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Posted on Jun 3, 2008 in Across the US, Beltway Politics, Campaign '08, Democrats, Israel, Party Politics, RNC

So when will Hillary step out?

For those of you haven’t already heard, Barack Obama has finally clinched the Democratic nomination, finally bringing a start to the much awaited general election.

Even though Senator McCain has already acknowledged that the general election begins today, there is still the factor (or non-factor) of Hillary Clinton.

There were many reports today that Hillary Clinton was going to be dropping out of the race this evening, giving Barack Obama the go-ahead and guaranteed nomination. However, I knew from the beginning that those reports were inaccurate for one reason, her Wednesday morning schedule.

Hillary Clinton is scheduled to speak to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) policy conference, where she will address over 6,500 pro-Israel activists. It should be no surprise to anyone that if Hillary Clinton wants to remain successful in bankrolling her future elections, keeping the New York Jewish community (that is in heavy attendance) happy is an absolute must.

Walking into the conference the morning after (I guess a political walk of shame could apply here?), giving a speech as the loser is something that no Clinton would ever do. She will take advantage of this speaking opportunity in some way, whether that be by finally stepping aside, or declaring that she will remain steadfast. But, no matter what she says, she’ll get media coverage and will have text for a future fundraising letter.

This could also be a good venue for Senator Clinton to make the case that even if she cant be on the ticket as the Presidential candidate, she still can bring a lot to the table as the Vice-Presidential candidate.

Currently, Barack Obama does not have strong support within the Jewish community. In fact, this past weekend at the Israel @ 60 birthday celebration here in Washington, I was shocked to count over 300 John McCain stickers on random attendees, and only 30 or so Obama stickers.

Unfortunately the Clinton campaign didn’t send any staff to this event, however I have no doubt that there would have been an exponentially higher number of people showing their support for Hillary Clinton over Obama at this event.

This is something that Obama is really going to have to consider if he wants to even come close in this election.

Without someone like Clinton on the ticket, someone who is down with the chosen people, Obama is going to have a hard time getting to many of the pro-Israel, Jewish Democrats, simply because they don’t see him as someone who will stand up to groups like Hamas and Hezbollah when Israel is in her time of need.

With that observation, this should be the time that the McCain campaign, Republican National Committee (RNC), and the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) go after the Jewish, pro-Israel vote more aggressively. This is a base that Republican Party must make great inroads with if we want to be successful in any upcoming election. Based on what I saw this weekend, it appears that McCain is right on cue with their outreach.

I’m hoping the RNC will soon follow.