History is littered with people who thought they had won something only to lose in the end. Howard Dean essentially spiked the ball on the 5 yard line when he stopped running for the Democratic nomination and started running for President before Iowa held their caucus. Shades of that are starting to trickle through the media, either from the campaigns or the media. The origin doesn’t matter, and neither does the substance, unless people start to believe it.
One of the main reasons Hillary is doing so poorly is she and the media took for granted that she was the nominee before voters had a chance to have their say. People don’t much like being told that their right to vote is irrelevant. They, unlike the media, gave the candidates a fair hearing and went with Anybody but Hillary by a margin of 2 to 1.
Now comes stories about how the wheels are coming off Hillary’s campaign and how New Hampshire may be the end of the road for her. On anything beyond name recognition, the wheels may not have been that secure in the first place, but to pronounce it dead is a bit premature.
The media is not capable of nuance. While they preach subtlety and understanding, they live, work and deliver their product in black and white – if you aren’t winning, you’re losing. While true, Yogi Berra’s old adage, “It ain’t over till it’s over” still applies.
The media is a strange group of people, for months they were foaming at the mouth with excitement as the primaries approached, now, after one caucus, they are speculating on the demise of the Democratic front-runner in a rush to end what they so looked forward to. It’s like desperately wanting a date with someone, then setting up an excuse to get out of if early on the day of. The media is so ready to move to the next story that their attitude and reporting may well influence the events they are supposed to simply observe.
Obama is doing well, better than anyone expected, and Clinton doing worse, no question. But to call a 50 state contest after 2 of the smallest have their say is more a reflection on our microwave, “I want it now” culture than it is on political reality. No one is perfect, candidates will make mistakes. If reports from the Clinton Camp of soul searching and contemplation of dropping out if she loses big in New Hampshire are true, she was not the candidate she portrayed herself as from the start. You have to want to be President, you have to be willing to fight for it. If the threat of an ultimate and possibly humiliating loss is enough to cause you to drop out prematurely, spare the nation and don’t run in the first place.
That having been said, we wouldn’t miss her if she quit.
But it does seem a bit odd that these stories would surface today, the day before New Hampshire. Will they influence votes? And if so, which way? Is there such a thing as a sympathy vote for Hillary? Or will she hemorrhage even more support because people won’t want to waste their vote on someone who has given up? We’ll know the answer tomorrow night. And if these stories are accurate, we may have one of our nominees soon after.