Hillary’s Cretan Dilemma

December 7, 2010

With most of the Left finally realizing that the anticipated Unicorn & Rainbow Camelot is actually become The Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue, an ever-louder chorus of voices are speaking the previously unspeakable:  Obama should not run again.  Since Hillary Clinton was the logical, rational, best choice for president in 2008, only to be shoved aside by hopey-changey lemmings, eyes now inevitably turn to her as an alternative in 2012. While in Bahrain this week, The Secretary of State was asked yet again whether she intends on running for office. Her response:

“I think I will serve as secretary of state as my last public position, and then probably go back to advocacy, and probably on behalf of woman and children….”

This follows an appearance last month on Fox News, where Clinton declared,

“I am very happy doing what I’m doing, and I am not in any way interested in or pursuing anything in elective office….”

Despite the decided dodginess of Clinton’s full comments, the headlines blared that she had definitively promised never, ever to run again.  Never ever.  Stick-a-needle-in-my-eye never.  The dwindling ranks of obots rejoiced, while Hillary supporters lamented (with the exception of a subset who see Hillary as ‘tired’ and wish to protect her from further ‘abuse’.)  The Right, who’d love a scrum in the Dem primary, continue to praise Clinton … for the moment.  Chrissie O’Donnell officially has a girl-crush on Hillary.


Inscrutable

In truth, nothing at all can be gleaned from Clinton’s comments.  First, she deflected these questions in the most round-about way possible.  Second, the specific question on FOX was whether she’d run as obama’s VP.  Third, whatever Hillary’s true intentions, It was the only possible thing she could say.

Clinton is either:

a) definitely running, or;

b) undecided about running, or;

c) definitely not running.

Whichever is true, her on-the-record response would be the same.  It’s unthinkable for a cabinet member to publicly announce their intention to run against the sitting president.  To do so at this point would be fatal to her career.  However, even if Clinton were not considering a run, certain political advantages would still accrue by keeping people wondering.

Clinton has been deftly fouling off similar inquiries for two years now.  Only a political tyro (or Joe Biden) would do otherwise.  With her most recent statements, Hillary indulges us in three jalousies that we all know range from uncertain to preposterous:

1. obama will win a second nomination;

2. obama will win a second term;

3. obama loves Hillary so much he’ll bring her back as SoS.

Even Clinton’s professed love for her current job amounts to little.  Keep this in mind: If obama is the nominee in 2012, Clinton will not be SoS in 2013.  It goes without saying that a Republican president would not keep a Clinton in their Cabinet.   Were obama to somehow get reelected, Clinton is also out.  SoS is the prized plum. In ’08, obama offered it first to Kerry for his endorsement, then to Edwards for his, then to Clinton for her surrender.  In ’12, obama would dangle that plum before whoever could help him most.  If Hillary truly wants to keep her dream job at State, she needs to boost a protégé into the White House.


Reading Signs

With her public statements so unrevealing, what other signs can we parse to divine Hillary’s intentions?  Here are a few to ponder:

* During the recent mid-terms, Bill Clinton made a point of being seen campaigning for every Hillary delegate from 2008.  That simply could have been the right thing to do, but it may also have sent a message: Whose team do you want to play on? Whether that means Hillary Clinton ’12, or just the Clintonista candidate, is unclear.

* Evan Bayh has done everything — not seek reelection to his office, raise a ton of money, pull together a campaign team — that one does before running for president.  Bayh is a long-time Clintonista.   Whether his role is a “rabbit” to let Hillary enter the race later (with VP as the reward), or the actual Clinton Camp candidate, also remains to be seen.  If Bayh did not run, that would be noteworthy.

*  Why did the HRC 2008 campaign, which still exists as an entity, send an email last week asking for hefty donations to retire her campaign debt?   In return, the donor would receive a signed copy ($50 for paper, $250 for DVD) of her 2008 convention speech, in which, as the email reminds us, Hillary spoke of the “determination to keep going, often in the face of enormous obstacles.”  The timing is curious.  Is this a simple attempt to wipe out that debt by tapping into Hillary love agitated by the recent speculations?  Or is a way to take bearings of the level of support?

* A pronounced break with obama on foreign policy, followed by a resignation, would be the strongest indicator of an impending run by Clinton.  The State Dept. and White House have spatted frequently, most recently in September over Clinton’s comparison of the drug cartel situation in Mexico to that of Colombia two decades ago, but these differences have been smoothed over so far.  A bungling of a flare-up in the Korean situation, however, or the White House dragging its feet on wikileaks, would provide more than sufficient cause for Clinton to break with obama. If she does, stay tuned.


Job Satisfaction

Of course Secretary of State is a job Clinton truly enjoys — dealing with other grown-ups who respect you, making a real impact in crucial global issues, serving as the face of the United States, stand in stark contrast to the pettiness, backstabbing, and general insanity of party politics.  Hillary would no doubt enjoy being President, too.  It’s the road to the White House that’s unpalatable.  But here’s the deal:

1)  We need Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee in 2012 — she’s the only one who can run both as a Democrat and against the obama legacy.  She fought him in ’08, and by escaping the Senate, she is untainted by obama’s Superfund Site of toxic legislation.  Her unique broad-based appeal can also help win back the demographics alienated by the obamalonians;

2) We know Hillary can win the general election.  She currently owns the highest approvals of any potential candidate;

3) We know Hillary is eminently suited to fixing the dire condition of the Nation.  There may be others, but she has proven her abilities;

4) Hillary knows all this, too.

Whatever her designs, she cannot make a single move so long as obama remains the presumptive nominee.  Our first duty as true liberals is to ensure that Barry goes on permanent vacation.  Then ask Hillary the question again.


(c) 2010 by ‘tamerlane.’  All rights reserved.