Marc Wagner offered a little political analysis in a comment on my post about Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina joining the McCain campaign. I joked that the two must be "getting used to losing." Marc responded:
If they nominate Obama, they can beat McCain but if they nominate Clinton and there is any appearance that she stole the nomination -- (especially if Obama finishes with more states, more delegates, and more votes) -- lots of Democratic Obama supporters will once again be disenfranchised and will not show up on election day while lots of Independents and Republicans (most of whom are unhappy with Bush) and who already find Clinton disingenuous will vote for McCain because at least they know for what he stands.While I agree that it would be an unmitigated disaster for the Dems to nominate Hillary in the fact of a delegate vote for Obama, the import is not just that McCain wins the election. Obama's campaign is a clear movement and the meaning of the candidacy has less to do with policy statements than with the rhetoric of a "new politics." Obama (or Michelle, I'm not quite sure) has already said that he won't try again for the presidency in four years; that means, he's not interested in being a team player with a corrupt institution. Therefore, if Hillary is the nominee based on either the superdelegates or the unelected delegates in Florida (and note, Florida Dems have nixed a re-do), I believe Obama will run as an independent and I think he could win in a three-way race. If the nomination were stolen from Obama, the Net-based money flowing to an independent run would be mind-boggling, like nothing you have ever seen in American politics. It would be the first campaign really and truly fueled by Internet fundraising. The traditional money would follow. Obama's most enthusiastic supporters would rush to that campaign; a whole lot of folks who voted for him less enthusiastically would be turned off by the stolen nomination; a whole range of independents who like McCain for his alleged maverick status would have a choice of mavericks and would choose the one with better policies (100 years in Iraq or speedy withdrawal); I could go on ... But whatever happens in that three-way race, doesn't even matter because it would be the beginning of the end of the Dems, who would be exposed as corrupt and ineffective. Obama would spearhead a true third party, would sponsor a whole slate of "hope" candidates in congressional elections across the country, and a three-party system will be born. And at the center of it all will be the power of net fundraising, outreach, community-building and the ability to involve youth and get voters to the polls.