Clinton may still come back in election

Published 12:44 am Monday, March 31, 2008

By By Tray Smith
By the time it became apparent Hillary Clinton would seek the Presidency in 2008, she was perhaps the most infuriating political personality members that the conservative movement had ever confronted. After more than 13 months of campaigning, however, the former first lady has improved her public image. The problem for her, now in the late stages of the Democratic Primary contest, is that her improved public standing stems from greater empathy she is receiving from Republicans. That empathy has caused Republican political operatives who once hoped to challenge Clinton in the general election because of her motivating affect on the GOP base to hope instead to face Clinton’s fellow Democrat, Senator Barrack Obama of Illinois. Although Republicans would rather see Clinton inaugurated than Obama, they believe Obama would be an easier target in the fall.
Recently, a significant portion of the media has begun publishing constant stories stating Clinton has no chance of winning the Democratic primary, urging the former First Lady to withdraw from the race and criticizing her for her campaign tactics. If it sounds familiar, it is because this has happened before.
After Obama won the first caucus of the year in Iowa, Clinton was written off in New Hampshire and her campaign was considered hopeless. Then Clinton won New Hampshire. Going into Super Tuesday, it was clear that Clinton had the advantage, but the media wrote her off in the largest Super Tuesday state of California. Clinton, however, won California. After Super Tuesday, Obama began his 10-state winning streak, and predictions of Clinton’s demise began anew. But then Hillary Clinton won Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island on March 4, loosing to Obama only in Vermont.
Even though there has been no major primary since the March 4th contest, the media has recently started highlighting Clinton’s small chance of victory again. Last week, after Obama emerged tainted by his relationship with his controversial pastor, the press could not emphasize enough what a bad week Hillary Clinton had experienced. Yet, last week may have been the best week of her campaign.
The next major Democratic voting state is Pennsylvania, where polls give Clinton a 16 point lead. After that, the Democrats will go to Indiana and North Carolina, states once expected to go for Obama where Clinton is now competitive. Still unresolved is the issue of Michigan and Florida, whose delegates are currently not to be seated at the convention, but whose vote the Democratic Party needs to recognize.
It is undeniable that Hillary Clinton is behind Barrack Obama in delegates and popular votes in the Democratic race. However, several states have yet to vote and several issues have not yet been addressed. With all of the unknown possibilities that exist, it would be very premature for Clinton to withdraw now. She has come back time and time again this political season, she may well do so this time.
Tray Smith is a political columnist for the Atmore Advance. He is a student at Escambia County High School and can be reached at tsmith_90@

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