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January 20, 2007

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I'm with you, and suspect that, like McCain, she's past her expiration date for getting the nomination. But I hope she stays viable for a time, if only for the brain detonation potential in Bizarro World.

I am, admittedly, not a huge fan of Hillary Clinton. I do think she's doing a very good job as Senator from NY. I also wish she would not run in 2008.

I wish she would not run because, if nominated, the Presidential election in '08 will not be about issues. It will be about Hillary, and pretty much nothing but Hillary.

To some degree that's true of lots of candidates -- Obama, McCain. But I think in Clinton's case, much more so.

None of that is her fault. All of it is, however, a reality.

She's an ambitious person, and I mean that as praise rather than criticism, and the Presidency is the big prize in her line of business. She is more than qualified, and in many ways would, I think, be a very good President. So, it would be a huge personal sacrifice for her to not run.

But I really, really wish she would take one for the team and stand down.

Thanks -

What's more interesting to me is how the states are scrambling to front-load the primary season.

Jerome Armstrong notes rumors that California will try to move its primary to Feb 5, that Florida might also move up, that New Hampshire wants to leapfrog Iowa to be first again. If all of that happens, other states might feel pressure to accelarate their primaries as well.

We have 3 serious candidates - Clinton, Edwards and Obama - who together can make it damned near impossible for a second tier candidate (Kerry, Richardson) to get any money or attention going into a foreshortened primary season, and reducing 3rd tier candidates to quixotic status right out of the gate.

So, either we'll already know who our candidate's going to be by the end of 1Q 2008, or we'll have the Big 3 still standing and fighting it out down to the wire.

I think Clinton won't play the expectation game, at least not if she does "worse than expected" in the first run. Edwards is deeply committed in terms of mission, so I don't see him dropping out, either - esp. if dropping out give Clinton an advantage. Obama's the only one I can see who might be vulnerable to the expectation game, in terms of money and media attention.

I'd say, if people want Anyone But Clinton, it's Obama they should be shoveling money to, starting now.

(Gore? He's not running. Something really extraordinary happening might change his mind, and Clinton getting the nomination might come under that category, but for now I take the man at his word.)

"I'm also annoyed by the way in which Washington political and media types seemed decide, a few years back, that she was entitled to the nomination"

Evidence? There certainly has been an obvious case why she'd be a strong candidate, and the above types were able to recognize it.

"The real problem is that she'd be a disaster for the Democrats if she were nominated"

Evidence?

"No, I don't regret giving the president authority because at the time it was in the context of weapons of mass destruction, grave threats to the United States, and clearly, Saddam Hussein had been a real problem for the international community for more than a decade."

This is actually a pretty good statement, given this:

Hillary Clinton’s decision to give Bush her approval in 2002 was influenced by her recent White House experience. “I have respect for Presidential decision-making and I saw what the Republican Congress had done to Bill on a range of issues, denying him the authority to deal with Bosnia and Kosovo and second-guessing him on every imaginable issue,” she said. “And I don’t think that that’s good for the country, and I had no problem in giving President Bush the authority to do what he stated he would do and what I was assured privately on many occasions would be done.”

Still, Clinton was never an enthusiastic supporter of the war. In a speech to the Senate before casting her vote to support the resolution, she cautioned Bush, saying, “If we were to attack Iraq now, alone or with few allies, it would set a precedent that could come back to haunt us. In recent days, Russia has talked of an invasion of Georgia to attack Chechen rebels. India has mentioned the possibility of a preëmptive strike on Pakistan. And what if China were to perceive a threat from Taiwan? So, Mr. President, for all its appeal, a unilateral attack, while it cannot be ruled out, on the present facts is not a good option.”

I also liked this:

"Clinton speaks with confidence and directness. On issues of foreign policy and national security, she readily said “I don’t know” when she didn’t, and she referred frequently, without self-consciousness, to her husband’s experience, especially in the Middle East and in the Balkans, perhaps as a way of signalling that nothing prepares a person for four years in the White House like eight years in the White House. She seems to have assimilated data on a comprehensive range of issues."
etc.

And then you have an instance of her being a poor administrator in '94.

I mean, the real problem is that Obama'd be a disaster for the Democrats if he were nominated. Or Clark. Or Edwards. Only my candidate X has a chance of turning back the Gingrich juggernaut.

Well, if Rilkefan's for Hillary Clinton, and Hilzoy's against her candidacy, then it's probably going to be good if she doesn't run for office. Which is about the only way I have of gaging these things: I noticed in 2004 on the old Tacitus blog that whichever Democratic candidate looked most popular, the Republicans commenting there would go into a frenzy of hate about them... and reserve their mild approval for the unpopular candidates.

The main thing for the next Democratic candidate is: are they the kind of person with the guts to say "Nope, I'm not conceding until every vote is counted and every dubious result investigated."

I don't hold the '94 debacle against her, since she seems to have learned from it, at least in terms of making sure she has support from would-be opponents before introducing major legislation. I also note the incredibly dishonest media campaign (Harry and Louise) that was launched against it, and in retrospect see that as the opening gun of the War on Clinton: it wasn't about the healthcare initiative, it was about undermining the Clinton Administration, no matter what.

A Clinton candidacy will bring the old Scaife/Arkansas Project cockroaches out again, along with their "little elves" among the American Axis. The thought makes me sick, but the landscape has changed a bit since the Clinton Wars, and perhaps - just perhaps - this time we'll be able to expose and destroy them.

A Clinton candidacy will bring the old Scaife/Arkansas Project cockroaches out again

Also it will be a huge ratings windfall for the Rush/Hannity/Fox News Axis of Stupid. Deep down I think there is nothing they would like more than for her to get the nomination.

If not Hillary, then who?

Edwards? Don't make me laugh. Anyone who expounds on Hillary's faults & then says "Now, Edwards, on the other hand" has permanently discredited himself.

Obama? Not going to happen.

Clark? A veep maybe, but simply not up to the campaign game. (As I would not be -- it's not a slur.)

The sooner Dems realize that Hillary is what we've got in 2008, the better the chance of keeping the Republicans out in 2008. Those who would like to see the Republicans keep the White House, keep kvetching about Hillary. Those who think that's unfair, kindly illuminate us as to the preferable non-Edwards, non-Clark, non-Obama, non-Kerry nominee.

(This is not dumping on Hilzoy in particular -- I've seen the same complaints enough times that I just hit critical mass.)

Deep down I think there is nothing [the Rush/Hannity/Fox News Axis of Stupid] would like more than for her to get the nomination.

That alone is not enough reason to be against her, but I think it's certainly true. The Axis of Stupid wants, above all, for the next election - and every election - to be about anything *but* substance. Bet on it.

P.S. -- The type of people who would believe the Fox/Scaife stuff, *aren't voting for any Democrat anyway.* Those are not votes we're going to get.

Forget about the Axis of Stupid (TM). At least 50% of the voters already see them as the tinhorns they are. Just put up with the noise and Keep Your Eyes On The Prize (TM). If Hillary went on to win, it might be interesting to see how B.J. would fit in.

Richardson announced this week, too, right ?

You speak for me Hilzoy. I've screaming NO!!! since the day they first floated her name. Her day is long past.

Anderson: I think you are just wrong about the scope of it. Obama's not-on-your-life vote peeks out at about 30%, I'm guessing, who will be convinced that he is the Manchurian candidate, a charismatic Muslim from abroad sent to infiltrate this country (anybody get a whiff of the rumors that came out yesterday, originating from some Democratic sources, that Obama was still a Muslim, spent four years at a Muslim seminary?). Clinton's no-way-in-hell vote surges cose to 50%. I like to see a poll to see how she would do in a general election against, like, say, the Beast of the Apocalypse. I think it's a close race between her and the Beast of the Apocalypse. She simply has no chance whatsoever, and it will be a an embarrassing defeat for the Democrats to rival McGovern's and Mondale's.

What the Democrats need to find is someone of this new incoming generation (the Webb, Tester Democrats). What we do not need is the old, smeared guard: Gore, Kerry, Clinton. Maybe a conservative Democrat. Maybe a Southern Democrat. That hasn't been a non-Southern Democrat that's held the office since JFK, after all. Also, I don't think anyone has moved from the Senate to the White House since, um, before FDR, and my knowledge of presidential careers gets shoddy before that.

The biggest problem is that we have a voting system in the primaries where you can't vote against somebody. Rather than voting for any candidate, I would blow my vote voting to cancel one of Hillary's votes. The Democrats really haven't found anyone who can win, and the rest of us all have our own opinions, which is splitting the vote.

