Does Hillary lurk beyond impending Dem defeat?

If the Republicans win as convincingly as some predictions would indicate, if the Republicans take control of one or both houses of Congress, and if the election is read widely as a comprehensive repudiation of the Obama administration, what do you do if you are Hillary Clinton? If camp Hillary sees Obama as vulnerable in 2012 (and how couldn’t he be?), will she invoke the “nuclear option” and take him on again for the Democratic nomination?

Do political parties always guarantee their incumbent presidents a run for a second term? Not necessarily. Historical examples are evident (Lyndon Johnson, who dropped out when he knew he couldn't win), and new precedents sometime have to be set. If the Democratic establishment (still divided under the surface along the Clinton/Obama fault line) is convinced that another Obama run means the person taking the oath in January, 2013, will be a Republican (God forbid, they must be thinking, Sarah Palin!), I can see them easily jettisoning Obama and getting behind another concensus candidate. Who would be better than Hillary?

If Palin figures heavily on the GOP side (and it seems inevitable that she will), the Democrats would be wise to feature a woman. Again, who better than Hillary?

Who has a better resume by now than Hilllary? Eight years as first lady, eight years as a US Senator, followed by running a grueling campaign for the Democratic nomination (and nearly winning it), followed by two (or three?) years as US Secretary of State, during the time of two wars and many thorny international issues. No one can touch her experience. And having the portfolio of State fills in the gaps in her previous career, when she was charged with having little expertise in the international arena. This is all on top of her elite education and supposedly distinguished legal career.

Hillary (and particularly Bill) can easily appear as centrist compared to Obama's extreme leftism, and this is just what the Democrats will need to hold on to the White House (again, if the elections go as predicted today).

And she has the best of both worlds. She can say she has executive experience (State is the most pre-emininent cabinet position available), but she cannot really be tied much to Obama's domestic agenda, which has generated most of the opposition against him.

I can see two main obstacles to Hillary's running, and neither is insurmountable. One is age. She will be 65 in November 2012. But that's not very old these days, and whatever you think of Hillary, she projects a healthy air of vitality. Maybe even an older Hillary could be perceived as a wiser Hillary. And after what will be perceived as the failed experiment with youthful inexperience (Obama), America may be looking for some wrinkles and gray (or at least dyed) hair, especially in very tough times.

The other knock would be loyalty. In order to run, she has to resign from State and in no uncertain terms betray the President who gave her the platform as the most powerful cabinet position in the country (maybe the world). But Hillary can plausibly say that her loyalty is first to her country, which needs her now to pursue a more prominent leadership role, secondarily to her party, which is calling upon her to salvage their chances in the next election, and only tertiarily (if there is such a word), if at all, to Obama. Besides, disloyalty is not a big deal. This is the Clintons we are talking about, remember.

If the Democrats take a bath tomorrow, when the dust settles come early 2011, and you start to hear rumors that Hillary is preparing to resign from State for "personal reasons" or to "evaluate her future," watch out. And if she does resign with time to spare, that means she is going to divoce the Obama administration and take him on for the Democrat nomination. As a conservative watching from the sidelines, this is worth hoping for, 'cause it will be fun to watch.

Posted by Jack Romano at November 2, 2010 12:45 PM
Comment #312038

I think anybody who thinks todays vote will be a referendum on Obama should take a good look at where he is in the polls.


And what is the most important factor being raised as to why Republicans may win?

High Republican turnout, coupled with many Democrats supposedly staying home.

If Obama was registering somewhere in the thirties, there’s a ghost of a chance that Obama could be challenged.

But here’s what I think will happen. If the Republicans win, they treat it as a validation of their politics, which means they kick the **** out of the system and disrupt things like benefits. They try to replicate the success of 1994, forgetting the failure of 1996 and 1998.

Democrats make gains in the next election, as they elevate their political fortunes. Democrats who hate the insanity of the conservative are fired up, motivated to go to the polls, while Republicans get held accountable, self-destructively, by Tea Partiers who can’t handle the fact that compromise is essential in politics.

That will be fun to watch. You can get people emotionally keyed up for one campaign, but without serious policy initiative, what’s their to rally behind?

