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Monday, May 12, 2008

Hillary Clinton's Denial, Anger, etc.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross' famous "Five Stages of Grief," detailing the process by which people deal with grief, loss, and tragedy, has become increasingly appropriate when analyzing Hillary Clinton and her campaign. To wit:

Denial: As written here and across the print media, this contest is all but over and there is no plausible road to victory for Hillary Clinton. Her last stronghold, superdelegates, has fallen. John Edwards, former third banana of the 2008 Democratic Primary, has described Barack Obama as the likely nominee because it is "difficult to make the math work" for Senator Clinton. George McGovern, the 1972 nominee of the Democratic Party, has switched from Clinton to Obama, explaining that the "battle is about over." Significantly, Rahm Emanuel, House Democratic Caucus Chairman, has now called Obama the "presumptive nominee." These are just three of dozens of important, influential names in the Democratic Party who acknowledge not only that Obama is going to get the nomination, but additionally, they imply or emphatically state that to extend the primary when it should be at its conclusion is detrimental to the party's chances in November.

Yet Senator Clinton pushes forward.

Ms. Kubler-Ross, when she proposed her Five Stages thesis, acknowledged that the wounded or grieved do not always follow the five steps in order. Indeed, there are exceptions. The stages can come in any order, and sometimes they can be skipped on the way to acceptance. It seems to me that Senator Clinton's situations is one such exception. For example,

Anger: This was supposed to be Hillary Clinton's year. She had dreamt of this moment since she was a girl in grade school. She involved herself in her husband's politics. She stayed with him through family troubles. Women loved her. African-Americans loved her husband. She ran for Senate of a big state in 2000. She got on influential Senate committees. She earned a reputation as a tough, smart, hardworking Senator. The Republican President became a lame-duck after a 2004 victory. She completed her first Senate term in 2006. Then it was time to run for the open presidential seat in 2008. She was expected to amass a campaign war chest never before seen in politics. She was overwhelmingly going to win the female vote in a primary with eight men. In 2007, she had a twenty-point lead in nearly every national poll. She was going to walk to the nomination and then throw down in a general against a candidate whose party leader had become overwhelmingly unpopular. She was going to be the first female President in United States history.

She had dreamt of this moment since she was a girl in grade school.

And then along comes Barack Obama, with his speeches, with his hope, with his activists, with his 90% of the black vote digging into her base, with his caucus victories, with his small state victories, with his bottom up campaign strategy, with the youth vote, with his even bigger war chest, with his even larger donor list, with the media in his hip pocket, and with his skin color as much of a novelty has her gender...

You better believe she's angry. If you don't believe me, go talk to a hardcore Clinton supporter. Then duck.

Bargaining: This stage has recently kicked in. Bargaining, when it comes to personal tragedy, perhaps a terminal illness, deals with pleas like, "Just let me live to see my daughter get married." In political terms, Clinton is just looking to buy herself more time, just in case a one-in-a-thousand event occurs. She pushes onto West Virginia tomorrow, where she enjoys a 40-point lead, though the state only has 25 delegates. She hopes that enough momentum will build from that (which it won't) to push her in to dominating 40-point victories the rest of the way (Which she won't get), giving superdelegates a lot to think about (which they won't do).

As I will write tomorrow, this scenario is completely unrealistic, and she's just trying to convince everyone there's a reason she's staying in besides to hurt Barack Obama. Bargaining.

Depression: This and the next stage are still to come. When she finally concedes, or when Barack Obama eclipses the 2,025 delegate mark, she will start to see that her girlhood dream was a mirage, and probably the only person who could have beat her in a primary decided to run the same year she did. This thought will depress her greatly, and this depression will soon yield to...

Acceptance: This summer, when she publicly accepts the decision made by the voters and superdelegates, she will appear with Barack Obama, raise his hand, and tell her supporters to line up behind the Democratic nominee. Ironically, it is this act, above all others in the last year, which will most endear her to the Democratic electorate, as she puts the party and country before her personal feelings. It is that decision that will allow her presidential aspirations to not die with her 2008 campaign, but rather just be put on hold for 4-8 years.

When she accepts that, she will have finally completed the five stages of grief, and she'll feel a whole lot better.

Maybe.