Jes: "if Rilkefan's for Hillary Clinton"

I've noted here that I don't like her candidacy for various reasons. I just didn't think much of the post, esp. for having seen its like (substituting candidate Z) in herds on DK.

"[the usual nonsense]"

Yeah, whatever.

It is a tribute to the Gingrich/Norquist/Delay?Bush Republican Party wrecking crew that John McCain looked so good to me for approximately 11 minutes at some point, maybe two years ago.

I suppose the same could be said for Hillary Clinton -- if they hated her that much, sign me up on her side! Wait! Other than dogged determination in the face of the furies, what has she done?

And it is the dreadful political wear and tear on everyone over the last 20 years or so that I suspect makes Obama look like the savior, though I can't yet detect his feet touching the ground. I hope he touches down BEFORE elected, just for a reality run-through.

Why is it that we have a political system that coughs up those who either haven't done anything very well or who haven't done anything at all?

I guess they are my peers.

Rhetorical question, that.

One of the big reasons I think that Clinton would be a bad choice is that her nomination would likely herald a strong turnout from the opposition in a way that none of the other candidates would. Fairly or not, she has her husband's baggage from the assault rifle ban, Ruby Ridge, and Waco. She may have strong support in the rust belt, but if she is top of the Democratic ticket you can probably write off any of the more moderate states in the west. To challenge in the west you would need someone like Richardson (who has the support of the NRA) or Clark.

Ara, JFK was a senator.

This is the first wide open race -- neither an imcumbent pres of VP -- in a very long time. Much past experience isn't going to be relevant.

Nous, I don't see why Sen. Clinton can't win every state won by John Kerry. And Ohio, which has this time around a Dem governor and secretary of state.

Everything will depend on how the Iran war is going, of course.

"I like to see a poll to see how she would do in a general election against, like, say, the Beast of the Apocalypse."

Umm, who do you think is going to survive the Republican primary? The risen Christ?

Um, Nous, while I think that Clinton bears much of the fault for Waco and the '94 ugly black gun ban, even the most rabid Clinton hater would have a bit of trouble blaming Ruby Ridge on a President who wasn't even running for the nomination yet when it happened. That one was the elder Bush's fault.

Well, there's 30% who won't vote for a Democrat no matter what. There's maybe another 5-10% who won't vote for Hillary Clinton no matter what. They'll go with the GOP candidate, whoever that is. So that's 40% right there.

How many otherwise-Democratic voters won't vote for a DLC Democrat no matter what? 10%? 20%? How many of them will still say "No, no matter what" if the alternative is Brownback, Giuliani or Hagel? (I don't think McCain will get the nomination, and if he does, I think the war in Iraq/Iran will be such a sinkhole that he won't get more than the 30% bitter enders.)

Anderson,

Why does Edwards make you laugh? Seriously.

...he is the Manchurian candidate, a charismatic Muslim from abroad sent to infiltrate this country (anybody get a whiff of the rumors that came out yesterday, originating from some Democratic sources, that Obama was still a Muslim, spent four years at a Muslim seminary?).

That came from Clinton’s camp as I understand it. They are just getting warmed up. Obama has no idea what he is up against. They are going to chew him up and spit him out.

Good post, good comments. I am mostly with rilkefan and Anderson. I do not see Edwards or Obama capable of telling Reid and Pelosi to bug off, which shouldn't be necessary much of the time, but should be neccessary sometimes. HRC is tough and stuubborn, but it isn't enough.

If I had 5 dollars and you forced me to send it somewhere I would give it to Edwards. But I am trying to determine a method of choosing the least bad among 32 or whatever candidates.

Maybe we get only one great person at a time in this country. Right now, probably Pelosi. We shouldn't be greedy.

Heck, readng thru these comments, looks like everyone from both Parties will stay home.

Is Nader running? Here is my Libertarian chance. Would Lyndon Larouche have to return from the dead? Is Harold Stassen still on the ballot?

Obama can beat her in the primaries if he chooses to turn on what he had going in 2002 and 2003 and stops talking in vague platitudes, I think. Whether he gets that remains to be seen.

Everything will depend on how the Iran war is going, of course.