Just more hatred of the Democrats. And how long can people stand that level of bile before they tire of it?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 2, 2010 1:52 PM
Comment #312044

Stephen, I’ll give you credit for one thing; you will continue to live in a fantacy world until the results are in the newspapers on Wednesday morning.

“I think anybody who thinks todays vote will be a referendum on Obama should take a good look at where he is in the polls.”

Stephen, do you just pull this stuff out of your, well you know.

Let’s try a real fact, “52% Say Election Is Referendum on Obama‚Äôs Agenda”

I will even include the link:

Posted by: TomT at November 2, 2010 2:27 PM
Comment #312047

If Hillary resigns, as Sec. of State, this coming year, she will run against Obama. Bill Clinton has not really done anything to help Obama, even though he has campaigned for Democrats.

I am a conservative and I would vote against any liberal Democrat, but I believe Hillary would have done a much better job than Obama. Hillary is a leftist liberal and her idealogy is the same as Obama’s, with the same goals, but Hillary would have done a much better job at reaching the goals. She would be like Bill and work with whoever she had to work with. Obama on the other hand is arrogant and will not work with anyone. It is his way or no way at all.

Hillary is 9000 miles away and that is just were she wants to be. This is the day of the death of the democratic party. It was Bill Clinton who advised the congressional dems to vote FOR obamacare and that it would get them re-elected. But this loss will be blamed on Obama and not Bill Clinton.

Posted by: Bill at November 2, 2010 2:42 PM
Comment #312049

Mr. Daugherty wrote; “I think anybody who thinks todays vote will be a referendum on Obama should take a good look at where he is in the polls.”

Unless I am hearing imaginary things in radio replays, obama himself said something to the effect that this election is a referendum on his policies.

C&J I enjoyed reading your insight on Hillary running for Prez in 2012.

I am a conservative and if the Republicans put up a candidate even remotely resembling McCain I will vote for Hillary myself. Too bad she didn’t win the Dem nomination in 2008. I beleive our country would be in much better shape had she won instead of obama.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 2, 2010 2:48 PM
Comment #312054

Royal Flush:

“I am a conservative and if the Republicans put up a candidate even remotely resembling McCain I will vote for Hillary myself.”

I agree with you Royal, and I agree with you and Bill, She would have been a much better president. She may have won the nomination in 2008, if it had not been for the same Chicago machine that put JFK in office. I think the nomination was stolen from her.

I also agree with your assessment of what this election is about. I am hearing poll after poll and news channel after news channel say this election is about Obama’s, Pelosi’s, and Reid’s leadership.

Posted by: TomT at November 2, 2010 3:02 PM
Comment #312063
Obama on the other hand is arrogant and will not work with anyone. It is his way or no way at all.
Completely untrue. For example huge concessions on health care that upset the left. Republicans would not go along with his proposals even when he was championing something they originally started. Did we watch the same last two years - were there Republicans extending a hand to Obama? Posted by: Schwamp at November 2, 2010 4:10 PM
Comment #312067


“Huge concessions on healthcare”? What are you smoking? The republicans were left out of the process altogether. In case you forget, it was a party line vote. Want to provide me with a link proving Obama tried to work with the republicans.

It was Obama’s goal to pass this crap and as a result, it was Obama’s job to “Extend” a hand to them, if he wanted their support.

Posted by: Bill at November 2, 2010 4:23 PM
Comment #312076


This is Jack Romano’s post, not one of ours.


People like Obama as a person but they dislike his policies. Personal popularity is maybe too important in politics, but this election may show that it is not enough.

This is a referendum on Obama. Neither of us knows at this writing whether or not he will be found wanting.

Posted by: C&J at November 2, 2010 4:58 PM
Comment #312078

Bill, you have not done your homework, therefore your comment is IGNORANT of the fact that hundreds of Republican amendments were adopted during the committee mark-up process.

How the hell do you think the bill got so voluminous?

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 2, 2010 5:01 PM
Comment #312081

C&J, and like every moderate centrist president, Obama’s policy approval rating is brought down by far left of center Democrats who don’t think he went far enough. I suspect that if you remove from the poll those who are Democrat voters, Obama’s policy approval ratings would be about where his likability ratings are, 46%, which is quite high for a president in his second year, especially in an economically challenged period.

