Hillary Clinton’s Future: Senate Majority Leader?

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Hillary Clinton Senate.jpg
At 9:56 pm Thursday night, Clinton Campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson sent out this statement about Hillary’s concluding, cheer-generating comments at the UT Austin debate:

What we saw in the final moments in that debate is why Hillary Clinton is the next President of the United States. Her strength, her life experience, her compassion. She’s tested and ready. It was the moment she retook the reins of this race and showed women and men why she is the best choice.

Sitting with other senior stakeholders in Hillaryland, I heard Hillary essentially concede to Obama — and in a magnanimous, gracious way. Many with me that night agreed.
I happen to think that Barack Obama should offer Hillary the Vice President slot. His “win” that seems to be in the making is impressive — but not definitive, and there are substantial parts of the Democratic party that are still clinging to the Clinton franchise.
If Obama can acquire the Clinton infrastructure and consolidate it with the Kennedy franchise and then fasten in the many newcomers to his “movement”, he’d then be creating something quite new and different — and sustainable.
Some of Obama’s supporters can’t imagine a ticket with both of them on it — but the reality of American politics is that power is built through amassing building blocks of influence. The Kennedy franchise is second only to the Clinton’s in its structural resilience. Obama was given the keys to the many thousands who owe the Kennedy machine for the jobs, favors, policy work, and the like that the Kennedys have disbursed over decades.
With all due respect to the currents that are fueling Obama’s primary victory, his supporters are not part of a well-organized franchise and their engagement and involvement may only seem deep but are really just a function the moment. As Howard Fineman wrote recently, Hillary Clinton is running against Obama’s “wind”. Sounds good in one sense — but in another, winds die down.
Obama would be a fool to not jump at the opportunity to build-in the Clinton’s followers into his political superstructure.
But even if Hillary Clinton is not offered the Vice Presidential slot, she will be a major force in American politics — and rumors are afoot that “her friends” are paving the way for her to ascend to Senate Majority Leader. Some tried to engineer this before her decision to run. Now they are at it again.
And to some degree, I am hearing from senior Democrats that this move would be welcomed by most in the party — by just about everyone except the John Bolton-hugging Chuck Schumer, who wants the Majority Leader position himself. But in a contest, Clinton would beat Schumer.
Durbin also wants the job and is close to Barack Obama, but Obama needs Clinton’s support and cooperation if he takes the nomination and eventually the White House — and that can only happen if he puts her on his ticket as VP or helps engineer her move to Senate Majority Leader.
For those who think that there may yet be a surprise in Ohio and Texas and that Hillary’s moving final comments in the debates will pull off another New Hampsire-like outcome, all I can say is that The Washington Note has learned that a senior Clinton campaign adviser — not on the political side — is already out looking for a job.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

53 comments on “Hillary Clinton’s Future: Senate Majority Leader?

  1. CheckingIn says:

    “…Durbin also wants the job and is close to Barack Obama, but Obama needs Clinton’s support and cooperation if he takes the nomination and eventually the White House — and that can only happen if he puts her on his ticket as VP or helps engineer her move to Senate Majority Leader…”
    If you say this woman has so much POWER? Then WERE WAS THIS POWER for all the filibusters we needed, for the outcry with Alto and Roberts where her gals e.g. CANTWELL gladly did the bidding of the DLC… it is truly a sad state of affairs within the Democratic Party that will owe anything to this carpetbagger… truly said

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  2. bill says:

    the best reason for Obama not to ask Hillary to be vice prez is Bill…think about it…how seriously he has had a negatice impact on her campaign…a loose cannon… Obama’s message is about CHANGE….Hillary will have a place somewhere…Supreme Court is a good idea I think, but I cringe to imagine what those confirmation hearings will be like…

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  3. Kathleen says:

