Hillary Clinton, Jeanine Pirro and the 2008 Presidential Election

Via Chris Masse and Don Luskin comes this analysis by Perry Eidelbus, which I think provides the best explanation for the recent increase in the the GOP’s odds for the 2008 presidential election. (Disclosure: ChicagoBoyz is a Tradesports/Intrade affiliate.)

Here’s the gist of Perry’s argument:

That was a very powerful speech. Pirro and her advisors came up with an exceptionally aggressive opening move: force Hillary to prove just how much she loves New York.

Who really believes that, should Hillary win re-election in 2006, she won’t start her 2008 presidential campaign soon afterward? Some political analysts believe that Hillary will be too old in 2012 to run for the White House. So if Hillary accepts the challenge, pledging to serve her second Senate term in full if re-elected, there goes her best chance at the presidency. Not taking the pledge will alienate some voters all across the U.S. (but how many?), as that will prove her “full-time work for New Yorkers” was a sham.

If she takes the pledge and breaks it, it’ll be like George H.W. Bush’s “Read my lips” disaster (notwithstanding that Congressional Democrats threatened a federal government shutdown to blackmail him into breaking that). Hillary no longer can count on mainstream media to hush up such a broken promise, not in this day of conservative news sources and blogs — ask Dan Rather.

Hillary is already on the defensive, and her campaign can’t resort to bringing up Pirro’s husband, Al Pirro — at least not directly. Republicans could rightfully claim double-standards if that happened, since it was generally considered taboo to bring Geraldine Ferraro’s husband in the 2004 campaign. And it would be perceived as truly nasty politics, not just in New York, but all over the country. Hillary needs every opportunity to soften her reputation, not solidify it.

IOW, if Pirro is as politically savvy as she appears to be, Clinton’s national position in 2008 will be weakened no matter how she handles the 2006 NY Senate race.

Addendum: Lex and I have been arguing about Clinton’s political vulnerability on this issue. (He is skeptical.) With his permission I repost this comment from one of his emails:

The pledge thing in itself is irrelevant. It won’t be difficult to respond. This comes up all the time, and the response is always the same. Say, I will do what I need to best serve the people of New York and just repeat that mantra. Everyone already knows she is running for president. That information is “in there”. You make the point, and move on. I don’t think it will do anything to Hillary. Everybody who likes her and everybody who hates her will be unmoved, and there aren’t many people left undecided about her. Some very small number of unengaged voters may be moved by it. The point is Hillary now has a scrappy and appealing opponent who will be difficult to counter, and who is going on the offensive early. That is the new news. Pirro is the story, not this supposed conundrum Hillary faces. You just brass your way through that.

8 thoughts on “Hillary Clinton, Jeanine Pirro and the 2008 Presidential Election”

  1. “notwithstanding that Congressional Democrats threatened a federal government shutdown to blackmail him into breaking that”

    Oh, please, no excuses: If that had been the only campaign promise he’d broken, and he’d shown some sign of putting up a fight before breaking it, that might be a plausible excuse. As it is, there’s precious little reason to believe Bush the elder ever meant to keep any of his campaign promises.

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  3. Please forgive the link in comments but Trackback doesn’t appear to be working at the moment.

    Hillary’s New York supporters are fully aware and supportive of her upcoming presidential run.

    Some moderates on the margin may change their mind because Pirro is a good candidate. But New York’s liberals won’t mind a bit if Hillary goes on to bigger and better things.

    Another liberal will always be in the wings to replace her (even if he’s a New York Republican.)

  4. Hmmm. As a Masshole, I supported Dukakis’s bid for the presidency, as it meant he would no longer be our governor. Sorry if it seems selfish, but if that’s what it took to get rid of him, then I was all for it. When Kerry, running for president, refused to vacate the position he had occupied for 20 years without result, you cannot imagine my disappointment. Both Kerry and the senior senator from my state will only leave office feet first. Neither is fit for gainful employment, and they know it.

  5. Haha, you folks have got to be kidding. Pirro will win? NOT. She is a mobbed up crook, a part of the maifa-ridden Westchester County GOP. Her links are already being exposed in the early running, and they scare enough GOPers to nominate that son-in-law of arch-crook Richard Nixon, Ed Cox.

    And if anyone’s getting caught in a “read my lips” type gaffe, it’s Jeanine “Where is Page 10?” Pirro.

    Sorry, you Republicans drank the Kool-Aid on a NY Republican YET AGAIN, just like you did with Rudy “I hate immorality, in between banging Judi Nathan with my cancerous nuts” Giuliani, and Rick “I hate carpetbagging, until my district got changed around” Lazio.

  6. Naive & off-point:

    What I don’t understand is why New York is hospitable to carpetbaggers and why Chicago begs people from across the country to run in their elections. (Okay, Hlllary is a big cheese, but NY has a history of this kind of thing.) And maybe Pirro’s great, but surely there are candidates whose husbands haven’t actually served time. (And yes, I do figure someone who marries a crook doesn’t have the kind of judgement I’d like to give authority.) Exactly what’s with the distribution of human talent & ambition? How many more times people live in these cities than were around at the founding of our nation, which seems to have had a surplus of good candidates for such offices. Of course, we have Kinky Friedman running a semi-serious race for governor here, where 3 cities are in the top ten population-wise. Is this just an irrelevant question or is there something going on in our natinal gene pool?

  7. I agree that everyone knows she’s going to run for president. Instead of getting her pledge down, they should look to get clear and concise statements regarding her position on immigration, illegal specifically. If that issue isn’t resolved rather soon to the public’s satisfaction, it will be a big issue in 2008 and we don’t want her to get away with fudging it.

  8. Rick James can’t read. No one is saying she is going to win. What people are saying is that Hillary will have to work a lot harder to beat her than she did that dunce who ran against her the first time. Any, Rick seems to have drunk the Kool Aid by saying that Pirro must be an idiot because she missplaced a piece of paper. Just like Reagan was an idiot and Bush is an idiot. Under-estimating GOP opponents has brought nothing but grief to the Donks, but the emotional satisfaction of mocking their opponents beckons like the dope-fiend’s needle. Go ahead, guys, ride the white horse.

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