It pains me to watch the Clinton campaign coming undone like this.
As y'all know, I have backed Richardson from the get-go - but not really in the true-believer sense - and my secondary choice has gone back and forth between Hillary and Edwards.
Let's face it - the Democrats have a great slate of candidates. In any other year, any one of them would win standing up. Any one of the top four would make a damned fine chief executive, even without the comparison of following the absolute worst president in history. Who ever ends up with the nomination, I will have no problem supporting, campaigning for and voting for that candidate.
But this is no ordinary year.
For one thing we have the first viable African American, and the first viable female candidates ever in history. And we have Edwards. And we have Richardson. And Dodd and Biden and Dennis said some things we needed to hear. Dennis - bless his heart - is still saying things we need to hear. Dodd is back in the Senate and he has our back on telecom immunity. Biden is back wielding the gavel at Foreign Relations, at a tenuous time.
Now, I would love to see Hillary turn it around, manage a rally and make a showing, but - and mores the pity - I fear the Wile E. Coyote Moment™* has already occurred.
If that is the case, well, she has five more years remaining on her current Senate term, and she will take her rightful place as elder stateswoman. In any other race, she would be The One. It isn't fair, and it isn't right, and I hate the way it has happened.
But happen it has. And once again her real achievements will be sold short and she will even be chided for her efforts. Cue the Cassandra's who shriek that "she set the cause of health care reform back 15 years!!!" to get their voices ready to commence wailing "She set back the cause of women seeking the White House by 15 years!!!" in 3...2...1...
So just don't.
She didn't "set back health care reform" and she hasn't set back women seeking office.
And she deserves to be treated a lot nicer than she has been by people on both the right and the left.
Especially the left.