Know something we don't know, eh CharleyC?

Brett-- True, the incident at Ruby Ridge precedes Clinton's presidency, but the Clintons are still seen as being complicit in an aggressive federalism that worries much of the rural west because of Waco. Those two incidents were seen as a trend and so the events tend to get lumped together. It's paranoid and irrational, but a lot of people still think that way.

Charley -- Kerry at least tried to portray himself as friendly to gun ownership, he just failed badly. Meanwhile, gun nuts still refer to the assault rifle ban as the "Clinton Gun Ban." I'm not claiming that Clinton can't make a strong showing in a national race, just that it would be another war of attrition over the same old electoral ground rather than a revisioning that could break up old coalitions and shift the political center back to the middle or slight middle left.

I keep running scenarios in my head, and while it's a very enjoyable past-time, most of them are mutually contradictory: either Obama or Edwards emerge as the "ABC" candidate; no, they split the ABC vote and Clinton comes out ahead of the game; Clinton never drops out regardless of the vote, and we go into the convention with no clear winner; yadda yadda.

FTR, I'm not an "ABC" voter. Clinton's not my first choice (at this point I don't know who is), but if she gets the nomination I'll vote for her.

Hilzoy: "Her website now links to a Washington Post story called "Clinton Steps Up Criticism of War in Iraq", but it was only one month ago that she first said that her vote for the Iraq war resolution was a mistake."

But as pointed out by Bob Somerby at the Daily Howler on Jan 18, she stated on Aug 29, 2004 that "there would have been no basis for a war if we’d had good intelligence." (with quotes)

Ugh, if you don't know, you're not paying attention. Oh, there's no war plan on the President's desk, though.

HRC -- the bad baggage from the Clinton years with very little of the good.

If you have any leftover hemlock or garlic, use it on the DLC also.

either Obama or Edwards emerge as the "ABC" candidate; no, they split the ABC vote and Clinton comes out ahead of the game;

I think HRC will live or die based on the size of her vote, rather than who gets the "ABC" vote, or whether it is split.

I don't see why Sen. Clinton can't win every state won by John Kerry. And Ohio, which has this time around a Dem governor and secretary of state.

I'd say PA and NH, at least, would be shaky, and remember that Ohio had some Republican scandals that won't be that much help in 2008. Besides, that's sort of a knife-edge strategy. We need someone who has a chance to pick up a number of Republican states. That means progress in the west, probably.

Her people say that she has learned a lot since 1993-1994--and has much clearer judgment with respect to who her (and our) real friends are.

"Meanwhile, gun nuts still refer to the assault rifle ban as the "Clinton Gun Ban.""

I think we'd disagree about who the "nuts" are, and it's probably more accurate to refer to the '94 ban as the "Clinton Gun Ban", than an "assault rifle" ban, given that none of the firearms it banned were actually assault rifles
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault_rifle
but there's some reason to what you're saying:

Given the current lineup of potential Presidential candidates on the Republican side, Democrats have a rare opportunity to neutralize the gun issue in 2008, if they can just spend the next 2 years not launching a new assault on the 2nd amendment, and chose a Presidential candidate who doesn't have a record of attacking the rights of gun owners.

As Kerry demonstrated, last minute cosmetic changes of heart don't cut it: You'll need a candidate who really doesn't have a bad record on this issue. And Hillary isn't that candidate.

"Ohio had some Republican scandals that won't be that much help in 2008."

I think that's wildly wrong - those scandals are likely to remain in the papers as new facts come up and trials take place (plus the echo at the national level), and the Republican party ought to be in disarray there for quite some time. And, umm, having a Democratic Secretary of State is going to have a slight effect, wouldn't you think?

Brett-- re: "gun nuts"...I'm not intending that as a strong perjorative in any sense. I'd shade it as a term of endearment for the average gun owner but bleeding off irony the closer one gets to the patriot movement crowd.

rilkefan,

Secretary of State - yes. Scandals - not so sure.

Ugh, if you don't know, you're not paying attention. Oh, there's no war plan on the President's desk, though.

I do, and go a little crazy at times (I take the under). I just hope that he's not so insane (i.e., way plan is under the desk).

I think HRC will live or die based on the size of her vote, rather than who gets the "ABC" vote, or whether it is split.
How does that work? 40% Clinton, 25% Obama, 25% Edwards is the same for her as 40% Clinton, 50% Obama?

