Assassination! Assassination! Eeeek! Now, what was the question again?

The continuing fervor over Hillary Clinton’s mention of the RFK assassination puzzles me. I have already pointed out that it is not the Clinton campaign that is spreading cries of “Assassination!” all over the mainstream media. I don’t think it’s the McCain people either.

And I certainly interpreted the RFK assassination reference as a memory key about primary election dates for those of us who lived through those troubling days of losing JFK, RFK, and MLK, our cultural heroes of the sixties. The Argus Leader editors interpreted it that way too. So did RFK’s son. The memory of those times is something that ties us boomers together.

Why then was the Obama camp excited enough to issue a press release? And send their own reporters to the taping of the Olberman hissy fit at MSNBC? And have their main media consultant hand carry the Olberman videotape to the other mainstream news sources on a three day weekend.  And have their candidate mention Robert Keennedy several times in a commencement speech–isn’t he supposed to be worried or something?  Why are the obamabots going ape in the online forums?

Possible reasons:

Possibility #1: Obama and is genuinely concerned that he will be the target of an assassin.

But ALL the candidates have been threatened. McCain by immigration foes, Obama by white supremacists, and Clinton by an O’Reilly blogger. And those are only the threats that have been made public. The secret service probably has a drawer full of them.

So what would make Obama think he owns the assassination trademark?

And if Obama was really so concerned about the dangers of publicity, why didn’t they go quietly to the FBI, or to Hillary’s camp and ask her privately to stop–after all, the RFK reference has been a staple in her canned remarks for some time. Why issue a public press release?

Possibility #2: The Obama camp is threatened by what Clinton was saying and wants to take attention away from it, like a mother bird that pretends to be wounded in order to lure predators away from the nest of hatchlings . “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”, they say. “The real show is up here”. “Assassination!” “Assassination!”

So what was Hillary Clinton saying, again? Well, she makes a pretty good case against the people who are trying to strong-arm her into dropping out of the race.

Hillary was saying…

Hillary Clinton is ahead in the popular vote, depending on how you count Michigan and Florida, and she claims more people have voted for her in the primary than have ever before voted.

Hillary Clinton says she can win the electoral college. She has a map. She says that an aggregation of polls, leaked from Karl Rove’s office, shows Clinton beating McCain, and McCain beating Obama. She says she does well in states with primaries, while her opponent does well in states with caucuses where activists, not ordinary voters, control the outcome. “It’s not the math”, she says. “It’s the map”.

And then there’s those superdelegates. Their whole reason for existing is to save the Democratic party from another embarrassment like the 1972 election, where McGovern carried only two states. Show me your map of how Obama can win the electoral college, Hillary tells the superdelegates.

So another more ominous scenario emerges. For the sake of party unity, Obama could have quietly supported Clinton–who a year ago was the heir-apparent to the Democratic nomination–and gotten the VP slot for himself. But he decided instead it was his year to make a bid for the presidency. What if he has put himself forward before all his ducks are in a row? What if he is successful in winning the superdelegates, but not the electoral college? The first black man to run for the presidency, and he ends up splitting the Democratic party and losing to McCain? Not a good scenario for the Democrats or for Obama. Oh, he’d keep his senate seat. Maybe they could even give him Nancy Pelosi’s chair.

But the Republicans would be laughing–all the way to the bank—again.

The Clinton camp claims that every time a pundit publicly calls for Hillary to leave the race, her contributions start to dry up. She has until August for her campaign to repay her $20 million personal loan.

You would think that if she is really toast, as her opponent claims, that he would just leave her alone and let her try to recoup her loses. But they aren’t doing that. The Obama camp is fighting, and fighting hard. Assassin, schmassassin.

In the meantime, Hillary continues to gain speed while being outspent three to one, four to one, five to one.



“Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain!”

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