February 20, 2008
It’s About Rough Sailing, Stupid (Bob Franken)
@ 10:13 am
We can always tell how well Hillary Clinton has done in a particular state. If she loses, she’s somewhere else, pretending the election didn’t happen. She’s been doing a lot of that the past few weeks. Wisconsin? What Wisconsin? Oh, there is no doubt they are well aware in Hillaryland and offshore.
We can be sure that at this very moment, as Clinton supporters perceive the vessel to be sinking, they are jumping off in packs, hoping to land on the deck of the Good Ship Barack Obama passing by.
This abandonment is not accompanied by the “giant sucking sound” made famous by Ross Perot. (Remember him, the oddball whose third-party effort siphoned off enough votes from Bush the 1st to get Bill Clinton elected? Where is he when Hillary needs him?)
No. What we hear now is the rustle as Clinton backers whisper to those in the Obama campaign, nervously saying that they actually preferred him the whole time. That’s how it works in this game. If your team is losing, switch over and claim you really were secretly rooting for the other side all along.
It’s similar to what’s happening on the Republican ranch. There almost all the creatures are scurrying to the John McCain feedlot, lest they be left to scratch for themselves. Like ever-changing dietary fads, the latest trend in the GOP has it that wingnuts are not very nutritious.
But back to the Democrats who are still navigating the choppy waters. Hillary struggles to sail on and keep up with Obama’s powerboat. In an election race, the more passengers who get off a vessel, the faster it goes down.
It is sink or swim for Hillary Clinton in the waters of Ohio and Texas. She had expected clear sailing, but she appears to be adrift.
If Obama whizzes by her there, she could go under. His boat is rising on a torrent of money. The tallies are showing a record shower of new contributions in January, while the Clinton campaign soaked up a much lighter splash of cash. In this political climate, that means the clouds are darker over her course and for all practical purposes the journey might end in two weeks. It’s clear she must reverse her backward course and come back to a spectacular victory; if not, the campaign might drown. The HR Clinton might sink. It’ll be over.
The idiotic nautical metaphors will not be stopped. We’ll need them for the speculation about whether Hillary would be willing to be No. 2, Capt. Barack Obama’s Executive Officer.
As you can see, writing about all this can be like waterboarding. Perhaps all that is more torturous is the election process we’re describing.