    On the subject of surprises….I think another war is what’s in store…
    By D. PARVAZ, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
    Hey. Stop clicking on those nudie Lindsay Lohan photos and quit daydreaming about how you’re going to spend your tax rebate.
    Your country could be on the brink of yet another war.
    Don’t want to hear that? I don’t blame you. After years of hearing about the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and all their peripheral scandals — Gitmo, waterboarding, extraordinary rendition, Blackwater USA, etc.), it’s hard work to keep paying attention when going numb takes so little effort.
    The International Atomic Energy Agency’s report on Iran’s nuclear program was released Friday, with President Bush on the edge of his saddle awaiting the verdict (which, for the record, remains unclear). I’m not saying Bush will let the facts get in the way of starting a war — sure didn’t seem to hinder him with Iraq, which, like Iran, is cursed with being oil-rich — but the rest of us can’t sleepwalk through this. Anyone who thinks that the remaining months of his presidency don’t leave Bush enough time to do more damage to U.S.-Iran relations is wrong.
    For starters, Gregory Schulte, our delegate to the IAEA, has demanded that Iran confess to its past nuclear weapons program, a move The Associated Press reports would “set the bar insurmountably high for the investigation” for IAEA director general Mohamed ElBaradei. Iran denies having a nuclear weapons program, insisting its nuclear program is for energy alone. The IAEA report indicates that while doubts remain about the nature of Iran’s nuclear program, the country’s government has been more transparent about it. This doesn’t entirely negate the December National Intelligence Report (which stated that Iran halted a nuclear weapons program years ago). Regardless, hinging future negotiations on an admission of a past (or present) weapons program seems obtuse.
    We can hardly demand such bald-faced honesty from others when we’re hip-deep in the fiction we created to invade Iraq.
    The Bush administration finally agreed to hand over what it calls “intelligence” gleaned from a laptop smuggled out of Iran to the IAEA. (Forgive the skepticism — still having yellowcake flashbacks, which aren’t nearly as fun as they sound). At any rate. The U.S. had previously refused to share said info with the IAEA because, as John Bolton, our former ambassador to the U.N., put it, the Bush administration didn’t figure it would do any good, given ElBaradei’s track record.
    Which track record would that be, exactly? Oh yes. The one where ElBaradei called us out on our bogus reasons for a pre-emptive war with Iraq? That one? The one for which our government tried to discredit him and worked to prevent him from reappointment to the U.N. body? Ah yes. That track record.
    Three experts visiting Seattle last week were here, in part, to urge the media to keep the focus on the administration’s dealings with Iran. Retired Brig. Gen. John H. Johns, Iran policy analyst Carah Ong and Stephen Kinzer, author of “All the Shah’s Men,” each outlined their concerns with regard to the matter. They looked worried.
    “The prospect of an American military attack on Iran in the next 11 months is real,” said Kinzer, who added that such an outcome “would undermine the security of the United States.” Johns explained that Iran wouldn’t be invaded, as Iraq was; that it would be a matter of air attacks, bombing hundreds of targets with “surgical precision.” I thought of the densely populated cities, clusters of villages and centuries-old monuments I’d visited there in 2006, much of which would be wiped out. Yes, sometimes “surgical precision” is a relative term.
    Ong, who works for the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, rightly felt that bilateral, unconditional negotiations with Iran would yield results. Things being what they are (absurd), that won’t happen under Bush’s watch. This isn’t the case because he’s not capable of peaceful, diplomatic relations. It’s so because he’s just not interested in negotiating with Iran. How about the
    Ask the House Judiciary Committee staff to start Cheney impeachment hearings at 202-225-3951.

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  4. Kathleen says:

    judyo… that’s it in a nutshell…, I don’t think we’ll have another election…I can’t see Das Bush giving up power,,, don’t forget he said it would be a lot easier if this were a dictatorship, especially if he were a dictator… this was before his inauguration…. and then immediately after he mouthed his oath of office, he sent a memo to Louis Frey,FBI, ordering him to lighten up on Bin Laden..and that’s what they did.
    So go figure…

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  5. Ray says:

    Ok…it looks as though Barack will be the nominee barring some monumental collapse. Steve, you wrote about how you think he should eventually offer the VP slot to her. I don’t think he should. Many, yes many, do think it is a dream team ticket, but I don’t see it. I don’t think that Hillary would take it, because she will need to position herself for a possible 2012 run and who knows…she may not run if she becomes majority leader in the Senate…that position would be rather powerful. We can only hope that Barack would not encounter obstructionist actions from his own party with Hillary in the Senate leadership position. I think Obama needs a strong person to fill the VP slot…I would say Bill Richardson for his diplomatic skills, but something tells me he will go with someone who has a connection to the military. Personally, I would like to see VA jr. Sen. Jim Webb. He’s very open and very astute to the defense aspects and that will be a plus when running in November against McCain. Webb has gained popularity very quickly and I think he has the background needed for the position. I’ve also seen the name of former Gen. Anthony Zinni floated. The VP slot will be interesting, but I don’t think Hillary would be the right choice…all that Obama has campaigned on using the change idea wouldn’t make a lot of sense in bringing the Clintons on board…and quite frankly…I think they’d see it as beneath them to serve in that capacity.

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  6. Mr.Murder says:

    “I urge my Democratic friends to vote for John Edwards, Barack Obama or Bill Richardson, and NOT Hillary. The bottom line: Hillary is irresponsible with power. Hillary uses a secret police, private detectives and criminal intimidation tactics to harass intimidate and terrify Bill’s sex victims and girlfriends.”
    -Roberet Morrow’s email link above
    “Furthermore, Hillary, a misogynist “feminist,” has been covering for and protecting a red-faced, lip-biting rapist and serial sexual predator for 36 years. Hillary knew about and helped cover up Bill’s rape of Juanita Broaddrick in 1978. Hillary is often vulgar, rude and abusive with staff members, state troopers, and Secret Service agents as many former Clinton staff and former friends report. Hillary makes a sport of ridiculing and demeaning Bill, when she is not throwing things at him or physically attacking him. Then she goes on TV and says vote for him, he is such a great guy.
    Hillary and Bill are dangerous, deranged psychopaths who should have been locked up in prison a long time ago. I think an appropriate sentence for Hillary and Bill would be to be locked up in a jail cell 23 out of 24 hours a day – for at least 5 years – WITH EACH OTHER. Of course, the penalties for beating up people (Gary Johnson), raping (Juanita Broaddrick), assaulting women, criminal intimidation tactics (Kathleen Willey) and possibly murdering Jerry Parks (9-26-93) would be much stronger.”
    You let someone who links this trash comment here, Steve?
    He does it twice over, with two names in this thread. Strangely enough he’s a Barack worshipper.
    Steve, there’s no expectation you would post this, but at least please rectify the clown’s presence here.

