News & Election Videos
Election 2008 Obama vs. McCain | Clinton vs. McCain | Latest 2008 Polls | Latest 2008 News


Let the Race Play Out

By Ed Koch

When opponents want to bring down a political candidate - as many Democrats and Republicans would like to do with Hillary Clinton - they examine every word he/she utters, knowing there is always the possibility of finding a quote that will embarrass the candidate and add fuel to the fire.

Many Obama supporters and other political operatives want Hillary to drop out of the Democratic primaries so that Senator Obama can be anointed the Democratic candidate who will face the Republican, John McCain, in November.

During an interview with the editorial board of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader newspaper in South Dakota, Hillary discussed the calls for her to drop out of the race. She said, "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."

There you have it, precisely stated. The clear meaning of her reference is that primary campaigns have often lasted into June, and many unforeseen events - or statements - can happen in any political race before the Party settles on its final choice.

The statement by Robert Kennedy, Jr. regarding Hillary's comments is probably the most meaningful of all those expressed. The New York Times of May 24 quoted Kennedy as saying, "I've heard her make that argument before. It sounds like she was invoking a familiar historical circumstance in support of her argument for continuing her campaign." The same day, the New York Post quoted him as follows: "I've heard her make this reference before.I understand that the atmosphere is supercharged right now but I think it's a mistake for people to take offense."

Hillary's sole chance of becoming the Democratic candidate for president is in the hands of the super-delegates. If no candidate wins the required majority of delegates in the primary and caucus elections, the super-delegates should cast their votes for the candidate they deem to be the stronger of the two and the person they believe is most likely to win in the general election.

Clearly, a majority of them have either not made up their minds or prefer to wait and decide that issue closer to or at the Democratic convention. Why else have they not publicly announced their preference? If Obama were the clear choice, as his supporters believe he is, why haven't they convinced enough super-delegates to announce their support of him and end the ongoing series of primaries? Why shouldn't the last states to vote have a chance to affect the result? The reason is obvious. Many super-delegates are not convinced he can win in November, and they are correct to have that concern based on the outcome in key states a Democrat needs to win.

Hillary's supporters, including Bill Clinton, have complained that sexism has played a role in the way she has been treated by many in the media. In my opinion, they are correct.

That view is supported by the way the media treated former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee for a truly egregious remark he recently made. During a speech before the National Rifle Association this month, after hearing a loud, unexpected noise offstage, he said, "That was Barack Obama. He just tripped off a chair. He's getting ready to speak. Somebody aimed a gun at him and he dove for the floor."

The criticism directed at Huckabee for his remark was far less than that hurled against Hillary. Is it paranoid to suggest sexism played a role? Some may say, "He is not running for president." True, but he is still a candidate for vice president on the McCain ticket. Clearly, special standards are being created for Hillary by her opponents in the hope she will say something they can use to force her out of the race before all the voters have spoken.

Why are Hillary's opponents so afraid of a fair fight? Let the voters decide this campaign, not the spin doctors in the back room.

Ed Koch is the former Mayor of New York City.

Facebook | Email | Print |

Sponsored Links
 Ed Koch
Ed Koch
Author Archive