"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you”


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bottom Line: MSM Wants Hillary to Hang On

Barack Obama has now won ten straight contests in the Democratic nomination campaign. He is not just winning - he's blowing his formerly inevitable opponent out of the water. He's expanded beyond his base and proved he's got the tactical ground game to back up his rhetorical brilliance. He has enticed the elusive American youth to vote in unprecedented numbers, tapped into America's deep desire for change and ignited a hope-based movement, attracting independents and Republicans to his campaign.

In a normal year, party elders would be urging the vanquished candidate to see the handwriting on the wall. Understanding the political damage likely to result from a long and divisive battle these superdelegates would be demanding an end to the contest "for the good of the party." The punditocracy would be observing "These lopsided losses are simply too much to overcome" and asking "When will she step aside?"

Instead, we have an ongoing narrative on the cable networks dominated by observations like "Never count the Clinton machine out." "Can victories in Texas and Ohio halt Obama's momentum and provide Hillary an opening?" "The campaign sees a viable path toward the nomination and may hold on through the August Denver convention." "The Clintons may go negative to derail Obama."

While there are scattered comments from the talking heads implying the Fat Lady is approaching the mic it is undeniable the dominant meme remains. Instead of being on a campaign death watch, the media is on the lookout for a "Clinton Comeback." Does anyone out there think if Obama was on a ten state losing streak the entire media-political establishment would not have already raised a deafening chorus demanding he step aside?

I believe there are two factors contributing to this strange, suspended reality. The fact Hillary and Bill are formidable politicians with a vast network and are proven Lazarus-like survivors is secondary to the MSM's profit motive. The nomination battles have helped feed the insatiable appetite of the 24/7 cable news channels. The seemingly "unpredictable" twists and turns of January and February provided fodder for the endless ego-filled television talkfest. When the spectre of this campaign coming to an end is raised on air, you can see the talking heads visibly disappointed. If Hillary throws in the towel, these politicos will see their airtime and public profiles diminished.

A few weeks ago there were stories about how Britney's tragedy feeds tens of millions of dollars into the economy, primarily into big media. This morning, I find myself wondering how much the Hillary & Bill drama pumps into the cable networks coffers?

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