Hillary with Clark as VP? My long-standing prediction? It is looking more likely by the day. Mark Steyn has weighed in, suggesting that maybe, just maybe, what is happening is this: “General Clark is merely an unwitting “stalking horse”, designed to weaken both Dean and Bush just enough to enable the Democrats’ real white knight to jump in: waiting in the wings, Hillary Rodham Clinton.” William Safire analyzes the situation similarly, and more analytically, noting that control of the Democrat fund-raising apparatus is the key here, and Terry McAuliffe is the Clintons’ special buddy. But this guy, Craig Crawford gets it best of all. (Do read it all.) He starts out with some reverse spin “Sure, believing that the junior senator from New York will run for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination might be the political equivalent of believing in Unidentified Flying Objects.” (Not on this blog, baby.) He notes that Clark’s entire entourage is Clintonistas. The Clintons needed time for HRC to wiggle out of her promise not to run. They needed someone to derail Dean’s momentum. “Husband Bill publicly launched the pledge-dodge maneuver for his wife just as Clinton loyalists working for Clark leaked word to the media that the general would definitely run.” Clark’s campaign deals lots of dirt to the other Donk candidates. So, how the heck do they get Hillary in and Clark out of the way in just a few weeks? These are the Clintons, remember. “Clark and Clinton stage a summit and in a sudden burst of activity, the deal is done and she takes over his campaign organization just in time for the Nov. 21 filing deadline for the New Hampshire primary.” Right. Watch that date. November 21, 2003. That is D-Day.
Bill Clinton, with his pack of loyal advisors on hand, is the greatest tactical politician we have had in the White House since Nixon, and probably since Franklin D. Roosevelt, and maybe ever. He wants to get back in the White House. He and the wife are set to do it. Put nothing, nothing, nothing past these people. If she runs, she gets the nomination, and odds are better than even she beats W. It will either be close, or she will walk away with it, but Bush will have a Hell of a time beating her.
I’m still not seeing Hillary jumping in this time around. A win against Bush is not a sure bet, by any stretch, and the international situation gives Bush as many chances to pull a rabbit out of his hat as it does for him to stub his toe. I think the most likely reason for the mechanations is to ensure McAuliffe’s position atop the DNC. As long as he’s there the election network and important K St. ties stay in place for a relative cakewalk in ’08.
To my mind, the guy to keep a close eye on is Fabiani. Bob Novak states that he recieved “low marks” as Gore’s 2000 deputy campaign manager, yet they immiediately deployed him along with Chris Lahane to clean up Grey Davis’ mess in the California energy crisis. How did they do that? By talking Davis into signing power contracts that assured his elimination as a potential national candidate (believe it or not, some were talking about it). He looks to be the canary in this colemine.
I think Hillary’s best senario is for Kerry to pull a Mondale, get the nomination and be crushed promting nostalgia for the “good old days when we could win.” For that to happen, Dean has to get slowed down, and that seems to be the one thing that Clark is perfectly suited to do. He takes away the novelty of being a tough anti-war guy and forces Dean to talk domestic issues.
“He takes away the novelty of being a tough anti-war guy and forces Dean to talk domestic issues.”
And how exactly would that be a bad thing for Dean ? Dean tells lots of completely idiotic things on foreign policy and military matters, but he’s perfectly suited for some good old-fashioned populism on the economy and social security.
Dean and Clark are nothing but a sideshow. The real race will be between Bush and the strong woman behind the 42nd president. Hillary will run and she will win in a cakewalk against Bush. There are 15 states the Dems cannot lose, 10 other states that were evenly split between Bush and Gore but that will go to Hillary because she will attract lots of new women voters (being the first woman to have a real shot at the presidency) plus Florida where all those solidly Democratic retirees will not punch the wrong holes this time. And she may win quite a few of the remaining 24 states as well, especially with a running mate from the South (Clark).
I tend to agree and, while I can’t see Hillary beating Bush nationally, we’ll have another Bush-Gore cliffhanger for sure. And I also agree about Bill, especially after reading Fleming’s The New Dealers’ War. What a group of rascals!
Except Dean’s populism on the economy implies a tax increase. You can’t bash Republicans for promises to solve everything with tax cuts and suggest everything is going to be hunky-dory by repealing them i.e. effectively increasing them as far as individual voters are concerned.
And if employment numbers improve by then – in one year, it could happen – that line of argument would be positively suicidal.
Re: one of Lex’s post about Dick Morris’ analysis. Democrat candidates need to promise repeals of the tax cuts to get the nomination. In 2004 though, that kind of talk won’t get them very far.
I’d prefer Feinstein over Hillary if I had to live with a Democratic president.
“And how exactly would that be a bad thing for Dean ? Dean tells lots of completely idiotic things on foreign policy and military matters, but he’s perfectly suited for some good old-fashioned populism on the economy and social security.”
Its a bad thing for Dean because it takes away the issue that generated his heat in the first place. Yes, he can talk populism on domestic issues, but so can Edwards and no chancers like Kucinich can begin to weigh in and heckle. He gets no bonus for being “first” on domestic issues. Picture someone being able to wrest the campaign finance issue away from McCain. It’s the same concept.
By the way, since when did saying idiotic things about foriegn policy hurt a Democrat in a primary? It tends to be a staple of their nomination process.
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