Back tomorrow for a West Virginia preview. See you then.

15 comments:

Gary said...

You forgot the sixth stage. Scorn.

Robert said...

LOL! Nice one Gary. Good post IC.

gwudzie16 said...

Excuse my cynical mood, but it's probaly a blessing in disguise for Hilary. You could bring back FDR, and this country would still be in crisis for the next four years. The US is in such bad shape thanks to President Bush, that whoever inherits the Presidency is doomed to be a part of the downard spiral created in the last eight years. Inflation, ecomonic crisis, billions on the War in Iraq. These are major problems that either A) a stern 72 year old President will inherit, or B) a young, inexperienced first term senator will inherit. This is the the New York Knicks. They could have hired Red Auerbach to coach, and still would lose badly because Isiah Thomas put the team in such a bad situation. However, in 5-10 years, the Knicks will rebound and at that time, they will have a new coach that will make it seem like he is a savior. I see a similar fate for our next President.

Winghunter said...

What's the difference here!?

Both socialist clowns run on pure ambition without a shred of evidence that either of them could possibly be anything else other than a festering pimple on the ass of our country.

Downside Legacy at Two Degrees of Bill Clinton
http://alamo-girl.com/index.htm

The Clinton Legacy
http://clinton-legacy.org/

Barack Hussein Obama
http://bhobama.blogspot.com/

Mug said...

I don't think what Hillary is doing has anything to do with anger/denial/acceptance. She's not dumb. She knows she has no chance at the 2008 nomination. Right now she's campaigning for 2012 by tearing down Obama as much as she can. In WV she's used everthing except the "N Word" to incite hatred toward the Illinois Senator and will continue to do so through the remaining primaires. Unfortunately, at this point, campaigning against Obama equates to campaigning for McCain. She knows her only hope for becoming the first woman president is for McCain to win in 2008 so she can run again in 2012 since she'd be 68 years old in 2016. She's chosen to sacrifice what is best for the country and for the Democratic party in favor of her own personal ambitions. In doing this, she shows that she has no class at all.

Anonymous said...

Are conservatives still pushing the whole Hussein Obama thing?

Elizabeth said...

Whoa. Nice analysis, Ian! It's funny cause it's true.

The Dude said...

That is just lunacy....I mean, it is never going to happen,...the parties involved are just too controlling and devious....i've said it before and i'll say it again....The Knicks will never make the playoffs for as long as James Dolan is running the team....

Once again, Mr.Google himself has enlightened us to the both the "hilarity" and the sorrow of the past 3 months.

"The Dude" Hussein Garnett

IC said...

Gwudzie, I don't think you're alone in your thoughts. We definitely agree on one thing: the Knicks are hopeless for at least five years.

Winghunter, tell us how you really feel.

Mug, I wrote about that very subject last Wednesday.

Anon, yes, conservatives still insist on including his middle name, though they never mention John Sidney McCain.

Thanks, Elizabeth!

Dude, thanks for your steadfast reading. Refer to the earlier post for Knicks thoughts.

Mug said...

Anonymous, to expand on your question, nothing can be said about the character of Barack Obama because his middle name is Hussein. However, a lot of nothing good can be said about the character of those who are bothered by that or believe that it's significant. Words like "shallow" and "ignorant" come to mind.

benu said...

We've been projecting Hillary's true character for a long time -- as it relates to the party, to the country, to herself. Now that she's passed the no-longer-electable point (not inexorably, but nearly so), I think we're going to get a clearer picture in the near future. I'm hoping IC is wrong in this instance (for once) and she steps down VEEEEEEERY soon.

Anonymous said...

hank you, IC. You have finally managed to make me feel sorry for HIlary. She's dying, and I care.

Anonymous said...

Sorry. I meant Thank you, not hank you.

Adria Richards said...

great comparison. It's late Wednesday night and I'm Googling, trying to understand why Hillary Clinton has not conceded yet. The BBC won't speak of anything else and it's sad for a grown woman to parade around in denial with people patting her on the back.

Her actions speak poorly to her choices regarding war. Being stubborn in war increases casualties of civilians and military personnel. And it's expensive!

America certainly needs more leaders who can just stand up and admit they've lost, admit they've made a mistake and move on.

Anonymous said...

Very nicce!

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