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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Guess Who's Running For President?

Well, it's Sunday morning, and I suppose it's time for me to write about something I rarely write about on this blog: politics. Yesterday Hillary Clinton pretty much made it official that she will seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2008. It was about the worst kept secret in Washington, and I guess I'll toss in my two cents on the subject, like everyone else seems to be doing.

But first, a disclaimer.

As many of you may know, I am Independent, and I don't identify totally either major party, and definitely not with the far-left or the far-right. I have voted for Democrats as well as for Republicans in my life, but I have never voted straight down a political ticket with either party. I don't pigeonhole myself into any major philosophy as far politics goes, and my attitude toward political candidates has always been, "show me what you got." I guess you could call me a "mugwump," an old 19th century term for someone who has their "mug" on one side of the political fence, and their "wump" on the other. (Basically it was someone who sits on that political fence.)

With that said, I don't think Clinton is any leadpipe synch to be the next president, let alone the Democratic nominee in 2008. (How big the Barack Obama Factor is will be apparent early next year.) She has legions of detractors, even within her own party. She has always been a lightning rod for controversy, and never shied away from it when she was the First Lady. Her candidacy for president will bring many more people out to vote, if just to vote against her if she gets the nod from the Democrats.

Clinton has never been my cup of tea, and I don't see myself voting for her in 2008 if she makes it to the general election. While I do admire what she has done to help the 9/11 victims and the stand she took to keep the 9/11 funding for New York here when the Feds tried to take it back, she comes with a lot of baggage.

In order for her to have ANY chance of being the 44th president of the United States, Hillary Clinton has to appeal to the most important voting bloc in presidential elections: conservative Democrats. They are the ones who decide those elections. Conservative Democrats can be anyone: white, black, Christians, Jews, Hispanics, Asians. They are basically anyone who goes to the polls and will vote for either a Democrat or a Republican, depending which one they feel speaks closer to how they feel about the country. She has to follow the blueprint that her husband followed in getting elected in 1992: appeal to the middle. If Hillary Clinton is seen as being too far to the left, she has little chance.

Of course, which Republican gets the nod from their party next year will also have a lot in saying if Clinton has much of a chance as well. John McCain had better hope the war in Iraq takes a favorable turn over the next year or he will be made out to be a continuation of George Bush and may have no chance. It will certainly be interesting if Rudy Giuliani gets it, as it will bring back memories of the Senate race from New York in 2000 that never happened because of Giuliani having to drop out because of his prostate cancer.

The presidential election of 2008 is less than 22 months away, and that is an eternity in terms of politics. So much can happen in that time, and at this point, it's anybody's guess as to who the two major party's nominees for president will be. God bless Hillary Clinton if she feels this is her time to run for the presidency.

But she better be extremely careful. Her political enemies are out there, and they are considerable. They will be out there sharpening their knives waiting for a chance to get at her. But she is a smart cookie and knows how to play the political game.

But can Hillary Clinton win? I won't make any predictions today. We'll find out down the road.

2 comments:

Suldog said...

Q:

Never a fan of hers. And I am still amazed that NY actually voted her in as their senator.

The whole thing was a page ripped from the Kennedy playbook. NY elected Robert Kennedy back in the 60's. As the Tom Lehrer joke of the time went, Massachusetts was the only state with THREE senators.

I guess if you want to move someplace and quickly be elected, NY is the place to go.

The Omnipotent Q said...

I'm still convinced that if Rudy Giuliani ran against her in 2000 for the Senate, he would have won.

Very true words, Suldog. New York State: Home of the Carpetbaggers.