Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hillary Is Wrong

Yesterday in an interview, Hillary Clinton said one of the reasons she's still in the race is because historically primary season isn't decided until June, or later.

Then she put her foot in it. She said we all remember Robert F. Kennedy being assassinated in June of 1968 after California's primary. Lots of people (mostly Obama supporters) are outraged by her bringing up RFK's assassination, and are implying that she meant that she's in the race because maybe Obama will be assassinated.

I watched her remarks (video here) and didn't think that was her point. She was trying to claim that it was OK that the Democratic primary isn't over because it isn't even June yet. But her statement was very wrong, for two fundamental reasons:

1) You can't use an assassination as an analogy. (I would also advise against using any analogy which includes Hitler, the Holocaust, or 9/11.)

One of the principles of communication is: It doesn't matter what you say. It's what the other person hears that is the essence of communication. If you are trying to say, the campaign in 1968 continued through June, say that. Don't bring up an assassination which is TOTALLY UNRELATED to the point you are trying to make, other than temporally. By bringing up the murder of RFK, Hillary begs to be misinterpreted. I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. But I can totally see where people find what she said deeply offensive.

2) The California primary isn't in June any more. The second reason what she said is wrong, as well as stupid, is that the primary calendars in 1992 and in 1968 were totally different than the accelerated 2008 calendar. The reason Bill Clinton and Robert F. Kennedy were in the California primary in June is that the California primary used to be in June. This year, the primary in California was on Super Tuesday, in February. Hillary won the California primary. But Super Tuesday wasn't the knockout blow that Hillary's campaign had counted on. Obama won the next 10 contests and essentially knocked her out of the race with his superior organization. There aren't enough primaries or enough delegates left for Hillary to win.

It's over, Hills. Move on. Challenge Harry Reid for Senate Majority Leader. Get a killer Cabinet position. (Oops, sorry, no pun intended.) Angle for a Supreme Court bid. But please, no more references to historical tragedies.

No comments: