To Win, and To Win Fairly

Winning makes history. But winning in the right way is just as important, because it generates goodwill and political capital.

Oh, the twists and turns of the Democrats Primary season! Now its Hillary’s turn to feel the heat, after she invoked the assassination of Bobby Kennedy in a discussion over the lengthy nomination process:

My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don’t understand it.

The implication from many quarters is that Senator Clinton is hanging in there on the off-chance that Senator Obama is murdered. However, if you watch the YouTube of her interview (with the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader) its clear that is not what she is saying. The operative word here is quite obviously ‘June’ and not ‘assassinated’.

Now, I’m an Obama fan, and wish Clinton would drop out of the race. The controversy a few weeks ago surrounding comments from Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s pastor, was ruthlessly exploited by the Clinton campaign. If this comment about Bobby Kennedy sinks her, there would be a real sense of schadenfreud, reap-what-you-sow and (to borrow a phrase from Wright) chickens coming home to roost.

However, Obama is really supposed to be above all that. He is running on the rhetoric of change, to wash the disingenuity from Washington politics. For the knock-out punch to be landed so unfairly would be a shame. It would show that such dirty politics is still legitimate. Victory, for Obama, would be less sweet.

Meanwhile, there is an ongoing debate within the Democratic Party as to whether the Florida and Michigan delegations, previously banned for breaking the DNC’s rules governing primaries, should be seated. Clinton argues that they should, and of course stands to benefit if that happens. Obama argues that they should not, because they broke the rules, and everyone agreed not to campaign there. Currently, Obama has the moral high-ground here, and the consensus is that this view will prevail.

However, a little piece of gossip threatens this claim. It is rumoured that 40 or so Super-Delegates are planning to defect from Hillary Clinton, and endorse Barack Obama. Over at The Field, Al Giordano hints:

Cardoza is one of the leaders of this effort (which includes not only superdelegates, but here’s something that should set off some paranoia in Camp Clinton: there are pledged Clinton delegates in “The Cardoza 40,” too).

Emphasis mine. Obama should not be welcoming other people’s pledged delegates into his fold. These people, unlike the super-delegates, have been awarded their position on the basis of a popular vote in favour of Senator Clinton. To condone her delegates to vote instead for Obama is profoundly undemocratic, and unworthy of the Illinois Senator’s inspiring rhetoric. Let us hope he distances himself from this possibility.

Winning makes history, and confers power. But winning in the right way is just as important, because it generates goodwill and political capital.

All this reminds me of Manchester United’s Champions League victory on Wednesday evening. Yes, they won, and lifted the trophy. But their achievement is sullied by the manner in which it came about. The previous win, in 1999, will be more highly regarded, and will be more fondly remembered.

Update

Via the Dish, xpostfactoid highlights the ways in which Obama has maintained his integrity, and killed Hillary with kindness.

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