Friday, February 22, 2008

Hillary entering the acceptance stage?

My takeaway from last night's debate (what little I saw of it) is much the same as Josh Marshall's. Hillary Clinton could have gone for a knock-down-drag-out fight but appears to have deliberately chosen not to. I consider a major signal on her part that she ISN'T willing to tear the party apart in order to win.

Her response to the final question was especially telling, as it indicated that as much as she might not like the fact that she is on the ropes, she can live with the consequences of not winning. The fact that nearly the entire audience gave her a standing ovation after that response (and some of those had to be Obama supporters) shows that a lot of people interpreted her comments as a provisional concession speech (contingent, of course, on the results in Texas in Ohio).

I've always thought there was far to much freak-out among activists about the possibility of the Clintons taking a Pyrrhic victory approach to this race. Of course, they have the skills to tear the party apart in order to get some kind of technical win. But I've never bought into the idea that their were so single-minded about winning that they would actually do it.

Last nights performance was a validation for me.


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