Amid an increasing tidal wave of calls for her to get the hell out of the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination, Hillary Rodham Clinton and her equally adamant former President husband make a clear that they have no intention of dropping their bitter fight and intend to take it to the end, no matter how contentious or damaging to their party.
Anyone who thinks the Clintons will give up at this point doesn’t understand the monumental ego of the couple or their desire to fulfill their own ambitions at any cost.
That ego dictates that their wishes and their wishes alone guide their destiny even if those wishes destroy their party and cost Democrats a chance to recapture the White House.
Writes Dan Balz in The Washington Post:
Sen. Patrick Leahy has gone where no Democratic leader has dared go. It’s time, the Vermont senator said, for Hillary Clinton to get out of the presidential race.
"She ought to withdraw and she ought to be backing Senator Obama," he told Vermont Public Radio.
Clinton’s campaign has spent the past two weeks trying to fight off such talk.
The New York senator has argued her case that there are still 10 contests left on the calendar and that millions of Democrats deserve to be heard. She has argued that neither she nor Obama can hit the magic threshold of 2,024 delegates without the help of uncommitted superdelegates.
She has argued — correctly — that pledged delegates aren’t actually legally pledged to any candidate and can switch sides.
In every way possible, her campaign is trying to keep open any avenue that would help preserve a path to the nomination.
Some of her leading fundraisers have tried to intimidate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi into backing away from comments widely interpreted as sympathetic to Obama. Her advisers continue to look for a solution that will bring Florida and particularly Michigan voters back into play.
Those advisers have continued to seed doubts about Obama’s strength as a general election candidate.
The bitterness and frustration on both sides is growing.
Near-daily conference calls by the two campaigns heap invective upon invective. Even if most of what is said on those calls is quickly lost to history, their fevered nature enlarges the gulf that eventually will have to be bridged once there is a nominee.
Clinton’s outright lies about being "under fire" in Bosnia bring more examination of her other ludicrous claims as well as examination by American allies who find the New York Senator lacking in both honesty and qualifications.
Writes Michael Carmichael of Canada’s Center for Research on Globalization:
In actual point of fact, Senator Hillary Clinton’s bold campaign to become the first woman to be nominated for the presidency by a major party has already failed. The arithmetic of the nomination procedure no longer supports her endgame strategy.
The Clinton campaign could be charitably described as the “walking wounded,” but the prognosis is actually quite grave.
The political wounds Senator Clinton has sustained render her campaign untenable.
The bottom line is now crystal clear: Senator Clinton is no longer viable as a presidential candidate.
The only circumstance in which the situation could be reversed to her benefit would be the retirement or disappearance of Senator Barack Obama.
In other words, the Clinton campaign is now in the posture of political parties in states ruled by warlords, dictators and military juntas. Her opponent has won the electoral contest, so now they are hoping for an unpredictable intervention of fate – or force.
In the past two days, I have received a torrent of emails from many concerned Democrats from Los Angeles to London despairing of the continued onslaught against Senator Obama by the dreadnought but delusional campaign of Senator Clinton. Many Democrats are equally concerned about the mis-statements from Senator Clinton herself, a development that would immediately curtail any serious political ambition by a major candidate in a modern European democracy.
Senator Clinton’s description of her experience with the sniper in the Balkans has opened a virtual Pandora’s Box of scrutiny that is now flooding the internet with critical examinations of the minutiae of many other instances when her accounts differed from the known facts.
None other than Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame is leading this phase of incisive criticism of Senator Clinton’s personal veracity in what is becoming a very unseemly campaign.
The problem, as one former Clinton cabinet member points out, is that the Clintons feel they are "entitled" to the nomination and that anyone who questions that entitlement is a traitor to the cause.
An adviser to Senator Hillary Clinton is refusing to apologize for comparing New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to Judas.
James Carville made the comparison to The New York Times after Richardson – once a member of former president Bill Clinton’s cabinet – endorsed Clinton rival Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination last week .
Carville called it an "act of betrayal," and pointed out that it came around Holy Week.
He said: "Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out (Jesus) for 30 pieces of silver."
He added that the timing was "appropriate, if ironic."
Richardson told "Fox News Sunday" over the weekend that he wouldn’t respond by getting "in the gutter like that."
"That’s typical of many of the people around Senator Clinton," Richardson said on Fox. "They think they have a sense of entitlement to the presidency."
And where does Bill Clinton stand on all this? Reports MSNBC:
Just in case you were wondering what Hillary Clinton’s No. 1 fan thinks of recent calls for her to drop out of the race for the Democratic nomination, Bill Clinton has three words for you: "Bunch of Bull."
"All these people tell you, ‘Aw, we oughta shut this thing down now; the Democrats are so divided,’" Clinton said at a campaign event here. "That’s a bunch of bull."