Although it was a close contest, the Democratic presidential nominee is all but decided. And though there might be a sliver of hope for Hillary Clinton, that hope relies not on what she does or does not do but rather on the fortunes - no, misfortunes - of Barack Obama. Since Hillary pretty much already did, I’m just going to go ahead and say it. You know, the answer to the big question: Why is she still in the race? It appears patently obvious to me, but for some reason everyone is afraid to come out and say it, so I will.
She is hoping… praying for an Obama meltdown.
Her most recent gaffe last Friday reveals her reasoning and although I am quite sure her referencing Bobby Kennedy’s assassination in June of 1968 was not some kind of literal death wish for her opponent, politically speaking, it was exactly that. It’s all she has left to hold on to and, after Obama survived the Reverend Wright fiasco, it is a slim hope indeed. The delegate count and popular vote numbers, as close as they are, will not come around for her. It’s well past the two-minute warning and she’s out of time-outs. Unless Obama stubs his tow in a big way, she is history.
The other possibility is the unthinkable and no one would dare mention it except in hushed tones, hidden from public scrutiny. What if something were to happen to Obama? Yet, Hillary Clinton did. It was an act of desperation from a desperate candidate - one who is about to see the ultimate prize… the most coveted job in the history of the world, slip right through her fingers. She obviously did not think about the implications of what she said. She did not mean to suggest that she thought there was some kind of deathwatch. However, her excuse that it was merely an example of how a primary campaign can run into June is simply not plausible. Her only hope is Obama’s demise - it is much too late for a good offense. She not only said as much, but she did it by taking it to an extreme that is abjectly taboo.
All Obama need do now is be sure there are no skeletons ready to fall out of some overlooked closet and keep his mouth shut - for now. It is an area he seems to be having some difficulty with, but so far his boo-boos are relatively minor. They are nothing like the magnitude of which Clinton needs to revitalize her campaign. I don’t believe for an instant that she wishes any physical harm to befall her opponent, but political harm? No question about it. At this point she’ll take what she can get. The stakes don’t get any bigger, the prize doesn't get any grander.
Whether or not she concedes in June is still a question. If nothing worse than good ol' Reverend Wright hasn't shaken out by now, it is doubtful anything will. If she sticks it out much farther than the bitter end, then perhaps her recent slip was more Freudian than careless. And as quiet as it’s kept, the very real possibility of becoming the first black president of the United States carries with it very real risks. There are still too many in this country who are not all that well - and some of them have guns. Not only does Obama need to be careful what he says - he needs to be careful period.