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Is Hillary going to run?
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A story I noticed last week but was unable to comment on at the time concerns Hillary Clinton and the possibility she won’t run for the presidency in ’08.

Whatever you think of Clinton, she is one savvy and smart politician. I remember hearing Bill Clinton say that when he wanted to run for the presidency and everyone was urging him to run, Hillary said he shouldn’t and, he didn’t. When all were telling him not to run and stating that the timing just wasn’t right, Hillary said it was perfect and he ran and won. She knows the business about as well as anyone.

But while Bill was a popular president, Hillary may have been the most unpopular first lady in modern history. And those negatives have followed her from the White House:
A recent poll for Time magazine showed that 53% of the electorate said they had a favourable impression of Clinton and only 44% viewed her negatively … Even so, 53% of independent voters said they would not vote for her.
That 44% is actually much better than previous negative ratings which found the majority viewed her negatively, but the independent number has remained about the same. That has left Democratic strategists in a quandary concerning Clinton:
“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.”
That seems to be the “conventional wisdom” when it comes to Clinton and her prospects at the moment. And I can promise you that no one will be more brutal in the assessment of her chances to win than will Hillary Clinton. If she enters the presidential race, she intends to win. But is the timing right for that right now?

While her negative numbers have improved, they’re still too high. She’s done a very good job of recasting herself as a more moderate Democrat. As the article states she’s even reached out to the likes of Newt Gingrich and John McCain in bipartisan efforts. But it still may not be enough. While 8 years is an enormous amount of time in politics, it may not be enough for Clinton ... yet. So what’s a potential presidential candidate to do?

One suggestions is skip ’08 and take over the leadership in the Senate:
The solution, insiders say, is for Clinton to take over as Senate minority leader in 2009 from the lacklustre Harry Reid, senator for Nevada. One well-respected blog, The Washington Note, recently claimed that Reid privately told Clinton the job was hers if she gave up her presidential ambitions.

Reid’s office denied it, but the claim made its way into the Los Angeles Times where it was suggested she would make a “superlative Senate leader” while keeping her options open for the 2012 presidential race.
There are obviously two problems inherent in this strategy. As partisan as the Congress has become, the possibility exists that taking over for Harry Reid would hurt more than help. She’d be forced into defending partisan positions which would destroy her newly fashioned “moderate” political persona. Most likely it would also have an effect on her negative numbers, in all likelihood pushing them up again.

Secondly, 2012 is only possible if a Republican wins the White House in ’08 (and then only if he is in the same shape Bush is now). Otherwise, Clinton is looking at ’16.

Frankly I don’t think she’s willing to wait that long. And besides, Bill Clinton (who would be a huge asset to her) wants her to run. But, then, no one ever claimed Bill had good instincts when it came to questions of political timing.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

And, for what it’s worth, the Senate has been in the last 40 years a very poor road to the White House.
Written By: the wolf
If I was Bill I would start watching my back very intently. The one sure way I can think of to guarantee Hillary the Pres position is for Bill to die mysteriously. She would then pick up enough sympathy vote to put her over the top. I truelly believe she is the type of person who craves power so much that killing her husband to get it wouldn’t even give her pause.
Written By: SkyWatch
URL: http://
Ok skywatch, I just have to point out how absurd I believe that to be.

But back to reality, how much of an opposition would the netroots be to Hilary in the primary? I am under the impression that her support of the war and a responsible exit strategy have not made her any friends on the leftosphere.
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
Throw all the political calculations aside, you can sum it up in a plain sentance, and it’s the same thing that will doom any aspirations Jeb Bush ever had on the Presidency:

After 20 years, the country is about ready for a President that’s not a Bush or a Clinton.

Written By: shark
URL: http://
Am I the only one who had the thought that if Hillary’s new "moderate" stance (and I don’t honestly think it’s that new, though I don’t particularly care for her politics, she’s been pretty moderate for a Dem all along) combined with the Senate minority/majority leadership would be a _good_ thing for the partisan politics? Maybe she’s got the clout/willpower to tone down some of the stupidity.

*sigh* I know, wishful thinking. But it sure sounds good.
Written By: Bill W.
URL: http://
Is Hillary going to run?
Is the Pope Catholic? Come’on no-brainer....the question(s) is(are):
1) Can she secure the nomination?
a) In spite of High Negative numbers, so can she overcome the "she’s not electible" hurdle?
b) In spite of her pro-war stance, will the Nutroots support her?

2) Can she win the election?

Cetainly she’s going to run. And Harry Reid, he’s just going to give up the Senate Leadership, quite possibly forego Senate MAJORITY Leadership for Hillary? I don’t think so...IF the Democrats fail to reclaim the Seante THEN mayhap Reid will be forced out and the position made open, but will Hillary run for it? And is she elctible there... after all if she’s just going to use it as a platform to run for President, will the Democrats oblige her? And if she does use it as a platform, won’t she be vulnerable tot he charge of NEGLECTING her duites in the Senate a la Kerry when she runs for President?

Bottom-Line: It’s easier for her to run for Presient than to take a detour/dead-end into Senate Leadership.
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
If Dems win the Congress and the Senate, it won’t matter to me, I will be voting for a Republican (as long as it isn’t a Bush).

If Congress is divided, I hope Hillary does not run, giving me at least the possibility of a Democrat worth voting for.

I have a lot of respect for Hillary, I just think she has far too much baggage to be effective as President, IF, and it’s a big IF, she can even win.

Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
Hillary Happens
Written By: michael
Hillary Happens
Written By: michael

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