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  7. Robert M says:

    Sen Clinton as VP is a dreadful idea. Those parts of the press that are enamoured of the Clintons have yet to admit that much of what has done in the Clinton campaign is Bill Clinton’s uncontrollable mouth and actions. He is the one whom has branded her as the politics of the past and its insular negativity; this is perceived as the Republican Attack machine. To have this same uncontrollable narcissist near the White House means the Republicans do not have to account for their actions.
    The idea she becomes Sen Majority Leader either before or after still keeps the uncontrollable element in the picture. Worse, Obama’s claim to reaching across the aisle will always be tainted by her attack machine.
    I suspect there are many operatives and Politicians w/ loyalty to her and him. I suspect as they read the tea leaves it is still wide and less and less deep every day. They have to make a future for themselves and dragging other peoples baggage around doesn’t help them so they can’t be for it because it leaves them beholden to the Clintons. And the constant complaint is everyone leaves the room thinking the deal is sealed and they turn around and find empty envelopes.
    It is really time to realize the Clintons are done. I think there will be a challenger to her seat, whom is one, native New Yorker and two, in the generational crossing mode of Barrack Obama.

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  8. rich says:

    Would the Clinton ‘spear-carriers’ and political machine play ball as second fiddle? Can Hillary Clinton be counted on to be a team player as VP?
    Given the Xerox slam, last night’s attacks in Cincinatti, and errant language re experience, etc., I doubt Sen. Clinton will well-serve Pres. Obama in that role. Even VP Al Gore felt the sharp elbows of ambition.
    Sen. Obama, in running against the politics of the past (Repub & Dem), will not eagerly hang the albatross of Clintonite around the neck of his administration. You can’t force synergy–and I wouldn’t risk a non-loyalist.
    ON the other hand, Hillary Clinton as VeeP is a barrier to impeachment or assassination. As Nixon picked Agnew, then Ford.
    Bill Richardson is the better choice. He’s hands-on enought, at least, to please the D.C. press.
    Has Sen. Clinton shown any indication that, as Senate Majority Leader, she’d lead in the right direction? Any indication? She’s had plenty of opportunity–and I haven’t seen her distinguish herself since 2000–when the country needed a SEnatorial difference maker. Seems she was Ok with Reid’s passivity & status quo.
    Plus, it’d put her in a prime position to screw with a Prznt. Obama’s agenda. Hmm.
    Obama may need support from the Dem Party Establishment and Clinton machine. But as winner, he shouldn’t have to buy it. Yes–you have to make trade-offs to win support and get people on board. But are losers entitled to trophy positions?
    Yes, I know, sometimes you gotta–but I just don’t think the dynamics of this race are playing out that way. Nor will they create the positive dynamics such a ticket requires. I might be wrong– just my take on it. He’ll get the Clinton policy staffers he wants–but can do without the free-spending campaign guys.
    Hillary Clinton stepping into Dick Cheney’s shoes should boggle anyone’s mind . . ..

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  9. meander says:

    I’m trying to imagine the responses from the right wing if Vice President Hillary Clinton performed some of the legal gymnastics and overreach that Cheney has done. For example, what would they say if she claimed that she was a fourth branch of government? Or if she claimed exemption from various security rules? Or held secret health care or climate change policy meetings and didn’t reveal the meeting participants? Or managed to lose thousands of e-mails? Or outed a CIA agent? I can’t imagine that the right wing would respond the same way as when Cheney did those things.

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  10. Larry Slater says:

    Senator Clinton as v.p. running mate for Senator Obama? Certainly an interesting way to sink Obama’s campaign for sure. There are many reasons why Obama is cleaning Clinton’s clock in the primary. Despite the well-developed and incredibly well financed campaign, the much-discussed Hillary/Bill lock on party leaders, etc., etc., Clinton is LOSING. Her own party doesn’t want her to lead the ticket, so why on earth would a hope-generating newcomer like Obama tie his presidential ambitions to her’s?
    The much-vaunted experience of Hillary Clinton carries an incredible amount of divisive baggage that the Obama campaign would be wise to avoid. One has only to look back at former President Clinton’s remarks on Martin Luther King Day to see how quickly “Billary” falls back to vicious attack when threatened. Their party professed shock akin to the “shock” expressed by the Vichy French police commander in “Casablanca” who “discovered” gambling at Rick’s place. What does the Democratic party think the Clintons used for eight years against the Republican party?
    I’m NOT a proponent of either candidate (full disclosure: McCain IF he stays independent), but there are times when a party must shed its skin and renew itself. That seems to be what the Democratic party is trying to do with the wave for Senator Obama. I’m not saying Obama would be a great or even good President. I would suspect, however, that both the Senator and his staff will know enough to build a cabinet of highly effective professionals to compensate, as did Regan’s campaign.

