Friday, February 07, 2003

Tapped Repeats the Same Mistake, Expects Different Result

This is their advice to Hillary:
DON'T RUN, HILLARY. For months, Tapped has watched, with some amusement, conservatives feverishly speculate about Hillary Clinton running for president. For us, the booming market in Hillary-gossip perfectly illustrates the way extra-chromosome righties have become practically co-dependent on the Clintons. (See this speculative article in the New York Post.) A Clinton run would confirm everything the right believes about Bill & Hill -- their lust for power, their narcissism, etc. -- while providing direct-mail copy for years to come. But it won't -- or at least shouldn't -- happen, because a Clinton run would be such a bad strategic idea. You'd be starting off campaign season with no chance of winning at least 40 percent of the country, period. You'd send every conservative footsoldier to the barricades. It would be lunacy. Even Hillary must know that. Right? Now we're not so sure. Tapped recently asked a friend well-connected in Clintonland whether a Hillary candidacy in '04 or '08 was within the realm of possibility. He said, basically, that the senior Clinton alums who are close to Hillary talk about it all the time. Bad news for the Democrats.
Why is it that so many on the left willingly submit their political choices to the GOP Sub-Committee For Approving Only Milquetoast Opponents? Why is it that they are so willing to let the Republicans get the first crack at determining the Democratic electoral strategy? The simple truth of the matter is that there is no Democrat alive today (or dead for that matter) that the Democrats could pick that would not be subject to the exact same smear campaign that would come with a Hillary candidacy. Didn't the people at Tapped learn anything from the 2000 election? Gore made the mistake of thinking that he would be treated differently because he wasn't Bill Clinton. Tapped makes the mistake of thinking that Democrats will do better if they have someone who isn't a Clinton or a Gore. Wrong wrong wrong. The Democrats should be specifically looking for the kinds of candidates that are most guaranteed to upset the Republicans. Why? Because it indicates that they think those candidates have a chance of beating Dubya. Consider this: Hillary is a known quantity. They can't really dig up any more on here then they already have. Furthermore, Hillary knows what it means to be the focus of a GOP smear campaign. Thus she is not as likely to be thrown for a loop when it inevitably comes. Finally, remember that one factor that went into Dubya's support in 2000 was the idea that people could "correct" for their "mistake" in electing Bill Clinton back in 1992. Well, wouldn't electing Hillary do much the same thing? I would say she is the 2nd most ideal candidate for the Democrats, after Al Gore. Democrats have got to stop running scared of the Republicans going "boo!" Indeed, they should relish the prospect.


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