CharleyCarp: Ah, sorry. I'm going senile in my old age. For some reason, I remembered it as him skipping from House to Prez.

I didn't like this post much. Hillary wouldn't be my first choice for nominee either, but I'm very glad she is running. The more the media Heathers smear Hillary the less time they can spend smearing the others. I'll be surprised if she gets over 20% in any primary personaly.

Hilary would be my first choice. ;)


I would have a lot of trouble voting for HRC; she continues many of the problems Democratic candidates have had.

She lacks integrity, and integrity is what gets voters fired up. That's why Dean, McCain, and Reagan got support, and why McCain is now a losing candidate. That's why the DNC-supported candidates lost, after Bill.

Backing Bush's war was a mistake, and she did it for a long time. Shooting first is immoral, and she supported it. She's been 'moderating' her stands, in a calculatedly political way. She moved to and ran from New York with her eyes on the Presidency. The candidate has to stand for something besides competence and winning; Hillary does not, she reeks of opportunism.

Bush Jr. won, in part, because the Repubs made Kerrey look like more of a pandering politician. It'll be far easier for the Republicans to do that to Hillary.

Candidates have to be able to talk, with a straight face, about uniting the nation. Parts of the Republican party have such hatred for Hillary that she cannot do that. Many voters want a President who will represent us all, and Hillary clearly will not. We want to move into the future, but a Hillary candidacy will reopen old wounds (not that they couldn't use lancing and some fresh air, but it'd be better for someone else to do it). She can't be the candidate from Hope.

The Democrats need to field a candidate from the West or Midwest, rather than the Northeast or South. The South is the Republican stronghold now, so I don't think a candidate from there would help swing many voters. The battlegrounds will be the Midwestern and Western states, and where a native son would help most.

Good god, it's like Kerry '04 all over again.

Then again, "lightning rod" does have a sort of fierce, aggressive, neocon-like ring to it.

KCinDC,

I was thinking of less extreme results, especially in early primaries. What I mean is that I don't see a lot of difference between, say, Clinton 45%, Obama 30%, Edwards 15% and Clinton 45%, Obama and Edwards 22.5% each. That is, I don't see a lot of difference with respect to Clinton's chances - obviously this would affect the Obama/Edwards odds.

This is where the whole expectations business comes into play, but if Clinton "underperforms" she's out, regardless of how the non-Clinton vote divides.

it's like Kerry '04 all over again.

Senator Kerry has an impressive talent for setting himself up for his political enemies. I have a great deal more faith in Senator Clinton's ability to both avoid comments like 'I voted for it before I voted against it' and a much better rapid response against any charges made against her.

Not a reason to necessarily cheer her entrance, but I think the Republicans will have a lot more trouble tarring Senator Clinton.

...even the most rabid Clinton hater would have a bit of trouble blaming Ruby Ridge on a President who wasn't even running for the nomination yet when it happened.

And yet, I've heard it done.

Yeah, I've had to correct people who blame Clinton for Ruby Ridge so often that I'm convinced almost nobody remembers it actually happened under GHWB; politically, it's almost exactly as if it were a failure of the Clinton administration.

"I like to see a poll to see how she would do in a general election against, like, say, the Beast of the Apocalypse."

she's currently crushing Brownback on a CNN poll.

Hillary is only two years younger than I am. A female president with Hillary's intelligence, ability, and resilience is probably more appealing/important to me than to anyone significantly younger(I am Katherine's mother). I found Hillary's announcing her candidacy more exciting than I anticipated. Who knows how many women of my generation and older feel the same way? My 60-year-old brother, who usually votes for Ralph Nader, said that he would definitely vote for Hillary in the general election because he was afraid our late mom, a fervent feminist, would haunt him if he didn't vote for a woman who had a real shot at becoming President.

I do believe that the vehemence of the anti-Hillary sentiment on both the right and the left is fueled by the country's inability, conscious or unconscious, to accept a woman as commander in chief. The utter crap that is written about Pelosi is unbelievable. Maybe we are more ready to accept a black president than a female president.

And yet, and yet, I perfectly understand and share most of the criticisms directed against her on the left.

