Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pushing Clinton Out Should Be Group Effort

by way of the atlantic, party leaders are reluctant to go out on a limb and push clinton out of the race, witness bill richardon's delicate phrasing of words when he endorsed obama. no one's calling for her to quit the race, he said. essentially he meant pack your bags.
blogger brendan nyhan says:
But there's actually a third possibility -- that most party elders would prefer that Hillary withdraw but don't want to pay the cost of pushing her out of the race. There are two classic economic problems here. The first is that the collective benefits of pushing Hillary out are much larger than the individual benefit to any one party leader (i.e. there's a positive externality). Why would Pelosi or Reid risk becoming a hated figure to millions of Hillary's supporters? As a result, everyone is likely to sit back and hope that someone else will pay the cost of forcing her out.

The second problem is it's difficult to coordinate a joint effort to push her out. In other words, there's a collective action problem. If all the leaders could magically come together to ask her to withdraw, it might be less costly to them individually to push her out, but any effort to make this happen would inevitably leak, generating untold recriminations and infighting. The incentives to defect from such an agreement would also be strong. As a result, no one is likely to chance it.
It’s Still Over for Clinton