Eric and Jill have been trading shots in Eric's comments about the emerging phenomenon of Clinton supporters
holding their breath until they get their way threatening to abandon the party in the fall. Eric's basic thesis (as I read it and apologies if my summary is off) is that
if Hillary supporters can be led back to the party, Hillary needs to take the lead. Jill's response is that Obama must take the lead in "building trust" among these voters.
I tend to side with Eric for a couple of reasons. First, because the hardcore Hillary supporters who make such statements seem to have closed their minds and hearts to Obama's overtures. As such, only someone who has their trust is likely to persuade them to trust Obama.
Second, Hillary hasn't just benefited from suspicions about Obama, she has encouraged them. The campaign emails to donors reek of a sense of entitlement, but the overt message is that Hillary is besieged by injustices perpetrated by powerful forces no one should have to contend with. For example, here's her latest missive about Kentucky:
- Every time we win another state, we prove something about ourselves and about our country. And did we ever prove something tonight in Kentucky.
We showed America that the voters know what the "experts" will never understand -- that in our great democracy, elections are about more than candidates running, pundits commenting, or ads blaring.
They're about every one of us having his or her say about the path we choose as a nation. The people of Kentucky have declared that this race isn't over yet, and I'm listening to them -- and to you.
Never mind that until she started losing primaries, she was the prohibitive favorite of the Democratic establishment. I get emails over the signature of Terry McCauliff, the former Dem party chair and one of the most successful money men of the past twenty years.
The longer this goes on, the deeper the distrust builds and Team Hillary actively stokes that distrust. There are reasons to believe the problem will not be as bad as it appears now. But if Hillary's voters put McCain in the White House, Hillary will have authored the catastrophe.