Interesting column on Hillary's campaign


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Monkeyleg
August 29, 2006, 06:52 PM
Hillary Clinton would be smart to seek Senate leadership

By EZRA KLEIN

Posted: Aug. 26, 2006

Conventional wisdom has it that Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign is an absolute certainty. But in Washington, many believe otherwise, fearing for her prospects and those of the Democratic Party she represents.

And now there are fascinating hints that these forces are aligning to offer the Democratic senator from New York a dignified way to demur from an ugly and ill-fated presidential effort while still emerging a national leader.

Earlier this month, Steve Clemons' blog, the Washington Note, quoted highly placed sources as saying that Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid had pulled Clinton aside and offered her a deal: Eschew the presidential campaign and succeed Reid as leader of the Senate Democrats in 2009.

Reid's office, of course, strenuously denies the claim. But Clemons, the director of the New America Foundation's American Strategy program, is no fabulist, and similar speculation now showed up in Time magazine.

It's obvious that someone wants word of this bargain to be fruitful and multiply. After all, it offers Clinton a way to disengage from an increasingly uphill effort, and it simultaneously floats the image of her in the minority or majority leader's seat, a position she's uniquely well-suited for.

Before running through her qualifications for the job, it's worth explaining why she'd want it in the first place.

After all, Clinton is the unquestioned front-runner for the Democratic nomination for president. She commands an unmatched war chest, an unrivaled collection of political talent (headed by her legendarily adroit husband) and star power that most putative candidates can only dream of.

But if her candidacy gleams in theory, its reality looks a little dimmer each day. Clinton is a polarizing figure, commanding a strong base of support but little room for growth. A CBS News poll in late July found her favorables at 32% and her unfavorables at 39% - a worrying ratio for a figure so well established in the public mind.

Many of her potential competitors score far better on likability indexes, notably John Edwards, who's turned his charm into a 4% lead in the crucial early presidential caucus state, Iowa.

More troubling for Clinton, Democratic leaders have shuffled the caucus and primary schedule, placing Nevada after Iowa and South Carolina after New Hampshire. Nevada is essentially one big union town, mainly through the hotel workers union, which Edwards is closely allied with.

Then comes New Hampshire, where Clinton is ahead by single digits, and then South Carolina - Edwards' birth state, which he won in 2004. It's a series tailor-made for Edwards and thus daunting for Clinton.

And her problems don't stop with the primaries. Surveys show she routinely loses to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in head-to-head matchups with Republicans.

So whatever the hype, Clinton's path to the presidency isn't an easy one. But the road to Senate leadership may be.

Clinton possesses qualities that could turn the thankless, grueling realities of congressional pre-eminence into something glamorous and powerful.

She's a human megaphone, for one, able to focus the press corps on whatever it is she wishes to say that morning. Such a skill would prove invaluable to a legislative leader, allowing her to set the agenda and advance her priorities even from the minority.

Second, she's an extraordinary fund-raiser, far and away the best the Democrats have. She's raised $33 million for a Senate re-election campaign that lacks a serious opponent - partly the benefit of retaining the Clinton Rolodex, partly a function of her own magnetism.

Perhaps most important, her ability to bury enmities and forge alliances has been astonishing.

She's reached out to the bitterest foes of her husband's presidency, seeking rapprochement with everyone from impeachment manager Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to bete noire Newt Gingrich. In the famously collegial Senate, where success relies on odd bedfellows and mountains of goodwill, she's that rarest of creatures, able to conjure partisan passions when elections beckon but also to resurrect constructive relationships when legislation need be passed.

All those qualities would make her a superlative Senate leader, both for the health of the Democratic Party and the workings of the legislative body. Clinton, a serious policy wonk with a deep-seated drive to improve the world, could effect real change, possibly even more than the relentlessly partisan position of president would allow.

Better yet, her path to the Senate leadership is a far safer road, ensuring that Clinton's trailblazing migration from first lady to senator remained unmarred by a catastrophic defeat in a presidential campaign.

She would be the first woman to occupy the august body's leadership position, and she would remain resolutely in the public eye, ready and waiting were the ground to shift and 2012 to look more inviting.

Ezra Klein is a writing fellow at the American Prospect. This article first appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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Standing Wolf
August 29, 2006, 10:21 PM
Clinton, a serious policy wonk with a deep-seated drive to improve the world...

Realistically speaking, Mrs. Snopes Clinton is just another socialist parasite with lots of name recognition and a deep, abiding determination to get even with America for finding her abhorrent.

