It is difficult to fake grace. This may well be one reason why Hillary Clinton finds it impossible to quit the presidential race graciously. Publicly, Ms Clinton has announced that she will continue to fight till the end to the Denver convention. It is difficult to fathom what purpose will be served by her persisting to fight till the last post is sounded. She will harm herself, and what is much more important is that she will harm her own party. She will do a great service by conceding victory to Barack Obama, who leads by 166 elected delegates. If the “superdelegates” were to be counted, then this lead would come down to 152. There are only six states left where the primaries are still to be held. Analysts say that out of these, Ms Clinton could possibly win West Virginia and Kentucky. This would in no way ensure her being the Democrat presidential candidate. For someone trailing consistently in the popular vote, it is difficult to conceive of a situation in which Ms Clinton can carry off more than 70 per cent of the remaining superdelegates and thus win the race. Under the circumstances, Ms Clinton should accept that she has got the second place in a two-horse race. The longer she continues to fight, the more she aids the Republican candidate, John McCain.
Mr Obama has run a tough primary race, but has never faltered. He has never wavered in standing up for what he believes in, and in articulating with great passion his message of change. In many senses, Mr Obama personifies the change he talks about. He is of mixed parentage; in 1960, when his parents married, a marriage between a white and a black person was prohibited in more than half of the states of the United States of America. From there, Mr Obama is now a contender for the world’s most important and powerful job. His journey is even more significant than the trek from the log cabin to the White House that is a part of US lore. It is equally significant that even today, among working and middle-class white Americans of a certain age, Mr Obama’s principal obstacle is the colour of his skin. Despite this, it is clear from Mr Obama’s support base that young Americans have shaken off many of their racial prejudices. They want change, and they want Mr Obama. Arithmetic and ideology both suggest that Mr Obama deserves the Democratic nomination. He should be allowed to have it.