|Man Without Qualities|
Tuesday, January 07, 2003
In a surprising triumph of common sense and personal insight over personal vanity, Senator Daschle has decided not to run for President. Kudos and respect for Tom Daschle.
The United States Senate is a curious place. It generally contains about 100 people who each think they could do a better job as President than the person then in residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Yet the Senate's generally quiet "go-along, get-along" currents gradually but ineluctably erode exactly the characteristics of leadership and independent judgment that are needed in a President and that the voters demand. Senator Daschle's decision is at least consistent with what is rather clear: After so many years in that body, he is now temperamentally, politically and intellectually unsuited and unsuitable for the Presidency.
For the same reasons, Hillary Clinton's chances of obtaining the White House shrink with every year she serves in the Senate. If she wishes to be re-elected, she must succeed as a Senator. If she wants to succeed in the Senate, she generally must accede to those quiet "go-along, get-along" currents - and so be transformed by them.
So if Ms. Clinton obtains re-election in 2006, she will almost certainly be temperamentally, politically and intellectually unsuited and unsuitable for the Presidency in 2008. Has Senator Daschle given her the benefit of his thinking?
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