Waitone
August 29, 2006, 10:26 PM
I've thought for a while she'd be much better as senate leader than frontman for the party. Seems a logical move that will not happen. Her drive for power will not allow her to surrender hope for achieving the most powerful office on earth.

Kurt S.
August 29, 2006, 10:33 PM
OK, Standing Wolf, I'll bite. What is the story behind "Mrs. Snopes Clinton"?

Hockeydude
August 29, 2006, 11:09 PM
I don't think Hillary can win. Who will vote for her outside of CA, NY, and Mass? Although personally I don't care about a candidate's sex as long as they are qualified, she is a woman and sexism will play a role. I'm not sure if Americans are ready for a woman president.

Also, I see no difference idealogically between Republicans and Democrats, but in terms of campaigning, the Republicans have their sh*t together. I know from experience because I currently have an internship at a Republican Congressman's office. I predict the Republicans will take the Presidency in 2008 because of better strategy.

Standing Wolf
August 29, 2006, 11:53 PM
OK, Standing Wolf, I'll bite. What is the story behind "Mrs. Snopes Clinton"?

The reference is to William Faulkner's Snopes trilogy: The Hamlet, The Town, and The Mansion. The Clintons are the living embodiment of the Snopes principle.

hillbilly
August 30, 2006, 12:03 AM
In Faulkner's extensive writings, the Snopes are a major set of characters.

As the old southern plantation and slave-owning aristocracy fades away, something has to rise up to fill the power vaccum.

That something, in many of Faulkner's novels, is the Snopes.

The Snopes are almost without exception grasping, ambitious white trash with no morals and no scruples, who will do anything, betray anyone, sell everything to get ahead.

In a way, Snopes are a perfect metaphor for Slicky Willy and Hillary.

Oh yeah, you'll see the fictional descendents of Faulkner's Snopes in the movie "Raising Arizona."

Flem and Evel Snopes are the two boys who bust out of the joint early in the movie, and who kidnap Nathan Jr. from the original kidnappers.

I really really really really hope that Hillary does run.

She's doomed to lose. She's even less popular than either Kerry or Algore.

I think her ego is simply too huge to allow her to not run.

She is death for the Democrat's presidential hopes. But she can't be stopped by forces inside her own party.

hillbilly

50 Freak
August 30, 2006, 12:28 AM
I don't think Hillary can win. Who will vote for her outside of CA, NY, and Mass? Although personally I don't care about a candidate's sex as long as they are qualified, she is a woman and sexism will play a role. I'm not sure if Americans are ready for a woman president.


Honestly we don't even really like her that much in CA.

And I think if someone more likeable like Rice ran, she would slaughter Clinton in the polls. Imagine that...Female and a Minority. Not to mention people really like and trust her.

Clinton....I wouldn't trust her as far as I could see her.

Kali Endgame
August 30, 2006, 01:04 AM
I H. Clinton runs in '08 then the republicans will win. She polarizes her own party and have you heard any of her extemporanious speeches? Clinton keeps looking around to find the teleprompter. such a waste of O2.

U.S.SFC_RET
August 30, 2006, 01:07 AM
OH G_d could it be true? Take the carrot Hilliary! Take the carrot before it's too late! :barf:

Number 6
August 30, 2006, 02:17 AM
I honestly hope Hillary runs for the president and gets the nomination; it will be an easy victory for the Republicans. While it might be easy for Hillary to win in an already liberal state as New York, when a politician gets to the national level they have to appeal to a larger base. Hillary will get the liberal vote and the women vote, but so will any other Democrat, what she will lose are the fence sitters and moderates that presidential candidates need. Generally, northeastern and California democrats have a very difficult time getting elected, since they are too liberal to make a reasonable plea to the center. Hillary being a woman makes it that much the worse. Southern Democrats have an easier time getting elected. As 50 Freak has noted, if the Republicans ran Condoleezza Rice, then she would garner some of the women vote, and the conservative vote. I sincerely hope Hillary will run; it should be humorous.

Also, I see no difference idealogically between Republicans and Democrats, but in terms of campaigning, the Republicans have their sh*t together. I know from experience because I currently have an internship at a Republican Congressman's office. I predict the Republicans will take the Presidency in 2008 because of better strategy.

A while back I got to talk to some of the leadership of the Democratic party, and one of them put it to me point blank that they are not very well organized compared to the Republicans. The Republicans have generally been better strategizers than the Democrats as well.

Jim March
August 30, 2006, 02:54 AM
I'm kinda torn. I don't think Hillary could win, but the problem is she wouldn't drive the GOP to do somebody decent in response. We could end up with another ghastly choice like last time...don't get me wrong, I voted Dubya but had to hold my nose to do it.

