Monday, January 07, 2008

Hillary for President [in 2004]

By Creature

With polls showing Obama surging to a double-digit lead over Hillary in New Hampshire, I'm almost starting to feel sorry for the senator. As I said a few days ago, this Obama thing is bigger than Hillary. It's generational, it's historic, and, practically speaking, there is not much she can do about it. It simply just may not be her time. That being said, it's hard not to think that not only is 2008 not her time, but that her time has passed. Hillary Clinton, the woman with a nose for politics, should have run in 2004.

In 2003, there was talk of presidential aspirations for the freshman senator from New York. Unsubstantiated rumors at the time even had the Clintons hunkering down Labor Day 2003 to decide if going after a weakened president Bush was in the cards. Obviously, she did not. I'm sure political fingers were held to the wind and one of the deciding factors pushing back would certainly have been her perceived lack of experience. After all, she was only a first-term senator just a mere a couple of years into that term. Ah, the irony.

Sure, Hillary may not have stood a chance in the primaries. Dean was hot. Clark was considering. But, who knows, maybe Hillary, with Bill's years even closer in time, and with the war not yet a disaster, would have been seen as the competent, yet hawkish, alternative to Bush. Hillary could have been John Kerry, but more so, she could have been 2004's Barack Obama. A young upstart senator, screwing conventional wisdom, daring to risk the experience argument because the time was right. Because the anti-Bush iron was hot. Because her competence would have looked so much more powerful when faced with an election against the fumbling George W. Bush. Factor in Hillary's vagina and suddenly her own "fierce urgency of now" becomes clear.

Timing is everything in politics and Hillary supporters can cry foul by the media, cry incompetence regarding her campaign staff, but really 2008 for Hillary is about crying over spilt milk.

Of course, hindsight is 20/20, and this may come a bit too late, but I am willing today to go out on a limb, and endorse Hillary Clinton for president in 2004. Knock 'em dead, Hill.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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  • That's a pretty fragile limb, my friend. You make a strong case -- and, as I've said before, I'm not much of an Obama fan -- but there are just too many questions about her: about her positions on Iraq and Iran, about her triangulating coziness with the GOP. I'll support her if she's the nominee, and I suspect I'll do so enthusiastically, but, for now, there are better options. I know Edwards is a long-shot, but he's still my pick. After that... yes, probably Obama.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 7:44 AM  

  • Wait, Michael, I said 2004. Not that I actually would have supported her in 2004. For me it's her var vote. She sent kids to war with an eye on the politics of it all. That's a deal breaker. I also hold it against Edwards, but he get points for admitting his vote was wrong and speaking out strong for withdrawal. I just find it highly ironic that she didn't run, probably because of experience, and Obama, in the same position, did. How pissed must she be?

    By Blogger creature, at 6:17 PM  

  • No, that's true. Fair enough.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 8:15 PM  

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