Tags: Hillary | Should | Have | Listened | Bill

Hillary Should Have Listened to Bill

Saturday, 07 February 2004 12:00 AM

He was right, as usual. Timing is everything, and she blew it. Hello Elmira, goodbye 1600 Pennsylvania. Not just for four years, but maybe forever. Blame the Johns.

Only a few months ago, the former president was telling anyone who would listen, reporters included, that he thought Hillary should run. At the time, George W. Bush was riding high in the polls and Howard Dean was looking unbeatable for the nomination. All of which would have played perfectly for Hillary.

Imagine that Howard Dean's December had come in the fall, instead. Ideological warfare, tearing the party apart, attacking the Clintons, the Democratic Leadership Council – what could have been better for Hillary? Let Howard Dean take the party to defeat, and she could've been the savior, rising from the rubble to unite the defeated Democrats. Who could deny her the nomination four years later?

Maybe that's what she was thinking when she decided not to take her husband's advice.

In retrospect, the question will not be how it was that Howard Dean fell (there are now a hundred things people will tell you they don't like about him), but how he managed to rise so high in the first place.

The barrage of stories from the new managers about how much money the old managers spent only serves to make the candidate look worse. Who wants to elect a guy who can't even manage a $40 million campaign? So no Howard Dean debacle from which Hillary can rescue the party.

Nor is Wes Clark, the candidate to whom many of the Clintonites have pinned their hopes, and even considered a stalking horse, heading anywhere but on a slow prop plane to nowhere. His son has complained bitterly about how his father has been treated, especially by the media. Nothing personal, Wes. Jr., but just because you lived in a trailer in high school does not mean your father can get into the race for president more than a year after a field of more experienced candidates and expect to be handed the whole bouquet on his first try out. I'm certain he's a fine man, but so are Joe Lieberman and Dick Gephardt.

John Kerry, on the other hand, is primed to run the race of his lifetime. The current polls that show both John Kerry and John Edwards beating the president do not, of course, tell you what will happen next November. The Democrats have been getting all the attention lately, while the president has been having a particularly bad week. Even so, the fact that the president of the United States is reduced to appearing on a Sunday talk show tells you that all is not well in the land of Karl Rove.

If John Kerry wins, Hillary can't run for president for eight more years. And then it would be the 58-year-old vice president's turn, maybe for the next eight. That makes 16. That's it.

John Kerry may not be Hillary's biggest problem. John Edwards is the real threat. He's the other half of most Democrats' dream tickets, and by any reckoning, the obvious next nominee. He is also, by any measure, much more electable that the former first lady will ever be. The comparison that she has chosen to make is not between herself and a so-called "Massachusetts liberal," but between herself and a Southern Clinton Democrat.

Bad choice for the senator from New York. Not a mistake Bill Clinton would make.

COPYRIGHT 2004 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

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He was right, as usual. Timing is everything, and she blew it. Hello Elmira, goodbye 1600 Pennsylvania. Not just for four years, but maybe forever. Blame the Johns. Only a few months ago, the former president was telling anyone who would listen, reporters included, that he...
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2004-00-07
Saturday, 07 February 2004 12:00 AM
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