I'm tired of holding my nose to vote. Best way to avoid it is if NEITHER one stinks too badly.

Don't Tread On Me
August 30, 2006, 04:18 AM
Hillary will never ever take the Senate leadership...here's why.


Everything she's doing is designed and geared for a presidential run. She's already campaigning in a silent way.


Now, she couldn't take the Senate leadership even in 2006 (if they win)..because that would force her to take sides and make decisions. Something which is bad for being president.


Any candidate wants to go into the race not having a real record that can be undisputable. This is why governors win more often. While they have a record, their performance is far more subjective and difficult to determine. That's far different from a Senator, who is branded everytime they vote on a bill.


Beyond all the swiftboat junk and everything else - Kerry had one major disadvantage, he had years of a liberal voting record on record. That is undeniable - establishes him as the enemy to anyone who disagrees with those politics (like decent real-Americans) and this is transparent.


Regardless, all candidates try to play the "moderate" to the voters. It works to some degree. It is a FACT that most voters tune into the details of the candidates and election only 2-4 weeks before election day.


Which is why McCain/Feingold bans free speech during this time!


It is all disgusting. The only true solution is a Jeffersonian solution.

Monkeyleg
August 30, 2006, 04:27 AM
Folks, Hillary has been running for the 2008 presidential election since 2000.

Bill and Hillary didn't do a lot to help AlGore, now, did they?

Their lackey, DNC chair Terrry McAuliffe (sp?) made sure that the DNC fielded the worst bunch of contenders in 2004.

I don't care about "Breck Boy" Edwards. The first time he has to campaign in the rain, his hair will frizz.

Unless the Republicans pull a hat trick, the Democrats will win the White House in 2008. The Democrat base wants control back so bad they'd nuke the Iowa caucuses.

Hilllary may have alienated the Far Left with her so-called moderate positions on Iraq, but they'll fall all over themselves to back her. Heck, they may even cheat at voting. ;)

51% of voters are women. There are a lot of women, true conservatives excluded, who would vote for Hillary simple because of her gender.

Walter Mondale had a pretty good ticket going with Geraldine Ferraro back in 1980. The combination had tons of media appeal.

Mondale really screwed up by saying that he was going to raise taxes. That wasn't the message that America wanted to hear after years of double-digit inflation.

Anyone who discounts Hillary at this point is courting the Devil.

Hillary is smart enough to know what or what not to say, and also smart enough to listen to the most talented politician I've ever seen, her husband. And they still run the party.

Liberal Gun Nut
August 30, 2006, 04:51 AM
I hope Hillary runs! I think she is not electable.

Of course I have no idea who the Repubs are running. There are Repubs who are just as anti-RKBA as Hillary is.

Don't Tread On Me
August 30, 2006, 05:35 AM
Do you realize that her pos husband won in 1992 only because Ross Perot damaged the Republican vote?


From that view, Bubba wasn't electable either - and look at what we got stuck with. Perhaps the most despotic 8 years in American history.

Monkeyleg
August 30, 2006, 06:23 AM
"From that view, Bubba wasn't electable either - and look at what we got stuck with. Perhaps the most despotic 8 years in American history."

Yes, but the membership in the NRA nearly doubled. And the sale of guns skyrocketed.

For the past six years, gun owners have been feeling pretty complacent.

It might not be a bad idea to have a Republican Senate and Congress, and Hillary in the White House.

Just an idea.

Don't Tread On Me
August 30, 2006, 07:07 AM
It might not be a bad idea to have a Republican Senate and Congress, and Hillary in the White House.

Just an idea.


Disagreed, because she will use her executive order power to hammer us.

You see, just like the micro-stamping bill in California, these measures are NEVER meant to really work- instead, they are designed to attack the supply-side of the gun culture.

Clinton, by executive order, stopped the sale of surplus ammunition. This is why we can no longer buy excellent M193 ammo. The best we could do was factory 2nds (XM193) that never became military property in the first place.


Clinton also banned the "kitchen table" gun dealers. FFL's who worked out of their homes. A lot of folks lost their livelyhoods because of that tyrant. Also, a lot of people had FFL's to get wholesale prices. They made it a requirement to have a store-front, effectively shutting down THOUSANDS of dealers who couldn't afford to make the transition.

Let's not forget about the Chinese import bans. No more Chinese rifles or ammo. That was a great source of good ammo and good rifles for cheap.

Also, a Hitlary could, like her husband did, direct the BATFE to use the fullest extent of their power - not to go after illegal gun traders, no! but to harass and attack FFL's even more than they already do. She'll put in a criminal even worse than Reno to not go after criminals, but to prosecute and persecute gun owners.


