Howard Dean is clearly uncomfortable to openly call for Hillary to withdraw. Shortly after he announced publicly that the candidates’ battle must be settled by July 1, Hillary Clinton swore to fight to the very end. Nancy Pelosi issued statements about the need for super delegates to not go against the popular vote and promptly earned the wrath of Hillary supporters. Other party elders have been calling for Hillary to withdraw. In short, the Democratic party can’t get its act together though it appears as though many in the party want to stand up to the Clintons and bring an early end to this protracted race for the nomination. The immediate side effect being a battle between the two candidates that is getting increasingly nasty. On the one hand, its unfair to ask Hillary to quit simply because at this stage it looks like no candidate will win the required delegates and the super delegates will have the final say. The super-delegate system was setup to precisely decide this kind of eventuality. Besides, she could argue that she could be the better candidate against John McCain just as much as Barack Obama can argue the same. Then why quit the race?
Some like Mario Cuomo prefer a dream ticket. He calls for leadership on the part of the two candidates and for an agreement between the two that the loser will settle for the VP post. This would surely be a “fairy tale” especially because it looks like Hillary Clinton will have to settle for VP. Cuomo’s wish is highly unlikely (and most likely very acceptable to many or I dare say most Democrats) but sounds attractive on paper.
Ultimately, the current situation is a sad reflection of complete lack of leadership in the Democratic party. While some like Bill Richardson and Chris Dodd have announced their candidate affiliations others like John Edwards are playing an endless (self-serving?) waiting game. It appears as though many among the party bigwigs want to see Obama as the candidate (and/or an end of the Clinton hold on the party) but simply don’t have what it takes to achieve this. Instead of working together, isolated statements that expose a fractured party are emerging from all corners of the party further undermining its chances in November.
Senator Obama compared this campaign to a long movie while Senator Clinton responded that she likes long movies. The press refers to it as an “epic” battle. At this stage the campaign appears more like a Bollywood flick that ends with a dreadfully long fight sequence. Unfortunately, this is the time when most movie watchers leave the theater except for the die-hard fans and front-benchers. Maybe Howard Dean can join in the climax with his trademark scream! He surely can’t seem to offer more than that at the moment.
The biggest nightmare that Democrats could have now is that the final scene in the long movie might feature John McCain (in an anti-climax) in the White-house come November.