Sunday, May 25, 2008

Why I Continue to Run -- by Hillary Rodham Clinton

Based on a true story.

  This past Friday, during a meeting with a newspaper editorial board, I was asked about whether I was going to continue in the presidential race. I made clear that I was... and I pointed out (as I have before), that both Bubba's primary campaign, and Sen. Robert Kennedy's, had continued into June.

  Almost immediately, some took my comments entirely out of context and interpreted them to mean something completely different.

  I, for one, do not want an assassin to pop a cap at Obama, and would strenuously disagree with anyone advocating such an action.

  And I certainly do not want a former Arkansas State Trooper to accidentally ram a helicopter into his motorcade, tragically killing the young senator.

  Or have a chef inadvertently use a mislabeled bottle of Polonium to poison one of his dinners.

  I want to set the record straight: I was making the simple point that any of these things could happen and that America must prepare ahead of time for such a tragic day.

  But I was deeply dismayed and annoyed that my comment was so deeply misconstrued, especially when I represent the crime-free, scandal-free eight years of the first Clinton administration; and everything I stand for.

  Today, I would like to answer the question I was asked: Why do I continue to run, even in the face of calls from pundits, analysts, lobbyists, columnists, politicians, union officials, zookeepers and untipped waitresses for me to leave this race?

  I am running because I still believe I can win on the merits. With our unemployment hovering around 15%, the stock market at 1,000, and an ongoing civil war in Iraq, the stakes have never been higher.

  I am aware that -- mathematically speaking, it is imppossible for me to win. But mathematics is still a young science and certain arithmetic anomalies may yet be discovered that could secure a solid lead in delegates for my campaign.

  I am running because I believe that tearing the Democratic Party apart will help reunite the Democratic Party. In the end, if I can drive a huge racial wedge between the two major factions of the party, we'll all be better off.

  I am running because my parents did not raise me to be a quitter - they named me after Sir Edmund Hillary, after all, and living up to that name is simply who I am.

  Too many people still come up to me from behind at events, slap me on my ample, yet firm, derriere and urge me not to butt out of the race.

  I am running for all the men and women who have received billions of dollars of my earmarks; knowing that I can do so much more as president.

  People who deserve a shot at the American Dream - the chance to receive $5,000 baby bonds for every child they raise; government-subsidized healthcare like Cuba and the UK; and to fill their gas-tank with fuel made from some future break-through like the magic solar energy beans that Al Gore talks about.

  I believe I won a 40-point victory two weeks ago in West Virginia and a 35-point victory in Kentucky this past week because hard-working white voters prefer me, not my distinguished, but formerly drug-addled and preacher-challenged, opponent.

  But no matter what happens in this primary, I am committed to unifying this party by first tearing it apart. Ultimately, what Sen. Obama and I share is so much greater than our differences. Namely, socialism and the belief that government can do it better. This is our dream and -- together -- we will succeed in making America a third-rate economy.

  Thank you.

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