In one of the dumbest things any candidate for any office has ever said, Hillary Clinton told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that the primaries are basically over. “I will be the nominee for my party, Chris. That is already done, in effect. There is no way that I won’t be.”
Other than soothing her own anxieties by anticipating victory, her statement is nothing but counterproductive.
It tells her own voters not to bother to turn out and vote. She has, after all, already won she says.
It says to voters in California, Oregon, Washington State, South Dakota, New Mexico, New Jersey and Montana that their role in the nominating process has been eclipsed: Hillary has won.
And it is certain to anger the Sanders people at the moment when she needs all the good will she can get to bridge the gap between herself and the young people who must be her political base in the general election.
Indeed, her premature victory speech smacks of President George W. Bush’s posturing aboard an aircraft carrier beneath a sign “Mission Accomplished” in the early months of the Iraq War.
The fact is that Hillary may well lose California and almost every one of the coming states (except for New Jersey). While her proportional representation loser’s share of the delegates will give her enough to be nominated, its one hell of a way to limp into a convention.
Compare how Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have fared in the last months of their epic nomination battles. Even before Ted Cruz conceded, Trump’s poll numbers had been rising. Once he was recognized as the certain winner, his polling became even more favorable.
Hillary’s popularity, on the other hand, has deteriorated as her nomination became more assured. While conservative Republicans rallied to Trump in the end, left-wing Democrats have resisted Hillary’s calls for unity. And those Bernie people aren’t going anywhere.
Her arrogant premature victory speech can only make things worse.
Remember, Hillary, Yogi Berra’s famous quote: “It ain’t over till it’s over.”