Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Our Long National Nightmare Is Taking Her Sweet Time, Thankyouverymuch.

As I listened to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s speech on the telly (can we say “telly" this side of the pond?), I heard pride in our nation. I heard tenacity fueled by her avid supporters. And, peppered with mentions of America’s Barbie-beset little girls, I heard a rallying, communal, “You go girl!”

Naturally, what her audience was not treated to was humility. Nor did the reality of Barack Obama’s victory rear its unwelcome head. Senator Clinton seemed to have been packing up her political marbles and promptly exiting the playground – but not the political stage. Defiantly asking her constituents to write in (and presumably donate) on her website, while declaring she would “make no decisions tonight,” Hillary’s words flew in the face of a conciliatory, gracious, and above all victorious Barack Obama, who as of last night had exceeded the number of delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination.

I needn’t tell anyone the historical impact of Senator Obama’s nomination. Suffice it to say, the man won. But instead of exalting this victory, Obama and others were left to ambiguous phrasing, saying he had “won the delegates to clinch the nomination” and declaring that Obama “will be the nominee”.

However momentous the occasion, however, stealing Obama’s shine is the least of Hillary Clinton’s transgressions. As she rallies her base, states her case for being the stronger candidate (despite being the losing candidate), and does mathematical gymnastics to lay claim to a majority slice of the popular vote, Mrs. Clinton seems to be trying to parlay her unflinching pawns into a checkmate on the VP nomination. To the crowd’s cries of “Denver! Denver!”, she may as well have stamped her feet and held her breath.

Another noteworthy address last night was that of John McCain. To a far smaller crowd than either Clinton’s or Obama’s, he stated his case. He took his shots at Obama. But rather than going toe-to-toe with McCain, Senator Obama is still involved in a dance with Senator Clinton. By now, it’s quite obvious who the more graceful partner is.