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Monday, May 09, 2005

TIME - Joe Klein: Hillary in 2008? No Way!

Joe Klein talks about Hillary's chances in 2008, and ends with this bit:

There is something fundamentally un-American—and very European—about the Clintons and the Bushes trading the office every eight years, with stale, familiar corps of retainers, supporters and enemies. Bill Clinton was a good President. Hillary Clinton is a good Senator. But enough already. (And that goes for you too, Jeb.)
While I think both Hillary and Jeb are among the most talented, and interesting, politicians in the runing for President in '08 I certainly share a lot of sympathy toward this states. I think it is time for a different last name in the Whitehouse. In 2008 it will be 20 years since anyone who wasn't named Clinton or Bush was a President. Surely there are other last names out there that can fulfil this role. My bet remains though, that Hillary will run and Hillary will win the Democratic primary. She may well win the Presidency, depending on the state of the country and who is running against her at that time. I could even see voting for her myself, on the War on Terror I have been quite happy with her performance as a Senator, and unlike John Kerry I would have no fears of Hillary implementing a weak foreign policy. She is a tough lady, and would be a tough commander-in-cheif I expect.


Blogger Cubicle said...

if you start of 1980, that would be when George Bush 1 was the vice presdent, it would be 28 years in 2008.

It depends on how you count it, if you want to infalte the numbers

5/09/2005 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

I've been listening to this "Hillary for President" stuff for a while now, and I have to say I think it's the biggest and best example of groupthink I know of. Folks in staunchly Democratic enclaves think highly of Hillary, and everyone they know does, too. So running her for President sounds appealing to them. They forget, though, that folks out here in the sticks don't just not care for Hillary Clinton; they hate her. With a bloody, undying passion.

I admit I'm not quite sure why people dislike Ms. Clinton so much, but that's beside the point. To illustrate my thinking, look back at the campaign of 2000. What you had then was a Republican candidate whose national reputation was based solely on his association with an unpopular one term president. Even with such an apparently weak Republican candidate, the (Bill) Clinton legacy was not enough to get Al Gore, a very vanilla character back then, elected.

Flash forward to 2008. We can't be sure who the Republican candidate will be, but the odds that he/she will be weaker than George W. Bush was in 2000 are pretty slim. Add to that the fact that Ms. Clinton is most definitely not a vanilla character from the Bill Clinton years. People who yawned at Gore will growl at Hillary. With that kind of baggage, how the hell can she win any state Bush won in 2000?

Of course, I agree that the Democrats, cocooners that they are, are likely to nominate Hillary. And I suppose its always possible that the Republicans will in turn nominate someone so spectacularly unpalatable (see: Dole, Robert) that she could squeak out a win. But in the absence of such a complete cranial meltdown on the part of the Republicans, I don't think Hillary has a snowball's chance in hell of ever being President.

5/09/2005 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

Hillary is certainly polarizing. I think though that might actually work out to her benefit.

Few people blame her for her husband's indiscretions. She has successfully moved toward the center as a Senator, and lets face it, she is a woman.

A bunch of Hyperventaliting, shreiking anti-Hillary republicans could easy piss of moderates and independants and stampege them into the Hillary's camp. Remember, that the 1998 elections were a disaster for the Republicans, partly because they had become so virtiolic about Bill Clinton.

Add in the possibility of the Republicans nominating a social conservative, when the fiscal conservatives and libertarians are already feeling a bit jumpy and a Hillary victory is a real possibility.

How many voters in '04 voted against Kerry on the war issue alone? Probably enough in Ohio to have swung that state, and that's all he would have needed.

5/09/2005 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Hmmm. I'm unconvinced. While I understand that shrill anti-Clintonism may backfire, I also think that Democrats misunderstand the reasons' for the Clintons' success and greatly overestimate the Clintons' popularity.

I think, essentially, that both Clintons have had the good fortune to have idiots for opponents in every election that matters. I also think they (and the Democrats more generally) have never really been honest with themselves about their good fortunes in this regard. Will Hillary's opponent in 2008 be 80+ years old? Will he or she run as simply "Not Hillary" the way Ms. Clinton's opponent did when she was elected to the Senate? It's always possible that the Republicans will do something like that, of course. But betting on your opponent out-stupiding you is probably not the best course for a national party to follow.

What the Democratic Party needs is someone who's actually appealing to a majority of Americans; who's made a name for him or herself by work, not marriage or birth; and who's got some new, interesting ideas to drive the country forward. If they think Hillary Clinton is that person, I think they're kidding themselves. But of course they'll nominate her, so I suppose we'll see.

5/09/2005 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger honestpartisan said...

It will come as no great shock to you that I travel in predominantly Democratic circles. I can tell you, even here in New York where Clinton is our senator, the consensus view right now is that she would be a disastrous nominee in 2008 (contrary to Brian's impression). I know that my evidence is anecdotal, but I suspect that it's a widespread view, partly because polls about likely nominees now just reflect name recognition more then a genuine shot at the nomination. I'm not precluding clinton's nomination, just reporting on the mood in the circles I've been in.

5/10/2005 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

it will certainly be interesting to see.

Of course any talk now about Hillary vs. Unnamed Democrat are likely to favor Unnamed Democrat, as Unnamed Democrat doesn't have any downside. Real people have flaws, that may or may not be worse than Hillary's, but certainly balance them out to an extent.

When it comes down to it though, I don't there being signifigant numbers of people who wouldn't vote for Hillary who voted for Kerry. I can see signifigant numbers who did not vote for Kerry being at least willing to consider Hillary.

I also don't see the base being LESS excited and motivated for Hillary than they were for Kerry. Since Kerry came quite close to winning, that means I think Hillary has a very good chance at going all the way.

Who the Republicans nominate matters a lot of course. A Hillary nomination vs. a Republican moderate, like Guiliani would probably be a win for the Republicans as any Republicans who were unmotiviated by Guiliani would likely be motivated strongly against Hillary. A Republican social conservative though, like Santorum or Frist, would double motivate the Religious Right (since they can only vote once that wouldn't help much) but add to the concerns/dislike that the Anti-Hillary forces were generating. Hillary would, I believe, win such a confrontation handily.

5/10/2005 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Brian said...


I was very interested to hear that y'all aren't as crazy about Hillary as some of us (myself included) tend to think. It's all very weird: in saying that Northeasterners' Hillary love was blinding them to how heartlanders feel about Hillary, I was myself blinded to how Northeasterners really feel about Hillary. Damn. I guess this is what we get for trying to second guess each others' second guesses four layers deep. It's making my head hurt.

Your comment reminds me that we really should all chill out about 2008, 'cause nobody really knows what the situation will be like anyhow.

5/10/2005 01:54:00 PM  

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