Sunday, September 3


Might Hillary decide not to run?

“I would not be surprised if she were to decide that the best contribution she can make to her country is to forget about being president and become a consensus-maker in the Senate,” said a leading Democratic party insider. “She believes there is no trust between the two political sides and that we can’t function as a democracy without it.”
“The prospect of a Hillary for President campaign has put much of the Democratic establishment in a bind,” Time concluded. “The early line is that Hillary would be unstoppable in a Democratic primary but unelectable in a general election.”

The solution, insiders say, is for Clinton to take over as Senate minority leader in 2009 from the lacklustre Harry Reid, senator for Nevada.
On one subject, Clinton’s friends are united. They all believe that Bill, her closest adviser, wants her to go for it.

Bill's sentiments notwithstanding, a run by Hillary for the Democratic presidential nomination would be very divisive for the party. As the NY Times says today:

All that said, she has hardly been a profile in courage. Almost every move Mrs. Clinton has made regarding Iraq reflected her desire to find — or create — a center position on every issue. The resolution she endorsed was extremely vague, more of a potential political embarrassment to the administration than a restriction on the military. Her speech in 2002 was classic triangulation, in which she posed two clear opposing positions and then placed herself in between. And her clash with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld last month, while dramatic, was late in the game, and an obvious attempt to make it clear to the restive antiwar voters that she was not an appropriate target.

Mrs. Clinton’s biggest flaw is her unwillingness to risk political capital for principle. That is not to say that she lacks principles, but whenever her moral convictions become politically inexpedient, she will struggle to find a way to cloak them in vague rhetoric or deflect attention with a compromise that makes the danger go away.

All that is an issue of leadership, and it will be grist for discussion if she decides to run for president in 2008. Right now we are talking about a Senate race, and Hillary Clinton has been an excellent senator for New York.

Yes, Hillary has been an excellent senator and would make an excellent president. But she's not electable by the general voter population, and Democratic voters in particular would have a hard time with her past positions on Iraq.

At least, I know I would.

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