Steven Greenhut
Orange Punch
June 5, 2008

Hillary Clinton’s speech last night was one of the most astounding political speeches I’ve ever heard in terms of its pure insanity. Mrs. Clinton had lost. That was it. There were no more primary races. The Florida and Michigan delegate debacle had been resolved. The superdelegates were flocking to Barack Obama, who had reached the magical number to clinch the nomination. Yet she had no grace, and acted as if she would soldier on and try to undermine the Illinois senator’s candidacy. News reports today suggest that Clinton will concede the race — how big of her, given that it’s over – on Friday, but I wouldn’t count on anything with this despicable family. It’s all about power. Sen. Obama, by contrast, has been extremely gracious. Clinton raises an interesting situation most of us have to face every once in a while. It’s easy to get along with most people. Some people take extra work, but you can usually find a way to get along with them. But some people are so utterly self-centered that it’s impossible to find common ground. The only way to appease them is to give in to their every whim or to fight them and win. If Clinton doesn’t give up this lost race on Friday, then Obama has to fight and remove this albatross before the election gets into full swing. He absolutely cannot give in to her latest whim by picking her as vice president, which would portray him as weak. This would allow an unscrupulous couple to dog his every move and steal the limelight for their own personal gain. Furthermore, Obama’s whole shtick, phony or real depending on your interpretation, is about change — mainly, changing the tired, partisan way that Washington does business. The Clintons epitomize that old way, so if Obama chooses Hillary as veep he will be saying that he puts winning above changing, and that will be, in my view, the end of the road for him in the view of many voters.

Frankly, the only real way to change Washington is to cut the size of the federal behemoth. Having a nice, gracious president has its advantages, but ultimately Washington is corrupt because power and government are corrupting influences. I wish Obama would talk about that problem, but unfortunately he is committed to building a bigger federal government. His opponent, John McCain, is a big-government guy also, plus a bit of war-monger. What a sad choice for believers in limited government.

As an aside, whatever one thinks about Obama, it is worth honoring the excellent campaign he has run — which suggests, policies aside, he will probably be an effective administrator. And it is quite satisfying and worthy of note that an African-American man might indeed become president. This is a genuine milestone. All Americans should be proud of this situation. It speaks well of the nation.

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