If you understand and share most of the left's concerns about her, what makes you believe that the real reason they're opposed is because she's a woman? I don't see much "utter crap" about Pelosi coming from the left, so I'm skeptical about the significance of left-wing sexism in the mix.

I do believe that the vehemence of the anti-Hillary sentiment on both the right and the left is fueled by the country's inability, conscious or unconscious, to accept a woman as commander in chief.

As another woman in the, ahem, more mature demographic, I totally agree.

KC, left-wing sexism against Hillary doesn't need to be overt -- or even conscious -- because the right's demonization of her is so obviously driven by the fact that's she's an Uppity Woman. I measure it mostly by the fact that most leftist pundits don't bring up the sexism in the way she's been demonized *first*, even though it's so massively obvious.

At least in my case (woman about ten years younger than HRC), it's more due to the thought: oh dear God, another candidate who will have a really hard time being elected? Wasn't Kerry enough of this to last several lifetimes?

I honestly don't know whether Hillary is electable or not. I am from New York, where she has done an amazing job winning over people once vehemently against her.

I am sure she would handle attacks much better than Kerry did since she has been the most villified women in America for the last 15 years.

I'm not sure how much the early demonization was because Clinton is an "uppity woman," and how much of it was part of the general War on Clinton, with all the Clintons (incuding Chelsea) being considered "fair game."

The contradictoriness of the Right's attacks on her are... well, amusing, in a black humor way. Marriage and parenthood are supposed to be "The very foundation of civilization!," yet the Clintons' determination to stay together despite all, and their success in raising a daughter anyone would be proud of, are dismissed by the Right as sinister or irrelevant. (While the multiply-adulterous, multiply-married pols on the Right get a free pass.)

It's also a black-humor hoot that the Right invariably describes Clinton as an extremist liberal, though one would be hard put to name any issue that she's actually taken an extremist liberal position on. Then again, as far as the Right is concerned, there's no such thing as a moderately liberal, or somewhat liberal, or teensy bit liberal. If you're a liberal at all, you're automatically "extremist."

There's a possibility the decade-long demonization will backfire. People who have the notion that Clinton is a Gorgonish Lady MacBeth who takes her political views straight from Mao's Little Red Book and wants nothing less to be the Red Queen of America will be surprised, to put it mildly, if they ever actually see and listen to her.

I confess that part of me would like to see Senator Clinton or Senator Obama win simply because it would be nice to expand the available field for the presidency. Limiting ourselves to white males cuts out a disturbing number of potentially excellent candidates, and particularly in Senator Clinton's case, while I dislike her politics vehemently, I think she's clearly one of the better-qualified candidates currently in the race.

While I dislike her politics vehemently, I think she's clearly one of the better-qualified candidates currently in the race.

Now, this is one of the more interesting conundrums (conundra?) in politics.

If faced with someone who has the better qualifications, but whose politics you dislike, versus someone whose politics you agree with but who is distinctly less qualified, do you vote for the less qualified, for the sake of their political views, or for the better qualified, because they're likely to do a better job?

With someone who's better qualified but whose politics we can't stand, their better qualifications would perhaps be more reason to vote against them - precisely because they're more likely to be able to get enacted the very policies we can't stand.

But what if the other person isn't just less-qualified, but flat out unqualified (or a loon)? At what point do we opt for the better qualified, and hope their policies won't be that awful after all; or stay with the one we agree with more, and hope they won't turn out to be in completely over their head?

This isn't a challenge to Andrew, or anyone else, to defend their opinion of Clinton, BTW. I'm interested in what y'all think.

I'm trying to think of a Democrat so obviously unqualified for the office that I'd vote for a clearly better-qualified Republican, whatever my misgivings about the policies they'd pursue. About the only way I can imagine doing that is if the GOP candidate was a moderate (and there just aren't very many of those left), and if the Democrat's lack of qualification was that s/he was crazy, stupid, or corrupt.

Hilzoy: it's more due to the thought: oh dear God, another candidate who will have a really hard time being elected? Wasn't Kerry enough of this to last several lifetimes?

But remember: Kerry won.

The lesson Kerry's experience running for President should teach Democrats is that it's really not possible to pick a Democratic candidate who can't be demonized. Kerry's virtues became vices, and what Bush and Cheney couldn't demonize in him they lied about. And yet, Kerry still got more votes than Bush - even if, like Gore, he won but didn't get the Presidency because he didn't manage to win by the landslide he would have needed to overcome the election-rigging.

