Thursday, March 6, 2008

Hillary’s New Math Problem | Newsweek Voices - Jonathan Alter |

Hillary’s New Math Problem | Newsweek Voices - Jonathan Alter | "Hillary Clinton won big victories Tuesday night in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island. But she's now even further behind in the race for the Democratic nomination. How could that be? Math. It's relentless."
I remember an old saying: "The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get." That may be gramatically challenged, but it seems to describe Clinton's situation. The problem is that on Tuesday the Dems burned through about 1/3 of the remaining delegates in that day's four primaries. Although Hillary Clinton "won" the primary votes in Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island, she failed to close the delegate gap by any significant amount. So now she still has to close basically the same size gap, but she has only 2/3 as many remaining delegates to win. That means that now she is in a worse position than she was before the Tuesday primaries. She has to do more with less. The math just gets worse and worse for her. This is like a chess game where one side has a queen, a rook, and four pawns, and the other side has a knight and four pawns. It is just a matter of time. Sooner or later, the bigger army is going to win unless that player makes a huge mistake.

That's why chess players concede in those situations. They see no point in playing the game out to an inevitable conclusion. But I think Hillary Clinton would sooner shred Obama's public image and fracture the party rather than quit, even if she has only the remotest chance of getting the nomination. There is always the superdelegate strategy, and the Florida and Michigan do-over strategy. For Bill and Hillary it is always about them, and nothing else matters. The people around them are always expendable.

No comments: