On the outside looking in

Barry Casselman considers the degree to which leftist bloggers pose a threat to Hillary Clinton’s run for the Democratic nomination. He concludes that these bloggers represent an obstacle, but not a very formidable one.
Casselman, I think, is giving leftist bloggers too much credit. I’ve predicted from the beginning that the left blogosphere has no chance of stopping Clinton, and nothing that’s happened this year suggests that I should reconsider this assessment. As Casselman observes, the internet left is good at raising money for candidates they favor, but Clinton has all the money she needs. The internet left also helped mobilize anti-Lieberman sentiment in the Connecticut primary last year. But Clinton isn’t Lieberman — her position on Iraq, though not what lefty bloggers crave, is more than sufficiently defeatist to insulate her from Lieberman’s fate with his party. (And if Clinton had continued to side with President Bush on the war, her campaign would have faced the death penalty with or without the pronouncements of bloggers).
Clinton also has a huge insurance policy that Casselman doesn’t mention — the support of Democratic women. In any scenario other than supporting Bush on the war, this is her get-out-of-jail card. Let’s imagine, for example, that John Edwards were to abandon the race. This development presumably would help Barack Obama because he would be the remaining viable Democratic candidate not named “Clinton,” and the remaining viable candidate to the left of Clinton on the war. Yet I believe Clinton could count on picking up the support of a big majority of female former Edwards supporters right off-the-top. The same would hold if Obama were to withdraw and Edwards carry on.
Barring some totally unexpected development, then, it’s very hard to imagine a scenario in which Clinton isn’t the Democratic nominee, and difficult to see how lefty bloggers have any role to play in determining the identity of the next Democratic nominee for president.
Via Real Clear Politics
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