Ellie-Nominated Slate EIC Talks Hillary Deathwatch

hilldeath.jpgIf you’ve trundled over to Ellie-nominated Slate recently, you’ve noticed they launched a “Hillary Deathwatch” widget that lets readers watch Clinton hang on as her ship slowly sinks. Numbers track the percentage chance Slate thinks she has of snagging the nomination (12 percent at inception, up to 12.9 percent after yesterday’s Rev. Wright news). For extra fun, readers can embed the widget in their own Facebook page or blog.

“Hillary Clinton is as good as dead,” Slate announced when they kicked the thing off at the end of March. “The question now is not just “How dead is she?” but “When will she realize it?””

We asked Slate’s Jacob Weisberg whether he should be toying with the presidential primary this way. Weisberg answered that the widget is just Slate‘s way of questioning the collective wisdom that says Hillary still has a really good chance of winning.

“This is not a point of view about who we want to win,” he said. “This is a point of view about how we analyze the horserace. Whatever authority says this campaign is still a horse race is actually wrong. So we’re trying to give a graphic dimension to that point of view.”

The widget, Weisberg said, simply uses the capabilities of the Web to “combine the serious point that we collectively think the Democratic primary is more over than people are acknowledging, with something that’s cheeky and makes a game out of it.”

— E.B. Boyd