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  11. Larry Slater says:

    Clinton as v.p. running mate for Senator Obama? Certainly an interesting way to sink Obama’s campaign for sure. There are many reasons why Obama is cleaning Clinton’s clock in the primary. Despite the well-developed and incredibly well financed campaign, the much-discussed Hillary/Bill lock on party leaders, etc., etc., Clinton is LOSING. Her own party doesn’t want her to lead the ticket, so why on earth would a hope-generating newcomer like Obama tie his presidential ambitions to her’s?
    The much-vaunted experience of Hillary Clinton carries an incredible amount of divisive baggage that the Obama campaign would be wise to avoid. One has only to look back at former President Clinton’s remarks on Martin Luther King Day to see how quickly “Billary” falls back to vicious attack when threatened. Their party professed shock akin to the “shock” expressed by the Vichy French police commander in “Casablanca” who “discovered” gambling at Rick’s place. What does the Democratic party think the Clintons used for eight years against the Republican party?
    I’m NOT a proponent of either candidate (full disclosure: McCain IF he stays independent), but there are times when a party must shed its skin and renew itself. That seems to be what the Democratic party is trying to do with the wave for Senator Obama. I’m not saying Obama would be a great or even good President. I would suspect, however, that both the Senator and his staff will know enough to build a cabinet of highly effective professionals to compensate, as did Regan’s campaign.

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  12. Nobcentral says:

    I think there are 2 reasons Obama supporters see a Obama/Hillary ticket as extremely unlikely. 1. Hillary represents the old guard in politics and Obama has been specifically campaigning against that for months. He can’t really go back on that and bring her on. But more importantly is 2. She would never accept it. You’re forgetting the role of ego – I can’t see HRC playing second fiddle.
    But I do love the idea of HRC as Senate Majority Leader. I’ve heard this talk around the blogosphere as well and I think she could potentially be historically good. And I do hope that Obama helps engineer that. It would be a good way for him to show (with actions) that he is right about his “we’ll be friends after” line.

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  13. Dirk says:

    To those somehow thinking that the GOP is going to retain the executive branch, all I’ve got to say is:
    Two wars, Two recessions, Doubling of the national debt, Massive export of jobs and a GOP candidate that promises more of the same. Good luck with that!
    While Obama may embrace the best domestic policies at least he doesn’t embrace the failed neocon foreign policies of Clinton.

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  14. JR says:

    She may not win but neither will BO when the Republicans get finished with him.
    Please, don’t try to put that drunk Ted Kennedy, nor his family up. Wasn’t this the family that made their money illegally? Wasn’t this the man associated with the dead woman?
    Hillary’s father was an active Republican.
    BO can’t even get his facts straight about Afaganistan- the Capt. Even if the story was true- what did he do as a Congressman to correct the wrong- nothing. Talk Talk talk that is all he is.
    He won so many times because the Republicans tied up their selection so the Republicans and Independents voted against Hillary, not for him. Those votes will go to the Republicans this fall. Most white males can not stand the thought of a woman in the WH and the blacks were looking for any reason to follow him just because he is black not that Hillary or Bill said anything wrong. They keep forgetting he is just half black. I love the fact he blew off the State of the Black Union- he is just using the black vote. He got the college vote because half most of their brain cells are gone from watching too much tv and playing too many video games- they went for the young light skin black male. I assure you if he were as dark as his wife he would not get the votes he is getting. Really do any of you ever really listen to this man. He says nothing. Hillary stop being nice to him. So what she voted for the war- would you rather Saddam still be in power or no we could have sit down sang a few camp songs and talked to him. While everyone points there finger at her, the public is just as much at fault- we wanted to go to war because we thought Iraqi was a threat. Which way would BO have voted had he been around- we will never no because he wasn’t. His change is to take the easy rode and take no stand – he has no backbone. Change- being supported by Ted and Oprah with her big money is real change for everyone. I loved the 4000 dollar bit for college students- and that will cover maybe one semester. And where is he going to get all this money for all these programs. Oh and both he and Hillary are wrong on universal healthcare. Try going to a military hospital or the VA and you will learn what universal healthcare will be like. Long waits, seeing Nurse Practioner, people to have to make the customer happy because they are already getting paid by the govt. Why do we do so much business with China? To keep them happy with their huge military so they don’t attack us. Globalization is good and hear to stay. Buying USA only benefits no one. I love the suck up to Hispanics when he talked about teaching two languages to children in schools. Every hispanic is this country has access to two languages. We bend over backwards to help them. I love the bit about making illegals citizens pay fines. Why? They have been paying taxes, putting money in the economy and doing jobs that no other American would do? If you as Americans are worried about your jobs being outsourced then you have to realize we can’t have our cake and eat it two or the rich will just take their business verseas to cheaper labor with less healthcar cost. The BO cult needs to wake up and listen to the nut. He will be whatever you want him to be- but he want deliver. Oh, what is the outrage with Bill OReilly and no outrage for Michelle Obama just now being proud of her country- sorry her life has been so bad! Was she not proud when she got her education, was she not proud how we stood together after 911. Oh I forgot they go to that “Christian” church that support LF. Is this the role model she will be for our children if she were first lady?

