Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hillary Clinton's Concession Speech.

What Does Hillary Really Want?

Tuesday night, it was: We’ll See (Oh, you’re such a tease).

Then the New York congressional delegation stood up to the balcony and cried: Let our people go!

So Saturday, it was; don’t cry for me Argentina. Mrs. Clinton produced her “concession” speech. We waited in anticipation of how she would portray defeat. Would a concession convey an impression of victory?

Here is what we have come to expect from concession speeches- They are intended as a professional courtesy, with a deferential acknowledgement of the loss and a pat on the back to the winner. They take the opportunity to thank their supporters and staff. They can even construct it in a way to leave open the door for a future run, usually by indicating that they are committed to the cause (what ever that may be).

Did I just hear the score from Evita, playing in the background?

Adlai Stevenson in 1952 said it the best, “The people have rendered their verdict, and I gladly accept it.” He went on to put things into perspective, “Someone asked me, as I came in, down on the street, how I felt, and I was reminded of a story that a fellow townsman of ours used to tell- Abraham Lincoln. They asked him how he felt once after an unsuccessful election. He said he felt like a little boy who had stubbed his toe in the dark. He said that he was too old to cry, but it hurt too much to laugh.”

The truth is- Americans don’t pay attention to concession speeches. The only people interested in this one, I’m sure, were the Hillary supporters and cable news junkies. I guess this includes me (Junkie that is). They need some kind of closure.

But Wait!

Was there closure? Or were the Clintons just getting in the last word, again. The campaign is only being suspended, not ended.

My first inclination, realizing that the Clintons are lawyers, is to consider that they are finding a loophole to payoff the enormous campaign debt, thought to be around $20.88 million. I have no doubt that this was discussed at “THE” meeting on Friday, in some kind of deal. Maybe the fact that she only suspended her campaign might indicate that she might not have gotten the relief from the Obama camp that she was hoping for. If it is suspended, perhaps contributions can still be collected, to pay this debt.

The United States Campaign Finance Glossary defines Debt Retirement as, “The practice of raising additional funds after the election is over in order to pay off the candidate’s campaign debt.”

Assumption of debt as a political bargain goes all the way back to the beginning of this country, when Alexander Hamilton promised the national capital to the south in exchange for federal government assumption of state debts.

And of course, the lawyers can tell you; that all these debts, at least to the vendors (business expenses) can be deducted as business losses if not repaid.

Don’t think that the Clintons won’t think and act like lawyers? Remember the “it depends on what your definition of is, is?”

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