Much ink (actual and virtual) has been spilled this campaign season about how the Clinton legacy is impacted by Hillary’s run. A win obviously does wonders for it – the first husband and wife ever to be elected. The first woman ever elected president.
It is in losing that things would get more complicated. A blow out would have been both unlikely and devastating to the legacy – proof that the very notion of a legacy was absurd.
The worst of all possible scenarios is the one Sen. Clinton currently faces – in the race, down on delegates, facing a bloody, brutal uphill climb to “victory.” It is a climb that she could make, a climb she might win, but a climb that could do enormous damage to the Democratic party.
She has another choice. Drop out now. It would be legacy making and it could be very smart politics.
Fair or unfair the rap on the Clintons is that they are ruthless politicians willing to say or do absolutely anything to win. Hillary could change that in an instant.
Tonight’s momentum is on her side even though there is virtually no way for her to get enough delegates to win the nomination. She has proven the naysayers wrong by winning big in Ohio. Texas is still too close to call as I write this but she is leading there as well.
She could go on to Pennsylvania. She could, as she said tonight, “go all the way” to the convention. But she shouldn’t. She should pull out now.
To do so would give the Clintons three things they desperately want:
1. It would guarantee their leadership position in the Democratic party for years to come.
2. Should Obama lose in November it positions her as the presumptive – and noble – nominee in 2012.
3. It would put all the Clintons in an entirely new light – suddenly she (and they) would become the family more interested in the unity of the party and the good of the country than in personal gain and ambition.
Three good things. I’m not holding my breath.