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Byron gets it right

Regarding last night’s speeches, I think Byron nails this:

The only way that Hillary will win the Democratic nomination in 2008 will be if Democrats across the country are fully convinced that she did everything in her power to get Kerry / Edwards elected in 2004.

Yep. Anyone who is perceived to have been working at cross-purposes to the objective of winning the Presidency this year is going to be reviled by the base. Look at how much scorn there is for Joe Lieberman (and to a lesser extent Al Gore) for not fighting harder during the Florida recount. People are going to be keeping score this time around. There will be plenty of time later to advance one’s own agenda after Bush is back in Crawford.

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  1. Greg Wythe says:

    I’m not as convinced here. What did John Kerry do to help Gore out in 2000? What did Bill Clinton do for Dukakis in 1988? (well, save for that crappy intro speech in Atlanta!) The lesson seems to be such that if one wants to have a decent shot at an open race, lay low.

  2. kevin whited says:

    What dream world is Byron inhabiting?

    Hillary has raised and will raise more money for Dem candidates across the board than Kerry/Edwards combined.

    If anything, people — or at least Dems who are running for offices and who have a chance to win — had better figure out that it’s Hillary they need to keep happy. Indeed, they have figured that out, even if some bloggers haven’t.

    She’ll be calling in those favors in 2008. And you can bet she’ll be well received.

  3. Greg – The point is, does anyone think that Kerry failed to help Al Gore because he was hoping to run in 2004? I rather doubt that.

    Kevin – Sure, Hillary raises a lot of money, but if you think she’s the only one, or even the biggest one, then I think you’re the one in the dream world.

  4. Oberon says:

    Are liberals now considering Hillary’s prospects in 2008? I thought only right-wingers thought Hillary wants to president.

    Hillary is the Newt Gingrich of the Dems — highly popular with the base, highly unpopular with everyone else. And she knows it.

  5. For the record, the only prospect I’m currently considering for 2008 is Kerry’s reelection. If that ain’t happening, I don’t want to think about it right now.

    Besides, as I forgot to say to Kevin earlier, I thought Republicans believe that Hillary will get bounced by NY voters in 2006.

  6. sarah says:

    I’m counting on a Kerry re-election bid in 2008 as well…

    IMHO, Hillary can raise all the money she wants but she isn’t going to be president anytime soon unless our political climate shifts dramatically. The Right has been far too successful in demonizing her and Americans love to hate powerful women (Martha Stewart, anyone?).

    I think even liberals are resistant to the increasing trend of family political dynasties. GW’s failures will no doubt be used to discredit Hillary as just another candidate who wants to be president to clean up unfinished family business.

    Besides, can’t you just imagine the likely rift in the Democratic Party between Hillary supporters and Deaniacs? Don’t forget about the bad blood between Dean and the DLC earlier this election cycle – things would only get worse. Thank God our prospects for this fall look good.

  7. Mathwiz says:

    As for Hillary ’08, God, I hope not. First, it would mean that Kerry had lost and we had to endure another Bush term.

    Second, I just don’t see Hillary starting to reverse the damage eight years of Bush would do: end the wars and the draft; release the “unlawful combatants” Shrub’s Supreme Court appointments would approve holding without trial; repeal the “PATRIOT” Act and its successors; reinstate reasonable taxes on huge incomes, capital gains, and inheritances; begin to restore the environment; repair the damage to the social safety net, including Social Security and Medicare; and rein in big pharma, big media, etc.

    I know she’s popular with the base, but I think too many of us have fallen into the trap of believing the Right’s propaganda about her. Despite their hatred for her, she’s really not all that liberal. And she exhibits a nasty anti-civil-liberties streak on occasion.

    Hillary would probably be a good successor to Kerry in ’12, but if we’ve had eight years of the Shrub, we’ll need someone willing to do more than just stop making things worse. Although anyone will be an improvement over Bush, I think we can do better than Hillary.

    Of course, if Bush wins, Hillary will have plenty of time and opportunity to convince me I’m wrong.

