I’ve just been reading about last night’s premiere of Rambo (is it the IV or V in the series, but who cares?) which befitting an art house movie like this attracted a fair sprinkling of footballers and WAGs. As she appeared on the red carpet somebody called towards Danielle Lloyd, who seems to be working her way through most of the players who have ever played for Spurs, and playfully challenged her with the question, Hillary or Barack? The poor love could only reply ‘Who are they? Are they in the film? I don’t suppose her beau at Rambo Defoe is unduly concerned by her lack of awareness of the American Presidential elections. Nor do I suppose it’s worrying Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. But it’s a shame because the contest to select the Democratic candidate is entering a truly interesting phase.
Earlier this week Obama trounced Clinton in the Potomac primaries of Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC capturing around two-thirds of the votes in each State. For the first time he also captured a healthy slice of the female vote, probably the last significant balwark of support for Hillary Clinton. In recent weeks she’s also run out of campaign funds, having to supplement her coffers with a $5m cash injection from the Clinton’s personal wealth, and seen two of her closest campaign aides leave her team. Obama has overturned her seemingly unassailable lead in the polls, is ahead in the delegate count now and has a newly-replenished campaign war-chest to finance the latter stages of his campaign. He is the agent for change and after years of the Presidency being dominated by the Bush/Clinton agenda, it looks like the momentum is all with him.
So is it all over for Hillary? Well clearly not. She’s nothing if not dogged and seems to be re-appraising her strategy to try and just get herself over the line. The upcoming Primaries in Ohio and Texas (where there is a large Hispanic vote which has been supportive of Clinton so far) are being regarded as a fire-wall to halt the rapidly raging Obama fire storm. To back this up it seems increasingly likely that her team will heighten the personal attacks on Obama no doubt re-raising his use of the race card, his alleged cocaine habit in his younger days and his connections with Tony Rezco a former backer who is now facing corruption charges. It’s hard to believe Obama will take the mud-slinging without trying to further discredit Clinton’s own position. Let’s face it there are plenty of skeletons in Bill and Hillary’s own cupboards.
It could get very dirty before it gets resolved. But what happens then? Do the Democrats tear themselves apart in the process and make Republican McCain look even more heroic and Presidential, gifting him a term in the White House? You’ve got to believe the grandees in the Democratic Party will attempt to prevent a no-holds barred final few rounds. But can they prevent it through reason and hard bargaining? I’m not sure. What’s the upside for Clinton to step aside – the Vice Presidency? Nah she’s virtually been that before. Besides Obama isn’t going to want ol’ dog Bill sniffing around 1600 Pennsylvania Ave again (nor his attractive wife!).
So I reckon it’s going down to the wire and the world ends up with a 71 year old in the Oval Office. At least the interns will be safe.
Scary thought eh?