She would step aside.
On January 25th The New York Times endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential candidacy. The paper acknowledged that both Clinton and Obama were excellent choices, but they went with Clinton because they thought she had a better “here and now” record. But they also cautioned her:
As strongly as we back her candidacy, we urge Mrs. Clinton to take the lead in changing the tone of the campaign. It is not good for the country, the Democratic Party or for Mrs. Clinton, who is often tagged as divisive, in part because of bitter feeling about her husband’s administration and the so-called permanent campaign. (Indeed, Bill Clinton’s overheated comments are feeding those resentments, and could do long-term damage to her candidacy if he continues this way.)
Today The New York Times has had enough of Clinton’s destructive campaign:
It is past time for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to acknowledge that the negativity, for which she is mostly responsible, does nothing but harm to her, her opponent, her party and the 2008 election.
If nothing else, self interest should push her in that direction. Mrs. Clinton did not get the big win in Pennsylvania that she needed to challenge the calculus of the Democratic race. It is true that Senator Barack Obama outspent her 2-to-1. But Mrs. Clinton and her advisers should mainly blame themselves, because, as the political operatives say, they went heavily negative and ended up squandering a good part of what was once a 20-point lead.
That’s from the most widely read paper in the country, located in Clinton’s state – the same paper that endorsed her three months earlier. They are now calling for an end to the fight that has dragged her and her opponent into the gutter, and made both candidates appear less electable.
Late Tuesday afternoon, the Times put up an interactive tool on its front page that illustrates just how unlikely it is, given the mathematics of the remaining contests, for Clinton to win the nomination. If she does well and wins 50% of the remaining delegates, she would need 75% of the remaining super delegates to capture the nomination: 75%!
What would happen if that’s how the votes go for pledged delegates and somehow, someway the superdelegates were to go against the will of the people who participated in the state caucuses and primaries and voted to give the runner-up the nomination? It would be 1968 all over again – A complete meltdown of the party. They have to know that.
If Clinton cannot recognize the damage she’s doing and do the right thing by stepping aside, then she is not fit to lead this country in a new direction.
As Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer put it so well in their excellent pamphlet, The True Patriot:
“America deserves leaders who insist that politics isn’t about the promotion and protection of self-interest, it should be about promoting the interest of all Americans.”
“America deserves leaders who help us understand one another, not drive us apart.”
It’s time for the Democrats to accept that the people have chosen Obama, and that there is a long difficult battle ahead against the Republicans and their not-so-nice, but extremely well funded proxy organizations. Democrats need to unite behind their candidate now and organize a campaign to win the presidency so that they can begin to rebuild our country for all Americans and repair our image abroad. By doing so, our country will regain its stature as a beacon of liberty and leader of the free world.
We’ve got a lot of work to do. Let’s get started.