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Prof. Ken Bode Writes of Barack Obama's "Worst Nightmare"

May 16, 2008

ken bode crop.jpgMay 16, 2008, Greencastle, Ind. - In the race for the Democratic presidential nomination between Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ken Bode suggests, "Look at the math. It's over." In today's Indianapolis Star, DePauw University's Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism asks, "So why does she stay in? Because it's not math, it's poker. It's strategy. It's luck. It's bluff. And eyeball-to-eyeball, Obama might yet be forced to blink."

Bode, former senior political analyst for CNN, notes, "Clinton has the convention challenge up her sleeve, but she is likely to make an earlier play. After her huge win in West Virginia, there is one more similar payday coming next week in Kentucky. She can then continue her tone of recent days: the kinder, gentler Hillary, downplaying the negativism against Obama but justly trumpeting her successes. She neither has to leave the race nor concede she has lost. She can remain personally agnostic about her interest in the vice presidential Clinton Obama ABC Debate Ap16.jpgnomination, while nodding to her millions of supporters to launch a campaign demanding that Obama offer her the job. This is Obama's worst nightmare."

Should Obama choose Clinton as his running mate, he "would be handing a load of ammunition to the Republicans for November," the professor asserts. He adds, "Clinton brings baggage that no other candidate can match, baggage that has never been unpacked. Throughout the primaries, she has been asked when the contributors to the Bill Clinton presidential library and to his foundation will be made public. She says it's up to her husband. He says never, because the donors were promised confidentiality. Why confidentiality?"

Bode believes that, if brought to light, "these high-dollar 'charitable contributions' may look more like early investments, aimed at currying favor with the spouse of a future president."

The ongoing battle between Obama and Clinton does not bode well for their party from a historical perspective, Bode points out. "There is enough precedent for this in Democratic Party history that it strikes cold fear in those old enough to remember how the prolonged and bitter challenge from Hubert Humphrey damaged George McGovern in 1972 and what Ted Kennedy did to Jimmy Carter in 1980. Both conventions featured serious, televised battles, and both produced landslide losers."

Read the complete essay at College News.org.

In a May 2 op-ed, Ken Bode offered a preview of the Indiana primary.  Access the text via this previous story.

Source: Indianapolis Star

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