution if she becomes President? I don’t think I want to find out.

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