Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hillary's Running Mate Wins In Mississippi

Barack Obama wins another state in the Democratic Primary Race. Is there anything left for Hillary Clinton to do to win her party's nomination in August?

“First of all… I’ve won twice as many states as Senator Clinton. I’ve won more of the popular vote than Senator Clinton, I have more delegates than Senator Clinton, so I don’t know how somebody who is in second place is offering the vice presidency to the person who’s in first place… I am not running for vice president. I am running for president of the United States of America.” - Barack Obama

And now, after another decisive primary victory, this time in the state of Mississippi, the question has become, “Has Hillary Clinton begun to hear The Fat Lady sing”? With another 33 delegates awarded to Hillary’s “future vice president” now holds a 1,611 to 1,480 lead over the former first lady.

But in a primary race that has grown so close, an even greater issue looms on the horizon, ready to divide the Democratic Party before any “Clinton/Obama” unification ticket could solidify its position in November.

The problem seems to be the “old girls club”.

Former Democratic vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, one-time running mate of Walter Mondale in the Presidential election of 1984, gave her take on why it’s Hillary’s world and Obama is lucky to be a part of it. In an article that first appeared in So Cal’s own South Bay Daily Breeze, Ferraro, 72, was quoted saying, “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color), he would not be in this position.” Ferraro concluded, “He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.” This from the woman who, in the same article, said, “I really think they’re attacking me because I’m white. How’s that?”

That’s great. Ferraro gave no indication if she was just calling a spade a spade or if, as Obama foreign policy advisor Susan Rice said, “…Geraldine Ferraro’s comments [don’t] have any place in our politics or in the Democratic Party. They are divisive… outrageous and offensive.”

But with only a few key states remaining in the Democratic delegate sweepstakes, one thing the appearance of Ferraro’s comments points to, even on the fringes of Hillary Clinton’s camp, is desperation. And with only 6 weeks to go until the 158-delegate Pennsylvania primary, race seems destined to divide the Democratic Party.

According to a FOX News exit poll, just under half of those who voted as Democrats Tuesday were black. Ninety percent of those voted for Obama. Conversely, 72 percent of white voters in Mississippi voted for Clinton.

Even Clinton’s chief campaigner, husband Bill, sounded like a cheerleader who knows his team may be running out of time.

“I think she’s got to win a big victory in Pennsylvania,” the former President said. “I think if she does, she can be nominated, but it’s up to you.”

Notice the use of the word can, not will in his description of team Clinton’s chances.

For his part, front-runner Obama downplayed the impact of Ferraro’s comments and any effect they might have on claiming his party’s nomination, merely calling the comments, “absurd.”

One thing Obama did not sound like following his win in Mississippi was desperate.

“Americans need a president… who will bridge our differences instead of exploiting them.”

Something the “old girls club” has, as yet, failed to do.

Just today, Geraldine Ferraro said she was “stepping down” from her position within the Clinton finance committee, “so I can speak for myself… about what is at stake in this campaign.” In a letter to Clinton, Ferraro added, “The Obama campaign is attacking me to hurt you. I won’t let

that happen.”

No word whether the Obama campaign wished the Clinton campaign could have held onto Ferraro until the Democratic National Convention in August.

Copyright © 2008 Bill Friday