Contrary to the Right’s sophistry, Obama has been a centrist in his policy positions. To be far left, he would have had to withdraw completely from Iraq and Afghanistan, close down Guantanamo, push for single payer universal health coverage for all and shut down for profit health insurers, bring the banks directly under government management, and place auto manufacturing under direct government management. He did none of these things and never entertained the notion of them, much to the chagrin of those on the far Left of his party’s supporters, and Right wing nut jobs who see him as having done all these things.

But, compared to the economic abyss that was avoided and the structural impediments to GDP growth, all those things pale in comparison to what voters are mainly concerned about, the economic recovery and the security of their economic future. It truly is the TV and internet age where we want what we want and we want it yesterday to win our approval. That is a political reality so deeply embedded into our culture today, that we take it for granted. Of course, our government and Constitution were not designed for such a culture - quite the opposite, in fact.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 2, 2010 5:13 PM
Comment #312089


“How the hell do you think the bill got so voluminous?”

It sure was not from quality leadership. It grew in size becasue of irresponsibility and a lust for power. Pure and simple.

Posted by: Larry at November 2, 2010 5:43 PM
Comment #312095

So, let me get this straight; Obama’s poll numbers are down because the far left brought them down? It doesn’t have anything to do with his aganda? Talk about an ignorant statement.

Posted by: Bill at November 2, 2010 5:59 PM
Comment #312097

Here is an endorsement to the democrat destruction.>;

This is from a report from the Kiplinger people. I personally don’t know where they stand politically. They are well respected by many and have been around for a long time.

Posted by: tom humes at November 2, 2010 6:06 PM
Comment #312112

Tom, thanks for the link.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 2, 2010 7:12 PM
Comment #312119


So far he has done mostly the right things in foreign policy. Maybe that is Hilary’s influence.

The problem with Obama domestically is that he wants to expand government and he and his folks seem to think that nothing good happens unless government plans it.

The Obama folks claim that things would have been worse. There is no way to check this. TARP did a necessary job and has mostly been paid back. The stimulus Obama rushed through moved some economic activity forward, but probably had not much of a net effect in the long term. I think that future historians will determine that the stimulus helped at first and then slowed the recovery, sort of like drinking a lot of coffee and then crashing later.

Posted by: C&J at November 2, 2010 7:25 PM
Comment #312151

Hillary would’ve been a much better president than Obama has turned out to be. She has real leadership skills (she knows how to build consensus, and more importantly, she knows how to utilize resources very well).

However, many voters didn’t like the Bill/Hillary dynamic duo possibility. This scared many people away.

I was skeptical of Hillary when she carpetbagged her way to the Senate via New York state. However, I’ve been impressed with her political skills. Remember, most Secretary’s of State don’t serve for whole terms, on average.

I believe there are a lot of Dems who have voter’s remorse with Obama; conversely, Hillary looks very good.

I also agree totally with Bill’s assessment of Hillary vs. Obama and Royal Flush’s assessment of McCain vs. Hillary. Politically, it is a very difficult thing to run against an incumbent in your own party. If anyone could do it, Hillary could.

I’d love to see a Hillary Clinton vs. Paul Ryan 2012 showdown! I know, it’s wishful thinking.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at November 2, 2010 9:56 PM
Comment #312155

Btw, this election IS a referendum on president Obama’s agenda and programs. Sure, many voters are dissatisfied with ALL washington establishment types (Dem or Rep), but the overwhelming issue for Obama has been his lack of focus on jobs and the economy and his intractable focus on Health Care Reform.

Most Americans don’t care about grand achievements if it doesn’t directly better their daily lives. A ‘Box’ was checked off the list for HCR and the Stimulus Bill, but people’s house’s are being foreclosed on, ‘real’ unemployment is around 17% (underemployed + those who stopped looking), and the future looks very uncertain (tax increases on Jan. 1, 2011).

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at November 2, 2010 10:06 PM
Comment #312158

I have been watching the returns on Fox News and many of the long term incumbent house democrats are loosing because of their support of HC. There can be no doubt, this election is a referendum on Obama’s agenda.

Posted by: Bill at November 2, 2010 10:19 PM
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