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  15. Nicole says:

    I am still suprised by how easily people are fooled by obama. In everyday life, when I meet someone that promises me too much, too easily, but with no specific details, I get wary.
    Here is someone with barely 3 years of experience in national politics, coming up from nowhere to raise millions of dollars and with nothing but accolades from the media. Linking himself to JFK, MLK, Cesar Chavez, and every other historic figure he can think of. Borrowing speeches from Patrick Deval. Winning the endorsements of Republicans. Acting like a “messiah.” All without substantive experience or solid crediblity.
    It’s very strange since this stuff doesn’t just happen. Who’s behind it all?
    Why are the public so blind?

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  16. Bozo_the_Clown says:

    Barack Obama is a jokster, a clown.
    I guess people didn’t learn from the clown we currently have in the White House, or they are just used to having Bozo as president.

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  17. Robert Morrow says:

    Analysis in Burnt Orange Report blog shows why Hillary’s campaign is in deep doo-doo in Texas:
    http://www.burntorangereport.com/

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  18. MarvyT says:

    I just can’t imagine Hillary playing second fiddle to anyone but Bill. I also think that Obama needs someone for VP with real military and diplomatic experience.

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  19. Steve T says:

    I can’t see Obama picking Hillary for Veep. As someone upthread said, it would bring him all Hillary’s negatives without really leveraging her positives. Plus, I don’t think the NY Senate seat is all that safely Dem (medium term; obviously in the short term Spitzer would replace her with another Donkey). I dunno about her as Majority Leader, but for now I’d prefer she stay where she is.
    How about Wes Clark? Granted he’s not the most scintillating campaigner, but he’s solid, sharp, and would bring a LOT of both military and foreign relations experience to the ticket. Plus, he’s a Clinton ally, so he could help placate the Clinton wing of the party.
    And he doesn’t hold any elected office of any kind that would force a Democrat to vacate.

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  20. jim miller says:

    small steps…neither will walk on water either…
    side note: silly storyline about Robert Wolf of UBS—in an earlier life I hustled for ubs….out of the my 200 person office I was the only one willing to admit I wasnt voting for Bush….easy to throw stones…

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  21. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.bushwatch.com/index.html#joel
    Diet Coke vs. Diet Pepsi: Obama and Hillary: Do-Nothing Establishment Insiders Far From Progressive
    Joel S. Hirschhorn for Bush Watch
    As befits American culture, politics is all about slick selling to the masses. Hillary Clinton is selling Day-1 help to victims and sufferers. Barack Obama is selling effervescent hope to yes-we-can dreamers. This media hyped horse race is like a fight between diet Coke and diet Pepsi, artificially sweetened candidates devoid of real nourishment.
    The least educated, least sophisticated and least wealthy along with Hispanics are sipping Clinton’s fizzled-out drink. The most educated, most privileged, and most financially successful along with African-Americans are gulping down Obama’s charismatic pick-me-up.
    As to who is buying what, consider these data: Clinton won the non-college-educated voters by 22 points in California, 32 points in Massachusetts, 54 points in Arkansas, and 11 points in New Jersey. In a Pew Research national survey, Obama led among people with college degrees by 22 points. In Connecticut, Obama beat Clinton among college graduates by 17 points and in New Jersey by 11 points. And note this: 39 percent of Virginia and 41 percent of Maryland Democratic primary voters reported incomes of $100,000 or more – clearly well educated people that would favor Obama.
    A simplistic conclusion is that the dumber you are the more likely you prefer the first woman president because you believe this experience-selling status quo, corporate candidate. And the smarter you are the more likely you prefer the first black president because you embrace the change-promises and platitudes from the more authentic, inspirational candidate with the short resume. Clinton supporters appreciate the 10-point-plan-for-every-problem political pragmatist. Obamatons swoon over the big-picture, unity-promising political messiah.
    Working-class Clinton supporters are like weary shoppers seeking decent food at low prices at Safeway and good coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts. Obama yes-we-can-happy-facers gladly pay exorbitant prices for the Whole Foods experience and Starbucks shtick.
    Here are some realities that neither group wants to face:
    Both candidates are establishment insiders.
    Both are corporate-state politicians. Note that Robert Wolf, the CEO of UBS Americas, a major banking company, has raised more than $1 million for the Obama campaign. Large sources of Obama money are law firms, investment houses, and real estate companies, and 80 percent of his donors are affiliated with business, compared to 85 percent for Clinton.
    Neither are true progressives or populists, like Kucinich and Edwards. Both Clinton the fighter and Obama the talker will sell out once they confront presidential realities. Why? Because plutocracies know how to retain power AFTER elections. After two years it will be clear that the new president will have failed to extract the US from Iraq, will have failed to deliver universal health care, will have failed to address illegal immigration, will have done nothing to get a new and serious 9/11 investigation, will have done nothing to stop middle-class-killing globalization, and will have utterly disappointed the vast majority of Americans. The president’s most pressing priorities will be lowering expectations and getting reelected, despite raising taxes. The only people truly surprised at all this will be those lacking what the Greeks thought is a virtue: cynicism.
    Finally, for those seeking serious political system reforms, it is troubling that neither Clinton nor, especially, Obama have the courage to advocate needed constitutional amendments, such as replacing the Electoral College with the popular vote for president, getting all private money out of politics, making universal health care a right, and preventing presidential signing statements that undermine laws.