Trying to find a Democratic candidate who can't be lied into an enemy of the state is a lost cause.

I'm not saying Hillary Clinton should be your favored candidate. But just as I don't think she should be ruled out because her husband used to be President, I don't think she should be ruled out because the Republican Party have already rolled out the list of lies they intend to tell about her.

Casey,

While qualifications are important, ideology matters as well. It is generally difficult for me to pull the lever for Democrats because they tend towards a more collectist ideology. I suppose it would be better to have a qualified collectivist over an unqualified one, but not by much.

Conversely, my vote in 2008 will probably come down to which party is more likely to take Congress. If the Republicans are likely to take Congress, I'll vote for Senator Clinton or whoever else the Democrats are running to maintain split government, and vice versa if it appears the Democrats will hold Congress. The last six years have been a great illustration of the dangers of one-party rule; I'll do what I can to prevent it from recurring.

The last six years have been a great illustration of the dangers of one-party rule; I'll do what I can to prevent it from recurring.

This is a pretty persuasive line of thought, Andrew. I might still vote for a Dem/Dem situation, though, on the grounds that I can't imagine the Democrats having the kind of party discipline the Republicans have demonstrated. Basically, I'd expect the Congressional Democrat cat-herd to split up if a Democrat is President.

Also, how do you figure the currently conservative, pro-corporate Supreme Court into your "don't have a one-party government" equation?

I dislike the Court pretty much regardless of their leanings. They all seem quite happy to support the ongoing expansion of government beyond any constitutional strictures. The details may change a bit depending on who appoints them, but I generally count on the Court to do the wrong thing.

Dr. Science has a point. Remember the old joke, "We're not members of an organized political party. We're Democrats."

Also, while the 06 results weren't by any means the "conservatives win anyway!" spin that the Right tried to peddle, the Class of '06 does include people who used to be Republicans, and who might have been Republicans, if the GOP hadn't become an open air lunatic asylum-cum-influence peddling shack. I, for one, look forward with great interest to the effect people like Jim Webb and John Tester will have on the Party.

Webb's hitting the ground running: he'll be delivering the Democratic Response to Bush's SOTU speech. I plan to tune in to hear what he has to say - and that's more than I've done in years.

The Atlantic article on Hillary (which rilkefan pointed out in the other thread and I link here) is really interesting when one starts to consider Webb. Quick summary, Hillary failed in health care because she didn't take into account the intricacies of the Senate, having made that mistake, she will not make it again and has now co-opted the institution by outflanking it, earning the respect of all the female staffers on both sides of the aisle. (the article is much better at fleshing this out). On the other hand, you look at someone like Webb, who is not the go along to get along type. I'm wondering if Webb (and by extension Tester) will run afoul of Senate collegiality? I wonder if Hillary is climbing on a ship that is about the run aground by trying to use that Senate collegiality to springboard her efforts, which would make her sort the Dems Bob Dole. note that this is an electability question, not something questioning her ability.

No no no no… After Gore, after Kerry, we need a candidate that someone, somewhere is excited about. I have never met anyone who was stoked about Hillary. It would be a giant embarrassment for this country to go Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton.

I agree with carpethicus's last, but on the other hand I think any serious D candidate will be better than Kerry (heck, even Kerry would be better than before) and the Republican candidate is likely to a) face a hostile electoral map (barring huge surprises) and b) suffer from difficult problems of his own.

The less talented but more famous Andrew, Andrew Sullivan, likes HRC.

Casey, Repubs were presented with exactly your choice in the Presidential election of 2000 (and 2004, for that matter). We've seen the results.

Hillary's immediate visceral dislike index alarms me. She automatically loses us a bunch of blue-collar white males and western Libertarian-leaners from the get-go, and that's before the terrible assault the Wurlitzer is going to unleash on her. Heck, just look at what they did to Pelosi before she even took office, and then multiply that by about two or three orders of magnitude. The patronizing reaction to Pelosi shows that we still have a long way to go before women in positions of power are accepted and judged by the same standards as men. Against those obstacles, the first woman we seriously run for president had better at least be generally liked and likeable, and have very strong support within the rank and file of the party. Hillary, though she has many compelling traits and advantages, is none of those things. I don't know any Democrats who are excited about her as a candidate.