She can also ban the import of small arms or ammo from anywhere since it is a trade matter. I've been saying it for years. Hillary will BAN the import of Russian made ammo - which will be the easiest and greatest way to ban AK pattern rifles. They've been gunning for those for a long time. It is completely in her power to do it. No need for congress. Sign away! Already, if you haven't noticed, the Senate Democrats have begun condemning Russia for selling arms to our enemies suggesting an import ban. Same justifications for the China policy. When Russian ammo is gone, people are not going to buy $20 for 40rds x39 at Wal-Mart. Say goodbye AK's.


There's dozens of attacks she could do via State and Justice dept alone. Also, to make matters worse...that Republican Senate and House you're counting on will not be able to pass a single pro-gun bill because she will be waiting with a veto - and we will NEVER get a veto breaking majority. We won't be able to progress one bit, and we'll be at the mercy of her anti-gun adiminitration policies.


Becareful what you wish for.


I suggest we find a different method for motivating gun-owners....

1 old 0311
August 30, 2006, 07:30 AM
She is a truely evil person.

Number 6
August 30, 2006, 07:31 AM
Bill and Hillary didn't do a lot to help AlGore, now, did they?

There were personal animosities that prevented Bill Clinton from endorsing Al Gore too much. Apparently, Al Gore was very upset over how the whole Lewinsky thing went down. Al Gore also was afraid that having Clinton endorse him too much, might associate him too much with the scandals during the Clinton administration.

51% of voters are women. There are a lot of women, true conservatives excluded, who would vote for Hillary simple because of her gender.

The logic amongst those who study presidential campaigns is if a woman ran she would get the woman vote, but Democrats already have that vote so it would be better for a Republican woman to run. I doubt Hillary will get many conservative women's vote however, and she would really only be appealing to people who are already going to vote Democrat. Even though Hillary might garner support from woman's groups, she would also lose support at the same time. Southern and moderate Democrats votes would be lost.

Hillary is smart enough to know what or what not to say, and also smart enough to listen to the most talented politician I've ever seen, her husband. And they still run the party.

I've always found Hillary to be a very poor politician and pretty much a hack, but American Politics is not my specialty.

Baba Louie
August 30, 2006, 08:44 AM
Interesting read. Pipedream. I can see Dean and Reid trying to talk her into that. LOL

When you dress up for the Ball, you plan on dancin'.

My prediction...

She'll run. (She's getting dressed now)

She'll win. (She'll dance like you've never seen an American Politician dance before in this nation or any other... mark my words... it'll be a Political Science Graduate study program worthy of lengthy essays in the future).

Too many people are fed up with GWB. Even Republicans... quite a few of whom will probably vote for anyone other than another GWB type, be they Libertarian, Constitutional or Bull Moose type politicians, thus weakening that base. Traditionally you have 40% Dem, 40% Repub with 20% Swing. We all saw what happened in '92 when Perot diluted the Red vote enough to allow a 43% of the vote candidate into office. For two terms. (Not that Bob Dole was any kind of real choice in '96)

She has her husband (in name only) who, like him or not, is charismatic, can sell ice to an eskimo, and knows how to play the game and plays it very well. Expect him to be the lead man in her campaign, to deal with the media. She's been involved in politics since the early 70's, knows the shakers and movers, has positioned herself wisely in the center on most issues (as BJ did back in 90-91, running as a centrist, moderate Dem). People will remember the dot-com economy upswing of the 90's but Clinton will take credit for it, while the people will forget travel-gate, socialized medicine flap, bimbo outbreak(s) & damage control, vast-right-wing conspiracy, Chinese pandering, last minute pardons, etc. They will continue to remind the people of our recent Iraqi war political fiasco and point out that a WOMAN who happens to be a Democrat and the former First Lady would never have gotten us into that particular kind of quagmire. She/they will say all the right things to everyone (remember BJ doing the same thing?). Promise 'em anything, but get elected first.

All of the recent tools that GWB and the neocons have advanced to "fight terrorism" (ahem) can and will be used to maximum effort on the home front newly defined War On Terror At Home... (read "American Men with Guns who have an Attitude of not trusting their Gov't").

Point out a few GOOD Governors (or former Governor's) from each party willing to enter the fray. OK, make it one from each party. Like the results? Too early for Jeb Bush, that name being equivilent to poison right now, no matter how competant the man. (Is he?)

