Hillary Clinton’s decisive Pennsylvania primary win last week may have reinvigorated her campaign, but you wouldn’t know it from listening to the Republican party.One is that the GOP would rather face Hillary Clinton than Barack Obama in the general election (the Rush Limbaugh tactic), and are thus helping Clinton defeat Obama in the primary.
The National Republican Congressional Committee has purchased $500,000 in anti-Barack Obama ads for use in two upcoming special House elections. The Republican National Committee is flooding reporters with anti-Obama emails. Presumptive nominee John McCain and GOP surrogates have seized on new remarks by Obama’s controversial former pastor.
From top to bottom, from McCain down to the youthful campaign and party staffers who work nearly around the clock to get him elected, the working assumption seems to be that the Democratic contest is over and Obama has won.
Even when Clinton attacks McCain, President Bush or GOP policies, the response is either outright silence or snarky, dismissive ridicule about a failed campaign barely relevant enough to merit a response.
The other interpretation is that the GOP fully understands that the Democratic primary race is over, Obama has won, and we're now de facto in the general election campaign, if not de jure.
If you're a Clinton supporter, you have to spin this into all sorts of contortions for it to reflect well on your candidate. Either she is the GOP's bet on the weaker of the two Democratic candidates or she has already lost. If there's anything the GOP does well, it is campaign. They're absolutely ruthless, but they're also usually quite savvy, if one can put on ethical blinders and consider campaigning in purely ends-justify-the-means political terms. I'd say that they know better the reality of the situation than the Democrats themselves apparently do.
In the name of parsimonious interpretation - or Ockham's Razor, if you prefer - rather than engaging in Rovian up-is-downism, there's really one conclusion to draw, one that I think was clear over a month ago: Obama has won the Democratic primary. Now, the option is either to damage his chances further or to save face for the party and for Clinton herself and withdraw gracefully. Clinton supporters seem to have chosen the former. Even the GOP knows better.
p.s. C'mon superdelegates: "Superdelegates to blame for enabling destructive campaign"