Do-or-Die Responses: Clinton in Texas

Most people don't realize that when they are in the final, most desperate stage of a showdown, what Sun Tzu called "deadly" or what we call "do-or-die" situations, they have choices that are not normally available. In this situation, you can take positions that would be foolish in less challenging situations. Since the alternative is failure (or death), you get more freedom in terms of being creative. What would normally be risky isn't that risky any more. For example, if you are dying of cancer and all other treatments have failed, dangers and potentially fatal treatments are no longer out of the question. For example, Hillary Clinton is now in a “do-or-die” situation. Spending every dime won’t help because her existing positioning has failed. She needs a stronger position and her failure makes one possible. She can ask for Texans’ votes, even if they like Obama better, on the idea that Democrats need more time to vet their nominee. If she doesn’t win big in Texas, the untested Obama is the candidate. If she wins big in Texas, the party still has plenty of time to pick Obama if he proves to be the best choice. Do Democrats really want to choose in haste and repent at leisure? Isn’t that what happened in the last two presidential elections? So why end the process so now when Democrats have months left to take a longer look at both candidates? The votes of her supporters plus the votes of those who want the nomination process to continue can give her the big win she needs. The beauty of this positioning is that when it works, it will turn the race around in ways that voters don’t expect.