Man Without Qualities

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Hillary, Dillary, Doc ...

... the Senator looks at the clock:

The race for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 has changed totally in the past few weeks. At the beginning of the summer, Hillary could comfortably deny having national presidential ambitions, because the comfortable conventional wisdom was that it didn’t really matter who the Democratic candidate would be, because President Bush had a lock on re-election. (I’m sure that the thought has never crossed her mind that it would be better for her if Bush won in 2004, leaving her a clear field in 2008)

But now!...with Bush looking more vulnerable because there are not enough jobs at home and not enough peace abroad, Senator Clinton has to check some numbers. If a Democrat, say Kerry, defeats Bush next November and then runs for re-election in 2008, then her next chance to run would probably be in 2012, when she will be 65 years old. And who knows what the world will look like then?

Yes, indeed, the race has changed totally in the past few weeks! We must, must, must bring ourselves to believe that there was simply no way Hillary Clinton could have imagined two months ago that the economy might not soar or that President Bush's high poll ratings following his successful war in Iraq might soften as that intervention receded into the past. Anyone who points out that Bill and Hillary Clinton went through exactly that calculus with respect to Bill's run against the President's father in 1992 is just picking! That the comfortable conventional wisdom that President Bush had a lock on re-election was always challenged in many quarters - especially among the political professionals surrounding the Senator - is a mere bagatelle!

And we must also regard such developments as completely unimaginable when Hillary Clinton assured New York voters that she would definitely serve out her term to get them to elect her to the Senate in the first place. It's not that she fed the voters a line while at the same time thinking that if the opportunity availed itself she would nab it. No, no - Hillary Clinton wouldn't break faith with her New York suckers - I mean voters - like that.

And surely it is only in the past few weeks that cutting-edge research has revealed to Senator Clinton that if another Democrat is elected in 2004 then she probably wouldn't be able to run until 2012 - and that in 2012 she will be 65 years old!

Sometimes things just change completely in completely unforeseeable ways, and a politician just has to keep loose!

UPDATE: New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton reportedly denied that she would consider jumping into the 2004 Democratic presidential race today (Friday): "I am absolutely ruling it out," Clinton said during a visit to the New York State Fair in Syracuse, N.Y. She had insisted in recent months that she will not consider entering the race for president this year even if that is what some Democrats want.

Which means that Gallup Poll and the new economic growth numbers are still pointing to a Democratic Presidential loss in 2004.

FURTHER UPDATE: She's not stupid.

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