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  22. LInda says:

    Interesting, but I don’t know first that there is any comparison between a Kennedy machine and a Clinton machine. Like any of them or not, the Clintons are an ambitious couple-just two of them. The Kennedys go back to old Joe, all his sons and daughter involved in public service, and many of the next generation. Neither Bill nor Hillary’s parents nor siblings have been in politics. Chelsea works for a hedge fund. One can love the Kennedys or hate them, but the family does have over generations the value of public service.
    I keep repeating what I have been writing here for over three weeks. There is not going to be a ticket with Obama and Clinton on it, either way. Obama is smart enough not to want in either top or VP position to have Bill hanging around. Clinton will support and campaign for him and be as gratious as she was in the debate–whether she really feels it or not–she will do it because her political future depends upon it.
    I do see Clinton as much better as a Senate majority leader like LBJ, Foley, etc.–highly political, deal-making, arm-twisting, policy person. Indeed women could be both Senate majority leader and Speaker of the House, i.e., control the Legislative branch. That would be a feminist history making first, and it would be nice to see them work toward having more women in Congress. I think Bella Abzug would love it. Let the man be CEO and Commander-in-Chief and the women control the money!!
    BTW, Matt Cooper in March issues of “Portfolio” even writes that Obama has been a good CEO in running his campaign. And Mandy Grunwald, Cooper’s wife, is running the media for Clinton’s campaign.
    And in today’s NY Times, Kevin Sack does a good job of explaining the differences in the Clinton and Obama health proposals–nobody really knows or can model with assurance what will happen or how many will be uninsured if either plan is enacted. The details aren’t there in either one’s proposal. All any of their experts can promise with assurance is that these plans will be a big improvement over what we currently have. The Republicans’ medical savings account approach won’t help much at all.
    I don’t see Hillary at all as Supreme Court material as she’s really had little experience being a lawyer, and there are hundreds of graduates of Yale Law School. There are a lot of excellent Constitutional law scholars and federal judges, male and female, around.
    And finally, I think if nominated and elected Obama will make some very interesting Cabinet appointments. Meanwhile, we can all have fun playing “what if” about them.

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  23. Pat says:

    God no! I would HATE for Hillary to allign with Joshua, David, Moses, MLK, Lieberman Lite, The New Messiah — what ever name He’s going by these days. Let him bend over for the Republicans on his own.

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  24. bert says:

    anatol: “… drop her a few bucks.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/22/us/politics/22clinton.html?ref=politics
    Give! Give now!
    Give while you still can!

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  25. susan says:

    From tomorrow’s NYTimes
    http://tinyurl.com/2yap4t
    Soldiering On, but Somber as the Horizon Darkens
    “To her longtime friends, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton sounds unusually philosophical on the phone these days. She rarely uses phrases like “when I’m president” anymore. Somber at times, determined at others, she talks to aides and confidants about the importance of focusing on a good day’s work. No drapes are being measured in her mind’s eye, they say…”

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  26. T.J. Pempel says:

    Picking Hillary as VP would be a mistake–for the campaign and more for governing. Obama needs to start with ‘his’ team. Far more logical as a VP candidate would be a female governor such as Sebelius, Napolitano or Gregoire. All have good records, the first two in red states and any female down ticket would help assuage the frustrations of female supporters of Hillary. T.J.

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  27. Time to Retire says:

    The delusions here are breath taking. Can anyone name a reason why Hillary Rodham Clinton’s record in the Senate entitles her to claim she has any chance of winning in the general election or entitles her to win the D nomination? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-guttman/democratic-double-standar_b_87794.html

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  28. anatol says:

    Almost everyone in this thread is working under the assumption that Obama’s nomination means Obama’s election. That’s not my bet at all. IMHO Obama’s nomination means McCain’s landslide victory. High-placed Republican propagandists Rove, Kristol, Noonan, Brooks, etc. don’t root for Obama because of their pure intentions – they’re laying ground for their victory in November. See, e.g. http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/blogs/wolcott/2008/02/beware-of-the-s.html
    See also this charming email for Texas Republicans:
    http://republicansforobama.org/?q=node/359
    With Clinton Dems have a chance in November, but this is not the first time they want to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
    HRC’s odds in the primary are grim indeed, as Steve’s insider scoop confirms, but they’re not impossible (yet). So, if you can – drop her a few bucks. Otherwise, wait for “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” hummed at Inauguration.

