Probably not. But I bet the thought has crossed her mind, certainly Bill’s bitter brain. The thought first crossed my mind when as far back as May, the issue of whether she would allow herself to be nominated and let her delegates vote for her was raised and not resolved. In fact I raised it even earlier than that in a post here about why Hillary kept hanging on after the numbers were against her. I’d suggested she wanted the historic and symbolic meaningfulness of allowing her self to be nominated at the convention, allowing her near-majority of delegates to demonstrate their strength (for a national television audience, for the future) and as a milestone for women in politics.
Then, when the numbers clearly indicated she lost and she sort of conceded, the question of whether she’d still have her name put in nomination just hung there. Was it a requirement of the primary system that her pledged delegates vote for her at the convention. And if it wasn’t a requirement that pledged delegates vote for whom they were selected then Obama’s delegates were free to change their minds weren’t they? Seemed like an opening.
At first I thought one aspect of Obama’s foreign trip was to demonstrate to the world that the nomination was signed, sealed and delivered. But don’t forget we’re dealing with the Clintons, and the foreign trip may have backfired in the polls.
And now Obama’s people have announced that they want the Florida and Michigan results fully counted, not cut in half. Which means that in some calculations Hillary moves ahead in the primary popular vote count, and closer in the delegate count.
And then the clincher for me: Hillary publicly declared “I don’t want to be nominated.” Translation in Hillary speak: “I have to say this, but what I’m really saying is that there’s nothing to bar me from being nominated”–otherwise why so conspicuously beg her supporters not to, unless she wanted to remind them that they could–“and so if some of you PUMAS out there want to nominate me and see if by then some super delegates, even pledged delegates have changed their mind and want to get a kind of Wendall Willie draft thing going, well gosh, I guess I’d have to respect their fervor. After all I asked them not to, but I can’t help it if they love me and feel I’ll be better for the party.”
And now two weeks before the convention the matter has still not been resolved and more people are beginning to wonder if her failure to close off the option is part of a deliberate strategy. See this piece in the American Thinker.
I don’t think there’s a realistic possibility, but it’s clear the Clintons are positioning themselves in case lightning strikes in some form. Cue the (false) ending of every horror movie ever made where things seem safe at last.
In any case if she’s not plotting to steal the nomination, she should immediately say to her delegates, I release you from your pledge, all I want is a prime time speech. But even if she does, you know that in a certain part of her mind she’s maintaining the “audacity of hope”.