And no wonder! We just spent 10 years trying to rid ourselves of the Clinton and DLC camp-followers and consultants who lost us election after election. This last election, largely won by a new generation of more economically progressive and people-powered campaigns and candidates, should have finished them as a power within the Party. But here they are, back again, riding the coattails of another strong personality who they are convinced they made, when the reality is the opposite. I don't want to have to keep re-killing the shambling corpse of Neoliberalism. It's time to move on, it's not the 90's anymore, and the problems we face require different and more daring solutions than the DLC et al are prepared to offer.

Promising groundwork is getting laid for a new Progressive-ish era. The problem is, who will be the leader that really enables this to happen? Edwards makes all the right noises, but I just don't know if he has it in him. Obama is the obvious one when it comes to pure leadership capabilities and charisma, but what the heck does he actually stand for? Is he really willing to take on Corporate America on health care and global warming, or the various military-industrial interests on this war and those to come? Will he lead, or triangulate? That's what I'll be watching carefully to try to figure out.

J. Dunn: We just spent 10 years trying to rid ourselves of the Clinton and DLC camp-followers and consultants who lost us election after election.

Which elections were these? Because the Democratic candidate has won* every Presidential election now since 1992 - Clinton, Clinton, Gore, Kerry.

*won in the usual sense of getting more votes, not in the special American sense of being awarded the office the electorate voted them.

Which elections were these? Because the Democratic candidate has won* every Presidential election now since 1992 - Clinton, Clinton, Gore, Kerry.

Both Clinton elections were won much more by the political brilliance and charisma of Bill Clinton than the likes of Al From and Bob Shrum and the rest of the DLC gang. Gore's should have never been close enough to be stolen, but his handlers convinced him to run both away from Clinton and away from all that was best and most appealing about himself. And I don't believe the Kerry election was stolen, and even if you could convince me it was, it was still another campaign that totally failed to take advantage of the strengths of its candidate. And a candidate poorly chosen to begin with, insofar as Kerry was proferred by the Party establishment as the "safe, electable" candidate. I actually bought that at the time, but I think I'm done buying it now.

And then there was every Congressional election from 1994-2004, which is the real disaster I'm referring to here. The DLC folks were good at raising money and wielding influence in the behind-the-scenes power struggles, but at the cost of the heart and soul of the Party, which is only now being somewhat recovered.

And I don't believe the Kerry election was stolen,

This was rather shocking I thought.

Are there computer programs that can be used to secretly fix elections?

Yes.

How do you know that to be the case?

Because in October of 2000, I wrote a prototype for Congressman Tom Feeney [R-FL]...

It would rig an election?

It would flip the vote, 51-49. Whoever you wanted it to go to and whichever race you wanted to win.

And would that program that you designed, be something that elections officials... could detect?

They'd never see it.

J. Dunn:

Exit polls predicted a victory for Kerry. Obviously, exit polls could get it wrong - but in the 2004 election, electronic voting machines with no paper trail (built to be less reliable than a Vegas gambling machine) - there is quite literally no evidence that the exit polls did get it wrong.

Supporter of Clinton: http://www.bartcop.com/

JFTR, Brad DeLong now writes,

I am, I think, not fair to Hillary Rodham Clinton. Her people say that if all she had done was 1993-1994 Health Care Reform, it might be fair to argue that she would be "abysmal." But she has done an awful lot more over the past fifteen years, and done almost all of it very successfully. It's the disaster of 1993-1994 that is the anomaly and the outlier, they say--and they have a point. She definitely has the political smarts and (on almost all issues) enough of a grasp of policy substance to distinguish truth-tellers from liars, which is the most important presidential qualification (one which George Bush definitely lacks, and the Republican candidates appear to lack). Managerial expertise is harder to gauge: there's nothing else quite like managing the Executive Branch.

And those most responsible for the current gap between what our health care system is and what it ought to be do not include Hillary Rodham Clinton. The real villains in 1993-1994 had names like Robert Dole, The HIAA, Newt Gingrich, and so forth.

Btw, since hilzoy never attempted to answer this comment, I'm going to continue to think this post's nonsense.

Did you just necro a six month old post for no apparent reason?

Just correcting the record.

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Whatnot


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