Have you heard? The Democratic Party has split into two: the Clintonites and the Barackers. The Clintonites consist mostly of people without a college education, Catholics, white women, regular church attendees, union members and those “blue-collar workers” with whom she loves to drink beer. The Barackers are those who curse Hillary Clinton for sticking Barack Obama in two parallel universes: first, in the final primaries against Clinton, and then in the battleground states against John McCain. Meanwhile, the Republicans have proven how smart they are by keeping with tradition.
Okay, maybe the Democrats haven’t officially split, but they should prepare and choose better names than “Clintonites” and “Barackers,” just in case. In reality, they are well on their way to a major divide. Since Clinton is having an awfully hard time admitting defeat, Democratic voters are having an awfully hard time identifying as one party. Clinton has decided to stay in the game and go “full speed on to the White House,” and her voters are adopting the same “shame on you, Obama” attitude. Her followers have displayed loyalty by vowing to not vote for the enemy. Only a third of those who voted for Clinton in Kentucky said they would support Obama over McCain in the fall.
Let me remind you, this was supposed to be the Democrats’ election. After America’s disappointment in President George W. Bush’s eight-year term, voters were excited for a different person with a different approach—America just wanted something new. However, due to the detrimental effects of Clinton’s sore-loser tactics, it looks as though the Democrats could blow it once again. Without a united front, it looks as though Clinton supporters would rather vote for McCain than their fellow Democrat, Obama. Therefore, McCain might just sneak through that division and win the presidency despite being viewed as a supporter of President Bush. Even as questions of age and health shadow McCain, he holds an advantage by being part of a united party, which now holds greater importance than before.
Meanwhile, McCain’s campaign has drawn less scrutiny in recent weeks due to the prolonged race for the Democratic presidential nomination. As he skips along the campaign trail, McCain has a lot of time and almost no pressure to court independent voters and distance himself from President Bush. With humor and wit, his campaign coolly illustrates that age and health are no show-stopper to this historic prisoner of war and official with foreign affairs and military experience. His game plan cannot fail as long as his eyes are fixed on the general election in November—as any candidate’s eyes should be at this stage of the campaign.
As Clinton waits at home for the last primary vote to be counted on June 3, Obama has started to turn his attention toward the November election. The truth is that Clinton trails Obama in the delegate count by such a margin that it is mathematically unlikely she will overtake him in the remaining primaries—unless, of course, he gets hit by a meteor or self-destructs. Let’s just hope that his start toward the November election has not been too delayed. In addition, McCain has prepared to battle it out with Obama in November. It seems as if everyone but Clinton has come to realize that it is time to get past the brutal primaries and on to the general election. While she gets a pat on the back for endurance and grit, McCain could slip through the cracks and become the future successor of Bush, giving the Democrats another failed election.
Elysabeth Hahm is a second-year political science major and literary journalism double-major. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.