If the American people can outlaw beer (and they did), they can be just as intelligent once again and vote HRC into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. It only takes a few female voters here and there voting "For History Sake" and a few questionable DIEBOLD electronic voting machines here and there to do so. (Think the hanging chads were bad?) Watch it happen. Plan on it happening. Help out on her opponent's campiagns. Stock up on goodies soon to be minimalized, demonized or outright outlawed.

Hope I'm wrong.

ORAG
August 30, 2006, 11:45 AM
When the minority of the people get to elect people for office we wind up with the fringe of the parties. If our voter "turn-out" continues to not draw out the majority of the voters, the majority of the minority will get to select/elect our leaders.
I once had a discussion with a lady from New York. She was convinced that Hillary was the best thing since ham on rye (I don't like sliced white bread). I told her that I agreed that Hillary was doing a good job for New Your but as a US Senator [B]FROM[B] New York I was not impressed. She would make one hell of a State Senator in the State Senate. The Lady did not get it but her husband did.

Phetro
August 30, 2006, 12:23 PM
Walter Mondale had a pretty good ticket going with Geraldine Ferraro back in 1980. The combination had tons of media appeal.

:D :D :D

Largest landslide in history? Yeah, what a great ticket that was.

As far as Hitlery goes, we can only wait...and hope for better, although "better" isn't something we're seeing in national politics these days. It's more like the politburo now.

Waitone
August 30, 2006, 12:38 PM
I look forward to the day where once again I can vote FOR a candidate as opposed to voting AGAINST the other candidate. Trouble is I don't think it will happen in my life time. I've been eligible to vote since 1970. During that time I've voted FOR a presidential candidate exactly one time. Every single other time I voted against the opposition.

I would love to see pollsters add a simple question to presidential preference polls. "Regarding your selection, did you vote FOR your choice or did you vote AGAINST the other candidate". I think that one simple question would define the state of the political parties in this country.

danurve
August 30, 2006, 01:27 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/vze3m5bt/F_Hillary2.gif

Zundfolge
August 30, 2006, 01:46 PM
I'm torn on the Hillary issue.

Certainly I don't want her in the white house (not even on one of the tours) but I don't want her in the Senate either.


IF for some reason she gets in the white house, she'll only be there for 4-8 years ... if she stays in the Senate she could be there for another couple of decades (if she's smart, she'll stay in the Senate ... thats where the long term power is).


So she might be able to do a little bit of damage as President, but I see her being a thorn in our sides for much longer if she stays in the Senate.

If the GOP retains control of the House and Senate, it might work better for us because then they'll have to start acting like REAL REPUBLICANS instead of the RINOs they've been with GW at the helm. If nothing else raw partisan politicking will require them to stick to conservative principals and obstruct Hillary at every turn.


Anyway, Hillary as President will do LESS damage to the country (and RKBA) than McCain or Giuliani.

Rugerlvr
August 30, 2006, 06:08 PM
I'm nominally a Democrat, and if Hilary wins the nom, I'll be voting for the Libertarian candidate.

Monkeyleg
August 30, 2006, 07:15 PM
Phetro, I didn't say that the Mondale/Ferraro ticket was a winning ticket, just that it had a lot of appeal to a lot of people, including the media. Mondale screwed the pooch when he ruled out a tax increase.

I suspect that Hillary is a freight train that's picked up so much speed it can't be stopped.

And I can't think of a single Republican out there who could beat her, except Condoleeza Rice.

Prince Yamato
August 31, 2006, 12:03 AM
Oh whoah is us! Jeesh, you people, take some Zoloft! If there's one thing that destroys anyone's chances of winning it's negativity from their supporters. The Clintons are not smart. They're white trash that got elected. GWB may not be the brightest man in the world, but at least he does what he does because he believes he's right as opposed to the Clintons who do whatever they can to be popular. What is right may not always be popular and what is popular may not always be right. The Clintons unfortunately always seem to take the latter option.

My litmus test for a president is "who would I rather have as a nextdoor neighbor?"

GWB might talk your ear off and not have much intellectual substance, but he'd aim his garden hose at your house if it was on fire.

Clinton would talk kindly to your face but would watch your house burn and then form a commission to divide your remaining undamaged belongings amongst the neighbors. Then she'd vote to raise property taxes on your new house.

Keith Wheeler
August 31, 2006, 11:42 AM
I suspect that Hillary is a freight train that's picked up so much speed it can't be stopped.

And I can't think of a single Republican out there who could beat her, except Condoleeza Rice.

Forgot policy; I don't think there's any way Hillary could win. She's too angry, and Americans like their leaders to be happy. Seriously, the only people who will vote for her are a small number of women from the left.

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