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Why Hillary Clinton will fight on

  • Story Highlights
  • Hillary Clinton: Victory in West Virginia primary increases resolve to fight on
  • Independent experts say she just has no realistic prospect of success
  • Clinton likely to fight on as she does not quit easy, has been tested severely before
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By Jonathan Mann
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(CNN) -- There is an elderly Japanese man with a gentle face who may be a good guide to US politics today. Hiroo Onoda was a second lieutenant in World War II who didn't surrender until 1974.

Hillary Clinton has said that victory in the West Virginia primary increases her resolve to fight on

That means he carried on his war alone in the jungles of the Philippines for nearly thirty years after the rest of the world knew it was over.

Onoda is apparently still alive, which means there is at least one other person who might understand what Hillary Clinton is feeling right now.

Clinton is fighting on and she's even winning. This week, she won West Virginia's Democratic Party primary by a landslide. She said it only increased her resolve to keep running for the Democratic presidential nomination.

But even after West Virginia, she is behind by every measure -- she's won fewer delegates than Barack Obama, in fewer states, with fewer votes and her campaign is believed to be $20 million in debt.

She can keep running until the primaries end in two and a half weeks. Quitting then seems like the most obvious way out. She can also possibly hold out until the nomination is officially awarded in August and try to win in the interim, by challenging the nomination rules or convincing a lot of delegates to switch sides.

But just about every independent expert in US politics says she just has no realistic prospect of success.

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Why doesn't she quit now? There are two simple answers: Hillary Clinton doesn't quit easy. And whatever she's going through now is nothing compared to what she has already been through.

It's so long ago now that it's easy to forget that Bill Clinton's 12-year extra-marital affair with Gennifer Flowers nearly derailed his own campaign in the primaries back in 1992. Hillary endured it and he won.

Then there was the affair with Monica Lewinski, Bill's favorite intern, that almost derailed his presidency in 1998. All through the impeachment, Hillary endured it and he won.

So now, Hillary is enduring, and maybe even still hoping to win. It's not going to happen but if it does, I know the perfect candidate for the vice presidency. He's a remarkable Japanese man and he may be available.

All About Hillary ClintonDemocratic PartyBarack ObamaJohn McCainRepublican Party

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