Put-off progressives and dismayed Democrats are saying “I told you so” about Hillary vs. Barack as POTUS, but they are simply projecting their own fantasies and discouragement on someone who would have likely charted a similar course as Obama has.
In 2006, I was covering a meeting of the now defunct Democratic Leadership Council. Some of the potential presidential candidates were in attendance, Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, Governors Mark Warner of Virginia and Tom Vilsack of Iowa and the hands-down, prohibitive favorite, New York Senator Hillary Clinton.
You could tell Clinton was the rock star in the room. She was the only one the mayor showed up to see and as the former First Lady, the only one with Secret Service protection.
It’s worth remembering that the DLC was a centrist, corporatist, non-progressive group of Democrats. Barack Obama shared a lot of their beliefs, but he wasn’t a member of the DLC, Hillary Clinton was.
Speculating whether Clinton would have fared better as president than Obama is a parlor game that keeps thumb-sucking liberals suffering from buyer’s remorse and hardcore Clintonistas sleeping soundly at night. “If only,” they wonder wistfully, secure and comforted if John Boehner and the Fox News crew were pulling this sort of crap on Hillary, she’d man up like Obama won’t and kick ‘em where it counts.
That’s the beautiful thing about a fantasy. Things always play out exactly the way you want and there’s always a happy ending.
Truth be told, nobody knows if Clinton would have been able to finagle a better debt ceiling deal than the one Obama settled for. Regardless of which genitalia the 44th President possessed their best-laid plans for post-Bush America would have immediately been sidetracked by the economic mess their predecessor left for them to clean up. Obama’s presidency was largely sabotaged from the jump by Bush’s incompetence.. The “What If Hillary Had Won” crowd tends to overlook details like that.
Something the revisionists forget is just how deep hatred for the Clintons runs. The far right learned to loathe Obama. They already knew how much they despised Hillary. If Hillary had won it’s unlikely she wouldn’t have been targeted for the same sort of pummeling Obama has received from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Fox News and the Republicans. Obama reaped the scorn that had been sown against the Clintons. The difference would be the anger, disrespect and vitriol directed at a President Clinton would be driven by sexism, not racism.
What’s a tougher nut to crack? Bigotry based upon race or gender? Whatever advantages Hillary being White might afford her, they are mitigated by being a woman. Obama catches hell based upon his skin color, but it’s difficult to claim that is a lower hurdle to clear than the misogyny women in positions of power meet.
Clinton would have been spared the pointless distraction of the Birthers nonsense, but all the drama leftover from Bill Clinton’s time in Washington would have been directed at her.
I still don’t believe a job swap between Clinton and Joe Biden is beyond the realm of possibility. In a tight race where it looks disappointed Democrats aren’t motivated to turn out, an Obama/Clinton ticket would be jet fuel to the president’s reelection hopes.
Hillary denies any interest in serving as Obama’s vice-president. She says even if he wins in 2012, she’s done as Secretary of State. Obama says he loves Biden and he’s not dropping him from the ticket. Blah, blah, blah. Yeah, and that’s raindrops falling’ on my head, right?
Whenever an ambitious politician says, “No,” they really mean, “Maybe” and when they say “there’s no chance” that only means nobody’s made an offer they can’t refuse. If Obama comes to Clinton and shows her a path to the Oval Office, do you really think she will tell him to get lost?
Methinks the lady doth protest too much, Hillary Clinton still wants to be president. Compared to morons like Michelle Bachmann, there’s no questioning her qualifications for the job. Looking down the road at 2016 and whom the Democrats have on their bench and the first name starts with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and drops off sharply after that. If she’s willing and able, Hillary would be a stone-cold lock to lead the party against the Republicans.
Hillary’s biggest problem last time was people were just plain tired of the Clintons. The prospect of going in consecutive presidencies from Bush to Clinton to Bush back to Clinton again was not an appealing one for Democrats looking for someone new and fresh to come along. Someone like Barack Obama.
Well, now that we’ve tried new and fresh and hope and change, could it be time to go back something seasoned and familiar? It’s been speculated Karl Rove is down on Rick Perry because he’s willing to let Obama have his second term if it means Jeb Bush has a clear run at the White House in 2016.
Why not set up a Clinton vs. Bush grudge match where the favored son takes on the wife of the guy who made his daddy a one-term president?
It isn’t likely Clinton and Obama form a Dream Ticket (and a Republican nightmare), but it isn’t like it couldn’t happen either. Differences can be smoothed over when a good deal presents itself. Marriages for the sake of political convenience and expediency are always possible, even if implausible.
- Hillary Would Have Done Better? It’s a Silly ‘Fairy Tale’ (newser.com)
- Hillary in 2012? (junkscience.com)
- Ed Rendell: “It’s Going To Be Hillary Clinton In 2016″ (alan.com)