4th in an occaisional series
Part I: Al Gore for President -- 2008
Part II: John Kerry for President -- 2008
Part III: John Edwards for President -- 2008
In 2006, Hillary Clinton will run for re-election for the US Senate with an eye towards the 2008 presidential election.
In 1998, George W. Bush ran for re-election as Texas Governor with an eye towards the 2000 presidential election.
In 2004, Hillary Clinton was quickly mentioned as an early front-runner for the 2008 presidential nomination soon after George W. Bush won his 2nd term as president.
In 1996, George W. Bush was quickly mentioned as an early front-runner for the 2000 presidential nomination soon after Bill Clinton won his 2nd term as president.
By 2008, Hillary Clinton will have served 1 full term as US Senator, her 1st elected office.
By 2000, George W. Bush had served 1 full term as Texas Governor, his 1st elected office.
And of course, there is the "dynasty" factor. And the sequence of Bush-Clinton-Bush-...Clinton?
OK, I am scaring myself. And I have probably just scared you. So onto the rest of my diary.
Hillary Clinton has emerged as an early frontrunner for the 2008 presidential nomination in the eyes of many. In 2004, she even led "primary" polls even though she wasn't even a candidate.
With this in mind, I figured it would be interesting to evaluate the pros and cons of a Hillary run in 2008:
1. Bill Clinton. Yes, the name can be polarizing, but it is also what gives Hillary a lot of notoriety. Name recognition does matter. Just ask George W. Bush. Also, Bill is a master campaigner who can lend guidance in this area. In addition, his old advisers will be involved in the campaign, and they have a great track record (not by accident, I might add). Finally, Bill was a 2-term President. In Democratic circles, he would definitely THE guy you would want on your side.
2. She has been a popular, solid US Senator, considering that she in her 1st term. Don't get me wrong, she's no Ted Kennedy. But she doesn't need to be.
3. She's used to the right-wing noise machine, unlike Kerry in 2004, and will be able to deal with the personal attacks accordingly.
4. She's tough, and won't be intimidated.
5. The Republicans always overreached with Bill Clinton and became even more irrational than usual. This could repeat itself with Hillary.
1. She can be a polarizing figure to many people. This may cause her to lose votes that another Democrat may get, and inspire Republicans to get more involved.
2. Experience is an issue. She is still just a 1st Term US Senator from New York.
3. The "dynasty" factor. Let's face it. If her husband wasn't Bill Clinton, Hillary wouldn't even be in this position. Don't get me wrong, she's a smart, accomplished woman. But a lot of people, me included, are uncomfortable with the idea of political dynasties (see the negative effects of the Bushies). We shouldn't have royalty. We should have a president. And merit should be what matters.
Hillary's pros and cons are pretty well-established at this point. Experience is still her biggest hurdle, though name recognition will offset this. As for how people feel about her, I don't think that this will be a factor. Her pros and cons in this area cancel each other out.
There seems to be a line of thought that Hillary will definitely run in 2008. I think it is becoming more likely, but I won't call it a slam dunk. She still has a US Senate race in 2006, and she needs to have a resounding victory. George W. Bush won about 65% of the vote in his re-election for governor against Garry Mauro. This was the 1st major step towards his presidential run, and from that point, everybody knew for sure that he would be formidable. I can't give a specific percentage that Hillary needs to get in 2006, but let me put this way. The 2006 campaign needs to be little more than a formality in the same way that Bush's victory in 1998 was. After 2006, we will really know where Hillary stands in the presidential race.
Also, the Clintons have very good political instincts. Hillary isn't going to run just for ego. She will only run if she thinks that she can win. Remember, Bill Clinton considered running in 1988. He chose to wait until 1992. And it paid off handsomely.
In the end, I hope that if Hillary wins the nomination, it will be because Democrats thought that she was the BEST candidate, not the MOST ELECTABLE candidate. The "whys" of a vote do matter.