Why, when it's obvious to everyone but herself that she can't win -- when even her former backers are stampeding towards Obama -- is Hillary Clinton spending bucketloads of her own money to stay in the race for the Democratic candidacy? Christopher Hitchens plumps for the simple answer: she's deluded.
For Sen. Clinton, something is true if it validates the myth of her striving and her "greatness" (her overweening ambition in other words) and only ceases to be true when it no longer serves that limitless purpose. And we are all supposed to applaud the skill and the bare-faced bravado with which this is done.
Gus Van Horn disagrees, It is "dead wrong to say that Clinton has no 'reality base'," says Van Horn. In reality, Hillary and husband Bill have two strong bases for persisting:
Part of this ['reality base'] ... we could put as "fortune favors the persistent" and part lies in the Clintons' uncanny political acumen. They understand on a gut level that America has been intellectually gutted by generations of pragmatism and altruism.
In the end it's those two philosophical allies that are the most important. To make this point, Van Horn quotes Dick Morris's summary of how "time heals all":
"When they left the White House in utter disgrace over their ethical lapses and greed [sic], [the Clintons] were under attack from even the friendliest of liberal media. But years of keeping their heads low, working hard at getting along with people in the Senate, turning to charitable works (with a little help from George W. Bush) and helping the party regulars erased the sordid images. Memories of pardons sold for campaign and library contributions, their scoundrel lobbyist brothers, and the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of 'gifts' that were solicited from people who wanted favors from the White House disappeared. Once again, time healed all."
This aspect of the Clintons' thought process might seem irrelevant to the current situation, says Van Horn, but he sees it as highly relevant.
Without pragmatism to make Americans dismiss principles enough to regard the Clintons' criminal behavior as not that important after a time, and without the insurance of their altruistic "good deeds," Hillary wouldn't even be around at this point ... [ready and waiting] should something sufficiently bad come to light about Barack Obama.
Concludes Van Horn, "having the requisite moral turpitude to make it as politicians in today's culture [gives the Clintons] a firm basis in reality to hope that Obama has another yet-to-be revealed skeleton in his closet. He is, after all, one of them under his skin."