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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Political reality check

Howard Wolfson, a top aide to Hillary Clinton during the former first lady's presidential campaign, said on Monday that if John Edwards had come clean about his extramarital affair sooner - and, consequently, been forced to quit the race for White House earlier than he did - Clinton would have won the Democratic nomination instead of Barack Obama.

Wolfson's argument is that disgruntled Edwards supporters, with their candidate out of the picture, would have been more likely to back Clinton than Obama, allowing Clinton to do better in the primaries than she did and pick up more delegates along the way.

Just one problem with your theory, Mr. Wolfson: Even without the affair being public knowledge at the time, Edwards ended his campaign very early in the process - on Jan. 30, to be exact, after only two primaries and two caucuses had been held - and Obama still managed to win the majority of the remaining primaries and pick up the majority of the remaining delegates. If Edwards supporters were so likely to jump to Hillary, she would have done much better than she did after Edwards quit the race.

Clinton didn't lose because Edwards hung around for too long. Clinton lost because voters liked Obama more than they liked her. It's time for Hillary and Bill Clinton, Howard Wolfson and all of Mrs. Clinton' supporters to come to grips with that fact.



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