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  29. Bill R. says:

    I think Hillary pretty much cemented her fate today with the histrionics over the two Obama mailings. “Oh, the outrage, oh, the deception, shame, shame, shame! I’ve been so mistreated again.” I can’t see how this will help her any, and probably reinforce negative perceptions. And it’s not as though these mailings on NAFTA and health care haven’t been seen before. Not much controversial there. We know she held the party line on NAFTA until just recently. We know she’s for mandates to the point of garnishing worker wages, she admitted that on ABC news. It’s the silly season and the Clintons are determined to self-destruct. Clinton fatigue is setting in faster and faster.

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  30. TMS says:

    Hillary’s only chance continuing with campaigning as normal is a major gaff by Obama. But if she makes a major address on the Bush administration fear mongering over FISA, she can be the big story across the country. The idea that spying on American citizens should always require a warrant – even if weeks after the fact – is an easy case to make, will even resonate with conservatives, and will make her a hero to millions of progressives furious with the Senate Democrats for giving Bush everything he wanted.

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  31. Will Bower says:

    Well, at this point, Obama can’t win without the Super-Delegates either, which the media doesn’t seem to be addressing.
    My thoughts? So much of Obama’s support has come from Independents, Republicans, first-time-voters, and from caucuses… that I would have no problem with having the Super-Delegates call if for Hillary, if it came to that.
    The Super-Delegates were put in place for -exactly- this scenario… to decide the ultimate outcome of a neck-and-neck race. Why throw this system out the first chance that this it can be put into effect?
    Yes, Obama has been on a winning streak… but Bill Clinton, like Hillary, had a lengthy losing streak himself back in 1992. Hillary isn’t out of this yet, and the media (namely MSNBC) is yet again dancing prematurely on her political grave.
    Anyhow, back to the Super-Delegates: If all of the primaries where open only to Democrats, Hillary would be in the lead. If all of these primaries were -primaries-, and not caucuses, Hillary would be in the lead. If all of these primaries were winner-take-all — as are the Republican ones — Hillary would be in the lead. So yes, although I may be biased, I have no problem with the Democratic Party having a say in it’s own nominating process at the end of the day. With the election being as close as it is, it’s not as if that would amount to a coup d’etat — but, rather, to a slight course correction.

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  32. susan says:

    I can’t see him selecting Hillary as VP. He has the general election to think about and she doesn’t help him with that.
    In 2000, Bill Clinton told the Dean supporters to, “Fall in love and then fall in line.” Hillary’s supporters will have to do the same. Most of them will transfer their support to Obama.
    I think he will chose a white male and perhaps it will be Edwards.

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  33. judyo says:

    I’m all for civilized debate on almost any subject. For this though, I’m just going to wait and see if we are going to be “allowed” to have an election.

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  34. bert says:

    Remember her comment about MLK and Johnson?
    It came around the time of the South Carolina primary, which meant it got caught up in the general atmosphere of racially-focused touchiness. I believe the comment was sincere, and even if it wasn’t, it would make sense to treat it as such. Ideally, Obama wins this thing in Texas, quickly puts a feeler out to Hillary, meets her, brings the conversation round to Johnson as a historical figure, flatters her with comparisons to his many finer features (while ignoring the fact that he was disastrously drawn into someone else’s war), gives her a first edition of ‘Master of the Senate’ nicely wrapped in a ribbon, and offers to support her for the majority leader job.
    By contrast, I think the idea of a VP slot is truly terrible, and a recipe for misery all round.
    Happily, though, there’s surely no way it’ll happen.

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  35. Bill R. says:

    I would have thought majority leader would be a good post for Clinton. But she seems to be going scorched earth now with these “O’bomber” accusations and other shenanigans. I think the Clintons seem headed for the dustbin of history, given this absolute inability to see reality.

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  36. Turnow says:

    I think a Clinton appointment to the Supreme Court is an excellent idea. As a Justice she could shed her DLC triangulation tendencies, and she has the intelligence to be a really good Justice.

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  37. Turnow says:

    I think Gov. Richardson is a much better choice for VP. The guy is actually competent, has a foreign policy resume almost unparalleled amongst democrats, and would certainly attract Latino votes.
    Clinton has overseen a terribly managed campaign; has exercised extremely poor judgment with her inexplicable fidelity to the porcine, incompetent Mark Penn; and she would prove to be a lightening rod an Obama campaign does not need.
    Clinton obviously is extremely conversant relative to policy matters, but has proven herself to be a terrible manager. The fact that her erstwhile campaign manager was afraid to give Clinton bad news is all I need to know about Clinton as a manager.

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  38. TB says:

    How about offering her a slot on the SCOTUS?
    Also, I think Edwards would make a really good AG.
    Either him or John Dean.

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  39. digdug says:

    ” Chuck Hagel for Defense. ”
    No no no. This would be a terrible decision by Obama. All it would do is prop up the false meme that Republicans are somehow stronger on defense than Dems. This has been proven categorically false over and over again.
    The Democrats need to choose a Secretary of Defense from their own ranks. One who was at the very least, dubious of the Iraq fiasco in the first place. Ideally one who was publicly opposed to it. Invading Iraq was amongst other things, a historic *strategic* mistake. Hagel supported it. Hagel enabled it. Hagel voiced not a bit of concern over it until the public began learning the truth about Iraq and turned against it. When it was politically safe, Hagel began voicing his concerns.
    No Chuck Hagels. No Colin Powells. Choose a smart, wise leader from the Dem ranks. One who understood before it happened, that Iraq was a colossal mistake.

