Thursday, May 29, 2008

Why Doesn't Clinton Mention 1976?

At least twice in the last three months, Senator Hillary Clinton has mentioned the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy, which occurred in June of 1968, when discussing her reasoning for continuing her campaign. She also mentions the 1992 campaign of her husband and the then California Governor, Jerry Brown. What's interesting is that she doesn't mention the 1976 campaign, which also involved Jerry Brown and Jimmy Carter.

In 1976 Carter had won several primaries when Jerry Brown jumped into the race. He ran off several primary wins, mainly in the western states. On June 8, 1976, both California and Ohio held their primaries. Carter won both of them. Shortly after those two victories, in fact, if memory serves, the next day, Chicago Mayor Richard Daly, head of the Illinois delegation, announced his support for Carter. His announcement, combined with the wins in California and Ohio, sealed the deal for Carter.

The 1976 example is actually better for Clinton than either of the other two examples. First of all, mentioning 1976 doesn't raise references with the events of 1968, which included both the assassination of Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, not to mention the events at the 1968 Democratic convention. Second, it is actually more apt to her present situation with the super-delegates. As set forth above, it wasn't just the combination of the June 8Th primary victories, but also the endorsement of Mayor Richard Daly. Thus, you had the expression of Democratic voters combined with the expression of a Democratic insider.

Why not use 1976 instead of 1968 when making her case for continuing her campaign? Like so many questions about her campaign, the failure to do so is puzzling. Perhaps it boils down to this, the Clinton operation is not as intelligent as we all thought.

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