Professor Kirstein Refers to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as “Delusional” (not literally) in Louisville Courier-Journal

This is the link to the article on the status of the Clinton campaign in the Louisville Courier-Journal. The article was written by James Carroll, a Washington-based reporter for the paper. Kentucky, the land of blue grass, Muhammad Ali, Vice President  Alben Barkley and Senator/Baseball commissioner Happy Chandler, holds its primary on May 20, 2008:

WASHINGTON — While Hillary Rodham Clinton should win some of the six remaining primaries, including Kentucky’s, she doesn’t have enough money and time to prove herself a viable alternative to Barack Obama, political observers said yesterday.

And the Democratic presidential nomination, they said, is effectively beyond her reach.

“It’s over — it’s over,” said Peter Kirstein, professor of history at Chicago’s Saint Xavier University. “She is in somewhat of a delusional state. I don’t mean that literally, but she simply cannot accept the fact she has lost. … I don’t think it’s quite hit her yet that he’s going to get the nomination.”

On Tuesday, Clinton won a skin-of-the-teeth victory in Indiana and lost to Obama by a wide margin in North Carolina.

Clinton, a U.S. senator from New York, insisted yesterday that her campaign would continue.

“I’m staying in this race until there’s a nominee,” she told reporters in Shepherdstown, W.Va., where that state votes Tuesday. “And I obviously am going to work as hard as I can to become that nominee.”

Obama, a U.S. senator from Illinois, appears to be turning his attention to the fall campaign against the presumptive Republican nominee John McCain. Still, his campaign is continuing to open offices in Kentucky in advance of the May 20 primary.

“We need change in America. And that’s why we will be united in November,” Obama told cheering supporters in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday night. He was in Chicago yesterday, with no public events on his schedule.

The math seems to show that Clinton has little chance of overtaking Obama’s delegate lead.

A count by The Associated Press shows that Obama is only 184.5 delegates away from the 2,025 needed to claim his party’s nomination.

Rep. Ben Chandler, D-6th District, an Obama supporter, said it is time for Clinton to shut down the contest.

“She has been absolutely heroic in this presidential race,” Chandler said. “But she will not make it to (next week’s primary in) West Virginia.”

That’s what many lawmakers in both the Obama and Clinton camps are telling each other privately, he said. But at least some Kentucky Democrats are still anticipating a rare chance to have a say in the presidential campaign and energize party activists for the fall contest.

There’s no hurry for Clinton to quit, said Rep. John Yarmuth, D-3rd District, who is backing Obama.

“I don’t want her to drop out until after May 20,” Yarmuth told reporters in a conference call yesterday. To quit before then “would temper enthusiasm for the election,” he said.

“We need in Kentucky to make a show of strength for Senator Obama because we are not writing off Kentucky in the general election at all,” he said. “Because of the economic challenges Kentuckians face, I believe Kentucky can be a state that votes for Senator Obama in the fall.”

State Democratic Party Chairwoman Jennifer Moore said there is no reason for Clinton, who is slated to attend a state party fundraising event in Louisville tomorrow, to quit the race now.

“It is important for Kentucky to express its voice in the primary,” she said, adding that she doesn’t believe the battle will create any wounds that can’t be healed before November.

“There is nothing wrong with primaries,” said Moore, an uncommitted superdelegate who said she plans to make her decision after the May 20 primary. “At the end of the day, Democrats will come together because the last thing we want is to have a third Bush term and send John McCain to the White House.”

Jefferson County Democratic Party Chairman Tim Longmeyer, an Obama supporter, agreed.

“I don’t want anybody to give up on the race, both personally and as party chair, before Kentucky gets a chance to vote,” he said.

Longmeyer said he doesn’t see a problem with Clinton continuing to run a tough race in which she attacks Obama on important issues.

“It gets the two candidates in front of American people,” he said. “All the buzz, all the discussion is going to Democrats now, and I think ultimately that’s a good thing.”

But former state party chairman Bill Garmer, also an Obama supporter, said Clinton should abandon her campaign.

“It looks to me as if the time has come for the Democratic Party to close ranks behind Senator Obama,” he said.

Chandler said he doesn’t see how Clinton can continue.

“I think she clearly is out of money, and she’s got to ask herself how much she is going to invest in an effort where the math doesn’t work and she has very little shot,” Chandler said. “I think it would make sense for her to get out. I don’t know what purpose she is serving by carrying on.”

But Phil Laemmle, a retired University of Louisville political science professor, said Clinton should stay in and end her race gracefully at the end of the primary season.

“It would be best for the Obama people to agree to let the process work itself out, let her go through the process,” he said. “… Of the states left, none of them are major states; even if she won all the delegates … she still couldn’t catch him.”

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