Mark Steyn reflects on Sir Edmund Hillary Danger Rodham Clinton and the loss of the old Clintonian magic. It is as if everything that used to work has suddenly stopped. Clinton gets caught telling a whopper about sniper fire and has to retreat hastily. Clinton supporters try a thuggish letter to Nancy Pelosi – standard operating procedure for the Clintons, and all heck breaks loose. What's left to do? Why, break the party that won't give her the office she feels she deserves, of course.
It may be that when the Democrats do settle on a candidate – which, on present form, seems likely to be about 48 hours before Election Day – the party will then do its usual thing and unite around the winner in order to slay the Republican dragon.
But it's not unreasonable to calculate that significant elements among both the Clintonites and the Obamaniacs will be disinclined to reward the other side for what they'll see as an act of usurpation. I have no time for Obama, and I think he'd be a disastrous president. But he's your ticket out if you're a Democrat who can't face the thought of giving your party to the Clinton mob for another decade. And, evidently, quite a lot of Dems feel like that.
Why? Where did the magic go? Well, the show got miscast. I wrote a decade ago that Hillary was like Margaret Dumont to Bill's Groucho Marx. He goes around leering at cocktail waitresses, waggling his eyebrows and his famously unlit cigar. And Hillary would stand there, seemingly oblivious to the subpoenaed dress and DNA analysis and all the rest: In double-acts, the best straight men (or women) are the ones who appear never to get the joke, and that was Hillary in the late Nineties, standing on stage alongside Bill night after night with her rictus grin and droning in the robotic cadences of that computerized voice in your car that tells you to fasten your seatbelt that "I. Am. So. Proud. Of. My. Husband. And. Our. President. Bill. Clinton."
Hillary will not step aside and she will never agree to be second banana on the ticket (and Obama would be completely daft to let the co-Clintons anywhere near his candidacy). She will simply continue that scorched earth policy the Clintons know how to do so well – which may, in fact, be the only policy the Clintons know at all. The Democratic leadership has got to be going crazy right now – they finally see the trainwreck and haven't a clue as to how to avert it.
Pass the popcorn. Maggie, get another vat or two!