by Larry Patrick
The Pennsylvania primary is coming up next Tuesday, and folks will be casting votes for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama for the Democratic nominee for president. It has been over a month since the last primary in the U.S. During that time there have been calls by many in the Democratic Party for Hillary to give up her race for the presidency so that Obama and the Dems can concentrate on John McCain and the Republicans. So the question is, why won’t Hillary quit?
To answer that question best, you would have to have been a candidate yourself in a close race for some office, political or not. Back in the last century, I ran for state president of the Nebraska Jaycees. The Jaycees is a young persons’ leadership organization that has done a lot of good community work in their cities. I traveled all over the state for six months to visit with other Jaycee chapters and their members, trying to show them why I would be the best candidate for state president. The terms lasted one year and there was no pay involved.
Just like anyone running for governor or U.S. senator of a state, I gave up a lot of personal time, family time and work time to devote to this pursuit. Like Hillary, I was involved in a very close race that went down to the state convention that year to decide on the Nebraska Jaycee state presidency. I lost in a very close race. Talk about being in the doldrums for awhile. All of that time and energy spent when you really felt you were the best candidate. It’s a lonely feeling and it takes time to get over it.
So with Hillary, she has also devoted even more time, more money, more of everything to try and become the first woman president of the U.S. It might, in political terms, make sense to drop out and support Obama and move on to try and defeat the Republicans, but it isn’t easy to quit. Sure, it’s about ego and power and prosperity and your best chance for going down in history of being President of the United States of America. Obama has the same thing on the line.
The people that brought those two into the race have little to lose by one or the other dropping out. Hillary is behind in delegates and her chances don’t look good at the moment. But with all of the hard work that has been put in, I can’t blame her for not wanting to quit until she has been mathematically eliminated or loses at the convention. To put in all of this time and effort and then to give up while you still have a chance, may appear selfish to a lot of people. It is. She was encouraged by these people to run and now some want her to quit when she feels she still has a chance.
She isn’t looking at the “big” picture of having the Democrats win the White House over the Republicans. Some argue that she should, but so many people have told her for so many years that she is great and can do no wrong, that now she mentally and emotionally can’t give up the fight because she believes what they have said about her. As a candidate, she owes it to herself to fight until it can be shown she can’t win. The same situation would apply to Obama if he were in Hillary’s position right now.
So, whether you are for Hillary or Obama or are a Republican, a woman, a black or other minority, you have to understand that these candidates have been built up beyond belief. For Hillary to “throw in the towel” now is inconceivable to her. She has to decide when to end the fight. All of the other candidates gave up weeks and months ago because their chances were no longer there. Candidates can’t see being a “team” player until they are mathematically eliminated. Hillary still sees a glimmer of light for her dreams and ambitions. She feels she owes it to herself and “the rest of the world” to reach out to be the best that she can be, whether it takes her to the presidency or a minor footnote in history.
It’s the risk that political parties have to take sometimes for building candidates hopes and dreams to sometimes, unreachable heights. Just ask any candidate that has worked hard for months or years only to lose an election. It is a very somber and devastating experience. We should all show our deepest respect and admiration for those that are willing to take the chance and come out on the short end.
Why won’t Hillary quit? She doesn’t want to face the experience of losing while she still feels she has a chance to feel the “thrill” of victory. With all of the hard work these candidates put in, I don’t blame them.