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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

CAMPAIGN VIEW

Clinton Blasts Media Double Standard In NPR Interview
With hints of the gender card, Senator Clinton complains that the media is biased against her. As evidence, she cites opinions that she should consider dropping out. Why not similar questions about Obama?

Well, duh, Senator Obama has an almost insurmountable lead in delegates, states won, and popular vote.

But maybe there is media bias, stemming not from gender but from her campaign. Many may have started, as I did, liking Hillary and believing that she would be a good president. Although I have always favored Obama, I still think that she would be a fine president. But her and her campaign's behavior has changed my opinion of her as the campaign dragged on. A few reasons:

Early on, there were reports of threats to prospective donors that they should think twice before donating to others. Conversely, there were recent threats by Clinton's major donors to Nancy Pelosi that, if she wants donations for Democrats, she had better rethink her view that superdelegates should follow the primary results.

Then, there was the offensive "victory" rally in Florida after she received a majority of the meaningless votes. Thereafter, Hillary continues to claim that the votes in Michigan and Florida should count despite the clear rule that they would not. She blames Obama for blocking any re-voting in these states although there were many factors and certainly no right to a re-vote.

Her claim that the nominee (her) would be decided by February 5th would render later primaries as meaningless as Florida and Michigan. So it ill behooves her to criticize Obama for disenfranchising voters.

Nor should Senator Clinton have stated that she and the Republican presumptive nominee, John McCain, are qualified to be commander-in- chief, clearly implying that Obama is not. How will that help Democrats in the general election if Obama is head of the ticket?

With Obama having the most pledged delegates, Clinton points out that "Even elected and caucus delegates are not required to stay with whomever they are pledged to."

Of other reasons for the decline in Hillary's personal popularity, the most significant is her claim, along with those of Bill and others, that she should be the nominee because she has won the big states, or, similarly, the nomination should be decided by counting the electoral votes of the states won by each candidate. This sounds reasonable but is specious since the primaries are among Democrats, not against the Republican nominee, and Hillary often had the advantage of Democratic establishments in these states. Those who voted for her are not going to turn Republican in November.

So maybe there is media bias, but much of it may be subconscious, and well-earned.

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