  8. Chris says:

    Byron is so dead wrong on this.

    I don’t even care to explain what’s wrong with believing that Democrats OR Republicans can remember or even begin to care about who helped who four years ago.

    If John Kerry becomes the next Bob Dole – he will fade away into obscurity. Liberals will quickly rush to put every thought of 2004 far from their minds.

    These days, Americans don’t vote for a President on anything close to resembling a platform, much less any “what have you done for the party lately?” shtick.

    Americans vote for President based on who they think will win. No one wants to vote for a loser. That is why Al Gore was not pressured into running this year. The man freakin’ won the popular vote in 2000! But he ultimately LOST.

    I firmly believe this principle is why we see such a tight race this year. Even the media can’t declare with certainty who will win the electoral college.

    This principle is why Dean crashed spectacularly down to earth from his artifical heights, and Kerry emerged as the ho-hum victor. When push came to shove, Democrats realized that Dean was unelectable… that he could never WIN. No liberal was on fire for John F. Kerry back in December, 2003. The #1 liberal in the Senate, and he was not the odds-on favorite to secure the nomination. The Reverend Al was getting more airtime, for criminy’s sake.

    Americans are just baiting their breath for the first big, prime-time screwup from either Bush or Kerry. I firmly believe that Bush has WAY too much ammo against Kerry, and that ol’ Flip-Flop has backed himself into a corner by hyping his Vietnam record. John O’Neill will get some major mentions in the next three months.

    And what about Hillary? She has not to lift a finger as long as she can keep raising cash. She has only to stand smilingly beside her “husband”, continue to enjoy her fame because of his philandering, and LAY LOW. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we didn’t hear Peep 1 out of her from now until November.

    In 2008, all she will have to do is remind liberals that her husband was Bill Clinton – cigar afficianado. And they will love her for it.

    Then they’ll have to decide if she can win…

  9. Patrick says:


    What in the hell are you talking about?

    I just don’t see Hillary starting to reverse the damage eight years of Bush would do: end the wars and the draft;

    The draft? Since when have we have started drafting people? And BTW, the major proponents for reinstating the draft have been Dems.

    release the “unlawful combatants” Shrub’s Supreme Court appointments would approve holding without trial;

    And just how many Supreme Court justices has W appointed?

    I know it is an election year and the rhetoric and hyperbole gets cranked into high gear, but please can we keep the discourse respectful and intellectually honest?

    Additionally I will point out that your post is a prime example of what most of the latest polling data has been saying…people aren’t for Kerry as much as they are against Bush. That is enough of a motivation for the party base, but the swing voters toward the middle…like me…need more. We don’t want to be “pushed” away from a candidate, we want to be “pulled” to one.

    The campaign that cracks that nut wins, IMO.

  10. Beldar says:

    Look at how much scorn there is for Joe Lieberman (and to a lesser extent Al Gore) for not fighting harder during the Florida recount.

    Gore should have fought harder in the Florida recount? Smarter, maybe — asking for a recount statewide — but that’s purely a hindsight call. But how could he have fought any harder? What did I miss?

  11. Byron L says:

    Of course, I’m planning on working to reelecting Kerry/Edwards in 2008 as well. However, should the unthinkable happen, I think Hillary would likely run in 2008. Kerry endorsed Gore earlier in the 2000 primary, and worked hard for the ticket to be among the final three choices for VP. Bill Clinton was hardly considered a serious presidential candidate in 1988 in my opinion.

    The fact of the matter is that should Kerry lose, there is an obvious choice among many in the base (unlike the 1992 or 2004 primaries).

    Kevin says I’m in dreamworld? Hillary raised $40 Million when her husband was the sitting president. Kerry / Edwards have raised $200 Million as challengers to a sitting president. The fact is that if Hillary does anything to lead anyone in the base to believe that she is not totally behing Kerry, then should Kerry for some reason lose, Hillary will have much difficulty winning the 2008 Dem. nomination.

    And for the record, I doubt that I would be inclined to support Hillary in an open primary in 2008 should the possibility present itself.