Losing Patience with Clinton

One of the leading German newsmagazines, Focus, has discovered the reality that apparently much of the US media is loth to acknowledge: that a triumph for Hillary Clinton in the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination is virtually out of the question. As the magazine published on-line in Democrats lose patience with Clinton, Hillary’s continuing claim that she has the better prospects to defeat Republican John McCain for the presidency is still not gaining much traction among the Democratic “party elite.” And, in a section sub-headed “Incorruptible Mathematics,” the magazine puts forward the calculations that, if Obama can continue to win elected delegates at the 53% share he has achieved so far, by the end of the primary process he would only need 80 more to achieve the required 2,025 for nomination. Clinton, by contrast, has to win 65% of the delegates in the remaining ten primaries (including Guam and Puerto Rico) just to pull even with Obama at that point.

(By the way, among the quotes in the article is one from Democratic superdelegate Reggie Whitten from Oklahoma: “. . . I think people in small towns have many reasons to be bitter” – offered with no context about how that particular adjective has had its meaning inflated in the recent political environment.)

How to account to Focus’ German audience for this crazy American politician, carrying on in a contest she seemingly cannot win? As one explanation, the magazine simplyl terms the Democratic Party leadership as indulgent (nachsichtig) towards her. But it also quotes Barack Obama himself (re-translated here from the German): “There aren’t many people in American politics who can take eleven defeats in a row, stay in the race, and then raise $35 million. In this sense she is one-of-a-kind.”

Ah, but this still cannot go on for much longer, Focus reports, as her party is steadily losing its patience. One focus is on Tuesday’s upcoming primary in Pennsylvania: an outright defeat there to Obama would presumably spell the end of her campaign, but according to New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine she must “clearly” win there in order to continue. (Yes, that “clearly” is not defined further.) Or else, according to others, the end of the primary season at 3 June should mark a winner, or else sometime by the end of June. But the sands of time for the Clinton campaign are running out.

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