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Hillary Clinton's non-concession speech, a round-up

June 4, 2008 | 10:17 am

Hillarybuilttolast What are the pundits saying about Hillary Clinton's speech? Even if she's dividing the party, she's clearly uniting the chattering class against her:

The Atlantic's Matthew Yglesias writes reluctantly: "I think if I were to try to express how I really feel about the people who've been enabling her behavior, I'd say something deeply unwise. Suffice it to say, that for quite a while now all of John McCain's most effective allies have been on Hillary Clinton's payroll."

The Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes sums up Clinton's plan:

The effect was to inject a sharply negative and divisive element in the already bitter race at the very moment that Obama was making history by becoming the first African-American to win a major party's presidential nomination. Her goal, from all indications, is to force him to choose her as his vice presidential running mate. And her tactic is political hardball.

Jennifer Rubin imagines a post-Hillary campaign at Commentary Magazine:

And perhaps the media, with their least favorite candidate out of the way (not yet, but almost) will toughen the coverage of Obama a bit. He is the nominee and they, to their chagrin, must report the facts now and then. Even the New York Times concedes he is largely an unknown quantity who has “stumbled and fumbled” a number of times.

Guardian America editor Michael Tomasky hits hard:

Once again, it's all about Hillary Clinton, who delivered the most abrasive, self-absorbed, selfish, delusional, emasculating and extortionate political speech I've heard in a long time. And I've left out some adjectives, just to be polite....

[This is] the choice she is hoping to impose on the nominee: don't choose me, and Bill and I will subtly work to see that you lose; choose me, and look like a weakling who can't lead the party without the Clintons after all. Now that's putting the interests of the party first, isn't it?

Noam Scheiber at The New Republic doesn't go easy, either, in a post titled "That Outrageous, Delusional Clinton Speech":

With Hillary proclaiming herself the legitimate winner, they're clearly going to say "keep going." If she actually does keep going, that's a disaster for the Democratic Party. And if she doesn't, you've just drawn a ton of attention to the fact that a large chunk of the party doesn't accept Obama as the legimiate nominee. No, worse: you've encouraged them to think that, then drawn attention to it.

What a disaster. 

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank seems almost awestruck:

It was an extraordinary performance by a woman who had been counted out of the race even when she still had a legitimate chance. Now she had been mathematically eliminated -- and she spoke as if she had won.

And the New York Times' Maureen Dowd looks at the gender angle:

Either way, by broadcasting that she’s open to being Obama’s running mate, she puts public pressure on him similar to the sort of pressure Walter Mondale was under from rampaging feminists when he put Geraldine Ferraro on the ticket. Mondale ended up seeming henpecked, as Obama would seem if he caved to the women who say they will write in Hillary’s name or vote for anti-choice McCain before they’d vote for Obama.

For months, Hillary has been trying to emasculate Obama....

Update: Just a reminder to check out our ongoing Dust-Up on feminism in the age of Hillary, featuring Amanda Marcotte and Katha Pollitt. Also see ongoing commentary at Top of the Ticket.

*Photo courtesy Getty Images.

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