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A Suicidal Choice for Clinton Supporters

After accepting the GOP nomination in St. Paul, Sen. John McCain and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, tour around the country.

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By Colbert I. King
Saturday, August 30, 2008

I get the part about feeling disappointed and bitter. I can even understand their impulse to sit this one out. After all, this was supposed to be Hillary Clinton's time.

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What stumps me, however, is the possibility that some of her most ardent Democratic supporters, angered by her defeat, might vote for Republican Sen. John McCain.

That makes about as much sense as swallowing hemlock.

How can Democrats, drawn to Hillary Clinton by her powerful advocacy for children, inspired by her support for the rights guaranteed in Roe v. Wade, emboldened by her work as a champion for middle- and working-class men and women and her courage in the face of relentless right-wing attacks, even think of putting a John McBush in the White House?

But that is afoot, I hear, even after both former president Bill Clinton and the New York senator gave Barack Obama ringing endorsements at the Democratic National Convention.

I can appreciate the hurt many Clinton supporters felt. This was the year America would have elected its first female president. That Clinton came so close to winning the nomination makes her defeat all the more painful and difficult to accept.

Her reversal in fortunes was stunning.

She lost her front-runner status in the Iowa snows, and she didn't see it coming. After that, the slide was hard to stop. The once palsy-walsy media, sensing her vulnerability, started getting picky.

She was let down by her high-powered staff, which managed to run the campaign budget into the red while getting outperformed by the Obama campaign.

And her husband, well-meaning though he was, ended up as her albatross.

And yet, through pure grit and with a single-minded focus on winning, Hillary Clinton nearly pulled it off.

So there is a rawness to her defeat, a feeling that Obama snatched what didn't belong to him, a belief that she was horribly mistreated in the process.


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