WASHINGTON, DC. Hillary Clinton is seriously considering running as an independent presidential candidate should she lose the Democratic nomination, say various Internet sources. Although the former first lady ridicules the notion, her aids do not unequivocally say no.
The presidential race within the Democratic Party is drawing to a close. With Barack Obama keeping over 100 delegates more than Hillary Clinton, the latter is ready to catch any chance to keep her campaign going. While she may not honestly toy with the idea of running as an independent candidate, she hopes that the rumor would influence so-called superdelegates, who amount to almost 800 and are not bound by their states, to vote for her. Faced with the danger of breaking the party apart, they may indeed lean towards Clinton.
So far Hillary Clinton has accumulated 1,579 delegates. Her main rival, Barack Obama, leads the contest with 142 votes more and is bound to win the upcoming primaries in Indiana and North Carolina. It is inconceivable, however, that either of the two candidates will exceed the magic number of 2,025 necessary to win the party nomination. Unless a miracle happens and the remaining six primaries will decisively fall to Obama, the role of kingmakers will be assumed by superdelegates.
Despite original support for Hillary Clinton, more and more superdelegates have been lured by the victorious march of the senator of Illinois. Experts remind that, among 794 superdelegates, there are former or present governors, mayors and party notables who may bear a grudge against the Clintons dating back to the time when Bill Clinton was the president. The few friends, like former New York governor Elliot Spitzer, crumbled away either by personal scandals or are charmed by Obama’s performance.
Will Hillary Clinton follow the suit of Theodore Roosevelt who ran as an independent candidate after loosing the nomination of the Republican Party in 1912? According to some members of the former first lady’s inner circle, such a possibility is seriously considered. Joe Rohtstein of U.S. Politics Today wrote on April 24 that Clinton as an independent would win among women and Hispanics, defeating Obama in most populous states and endangering McCain in the South. If the Republican candidate performed poorly, she would stand a chance to win the entire national presidential election.
The question is whether Clinton would have enough backing among fundraisers to continue her campaign even after loosing the Democratic nomination in August. It is an open secret that the stream of money flowing to her campaign has been much narrower since Barack Obama began its impressive blitz. But the former first lady has proved that she can reinvent herself just like she has done on a number of occasions since January.
It is still too early to predict the final outcome of the Democratic inner race. The history of presidential elections has registered many turnarounds, the victory of President Harry Truman in 1948 being only one of the most notable examples. Repeating after Truman, Hillary Clinton said at the awe of the Pennsylvania primaries that “if you cannot stand the heat, get of the kitchen.” Clinton will stay – until the very end.
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