Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Hillary Clinton: The Democratic Doomsday Machine

Weekly Presidential Politics - 5/2/07

Don't let the courteous Democratic debate fool you. With a Democratic Congress soon to be fragmented over the country's most hotly debated issue, the candidates for the Democratic nomination will soon follow. In time, the candidates will stop teaming up against President Bush and start attacking each other in an effort to secure the party's nomination. At the center of this will be Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton's greatest advantage will end up being her downfall. No, I don't mean her gender. No, I don't mean her husband. No, I don't mean her possible-but-unlikely tapped supply of donors. I mean that Camp Clinton, thanks to the fullest campaign war chest in the country, has the potential to be a political menace of Darth Maulian proportions. You hit the Clintons and they will hit you back faster than you can say Cascius Clay. In the past, Barack Obama and John Edwards have both been the recipient of innocuous salvoes. But how long will the Clinton campaign play nice?

Other campaigns, though they will understandably never admit fallibility until after they drop out (See Tom Vilsack), fear this perpetual potential of a counter-strike as if it were a blow from the Almighty Himself. Senator Clinton, it seems, is in possession of the Democratic Party's version of the fabled Doomsday Machine, made most famous in Dr. Strangelove and a Star Trek episode. The idea behind the Doomsday Machine is that it is a weapon so powerful that, if deployed, it threatens mutual annihilation. The purpose is to overly-intimidate your enemies so they will never open fire against you. If you followed this questionable metaphor, you’d see that she has the potential to sink the Democrats chances in November. So do the rest of the candidates risk attacking her?

If they want to win, I think they have to. She'll be the frontrunner until someone takes her down OR until she takes herself down, and the latter cannot be counted on. We will see a handful of candidates make hay of her war stance, specifically her reputation, earned or not, of straddling the fence and blowing with the political wind. However, any shots taken at Mrs. Clinton will be reciprocated, and trust me, it won't be a proportional response.

The outcome? Hillary Clinton is going to make enemies this election cycle. There is a very strong chance this will come back to haunt her in the first couple months of primary season. To disgruntle her Democrat rivals might mean that, come Super Tuesday and beyond, some voters will consider her their top choice... with the rest not even having her in their top three. She won't get endorsements from other ex-candidates unless her nomination is sewn up. Therefore, any of the other candidates that can position themselves as everyone's second choice will have a decent chance of winning more delegates to the convention (read: winning the primary and becoming the nominee).

Last week, I guaranteed John McCain would win the Republican nomination. This week, I'm here to tell you, the Democratic nomination is up for grabs.


Connecticut Man 1 said...

Her biggest attackers will not likely be the other candidates. It will more likely come from the left Blogosphere. Therein lies her biggest problem.Obama's too. (Heck! All of the candidates...)

All the money in the world can't help them in smears that might come from unknowns with no personal candidacy at stake. And all the while neither of those two, in particular, have really made any noise about issues that the left (and the far left, especially) care about.

If I were a betting man (I am not! lol) I would put high odds on the Blogosphere having even more effect on primaries, while countering the effect of War Chests to a good degree this time around.

Lamont and a few other candidates were just the first step in combining Blogging and activism effectively.

Whoever wins in this big battle will have a very rough ride getting there. Same goes for both the Dems and the Pubs.

IC said...

"All the money in the world can't help them in smears that might come from unknowns with no personal candidacy at stake."

What we have there is an allegory to the war on terror!

Long Islander said...

It's not just the Blogosphere and Democratic netizens who are deeply dissatisfied with Hillary Clinton-- it's rank and file Democrats. At a local Dem fundraiser I went to a couple weeks ago, filled with career Democrats, there was nothing but fury and invective for Hillary Clinton's candidacy. The frustration was the kind of thing you hear from people who've been betrayed.

And the Democrats have indeed been betrayed by Hillary on multiple fronts-- on the Iraq War, on labor issues, on bankruptcy protections, on free speech and a host of other issues.

In an informal straw poll of that group at the local fundraiser, about half stated unequivocally that they wouldn't be voting for Hillary at all-- even if that meant Rudy Giuliani winning the general election. (They could tolerate Rudy I guess, esp with a Democratic Congress to keep things in check.)

These are horrid numbers and it reaffirms what most of us have long recognized-- Hillary is not only unelectable, she is appalling and offensive to the rank and file of her own party. Even more than Iraq, I feel like Hillary's corporate a**-kissing and corollary attacks on workers' rights is totally infuriating her base, to the advantage of John Edwards and especially Barack Obama.

Who cares about her "war chest." First of all, she frittered a ridiculous portion of that away in her Senate bid-- and still wound up getting a smaller margin of votes, against an unknown GOP candidate, than Eliot Spitzer did in his gubernatorial bid. Second, in big elections like this, all sides will have big enough war chests to hit each other, and they'll do that regardless of the exact numbers. Hillary should not be our candidate for 2008, not by any stretch.

Anonymous said...

Although I'm inclined to vote for a Democrat for president in 2008, I will NOT under any circumstances vote for Hillary Clinton !!!! No way !!!! If the Dems nominate her they'll one more time be blowing their chance to win the White House from the religious-right dominated Republicans. Bush is a disaster to this great country, and I truely believe Hillary would be as well !!!! AND ARE WE ONLY PASSING THE PRESEIDENCY OF THIS COUNTRY BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN 2 MEDIOCRE FAMILIES WHEN THERE ARE SCORES OF TALENTED FOLKS WITHIN OUR MIDST???? What a tragedy for the U.S. of A.!!!!!