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  40. Anon says:

    Oh, and i forgot to emphasize that the Clintons are the most corporate players in Washington. They will always support power over the people. They are no Different than Leiberman or the other Republican who claim to be in the Democratic Party. We need to rid ourselves of these people. If they want, they should form their own DLC party, but get rid of them. They are poll driven and stand for nothing but power.

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  41. Anon says:

    No, I can’t stand the Kennedys either. I am sick and tired of them. But at least they are not republicans like the Clintons are. I am also sick and tired of hearing that there are no policy differences between Clinton and Obama. For god’s sake, the clintons are welfare cutting, sanctions tightening, warmongering nationalists who still see the rest of the world as the domain of their own power. I don’t even agree with that many of Obama’s policies, he is too cowardly (or playing it safe) to actually stand up for the policies he believes in (like claiming he would never vote war funding in his senate campaign, and then voting for it every time in when power). But I am willing to give him a shot because I WANT TO THROW THE BUMS OUT! all of them. Not just he criminals (republicans), but also the enablers (dems)

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  42. Kathleen says:

    I think it is intensely naive to think that Teddy wants to join with the Clinton machine… if he did, he would have supported Hillary from the beginning…
    No,` he wants to challenge every other potential leader, just as he has since 1968, when he nominated George McGovern, after Bobby was shot, to keep the peace vote divided. Then he challenged Carter, etc. Kennedy is the darling of the Demz when they lose, otherwise he is just another drunken Senator. He’s not even really supporting Obama so much as challenging the Clintons. He will fight having Hillary on the ticket. Get real here.
    I don’t think Hillary is a good choice for Majority leader either., her support for the war and Kyl-Lieberman are not where the country wants to go. It is clear that voters really want to throw the old Repugnican-Lite out and start fresh, with the Demz getting back to their core principles.
    I think Russ Feingold would be the best choice for VEEP and Chris Dodd for Majority leadert. Neither of them are afraid of Repugs and I’d love to see Feingold showing up McCain on his faux support of campaign finance reform.
    I’d like to see Hillary on the Supreme Court.
    In short, the message voters are sending is out with machines. Those days are OVAH. What scares me is the prospect of some nut case killing Obama, like every other charismatic leader, from JFK, to Bobby to Dr, King and Malcom X, especially with that raving lunatic Bill O’Reilly essentially saying it would be okay to “lynch” Michele Obama with good reason. He needs to be arrested for incitement of a hate crime like the Coultergeist regularly does. As for danger, there was just an article about how the Secret Service dispensed with metal detecting at a huge Obama rally in Dallas. Are they crazy? Don’t answer that.

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  43. p.lukasiak says:

    Sorry, but I didn’t see any concession speech — and given that there is another debated scheduled for the 26th, if there was any time to do a valedictory at a debate, it would be then.
    What I saw was a politician taking the opportunity to present herself without her politician persona. Hillary Clinton’s debating technique is to demonstrate that she is what she claims to be, “Ready on Day One.” That final statement was a look at Hillary the person, not Hillary the President.
    As to the idea of an Obama/Clinton ticket — REALLY bad idea. I mean, you wind up with all the negative crap associated with the Clintons, but because she’s not at the top of the ticket her positives don’t matter.
    A Clinton/Obama ticket makes sense — unless the right-wing smear machine thinks Obama may be the nominee, and goes into high gear to “define” him… I mean, its already starting. By the convention, Obama could be severely damaged goods… in which case I’d love to see a Clinton/Richardson ticket, or someone like Bill Gray in the VP slot.
    And if Obama is the nominee, he should use the Clintons as little as possible. Obama needs to have the focus on him, and every time the Clintons entered the picture, the focus would shift. Bill and Hillary would best serve the interests of the party and the country working to elect more Democratic Senators, Congresscritters, and Governors (governors will be crucial, what with redistricting coming up after the 2010 census.)

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  44. Jim says:

    I’m an Obama supporter, and can’t imagine why Hillary Clinton would want to step down to the Vice Presidency. I like Durbin a lot, as a once and future Illini, but think HRC would be a much better Majoirty Leader. Clinton has a better media presence and a wider built-in base in the party.
    Schumer? Chuck Schumer? Give-Mukasey-a-chance Schumer? Pull-the-rug-out-from-under-Ned-Lamont Schumer? No. No. A thousand times no.

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  45. ... says:

    anon – i guess having the kennedy franchise working for you is about ‘change’ lol..

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  46. JohnH says:

    I don’t see Hillary ever being selected as Majority Leader, just like Ted Kennedy never was. Too many prima donnas waiting in line. But if that sap Reid gets replaced, it will be tremendous step forward. (It will be such a relief not having to watch Reid project weakness and incompetence night after night on TV!)
    Hillary will have to make her mark via good legislation, if that’s possible given her close ties to Big Money. Unfortunately, her track record as a legislator is not encouraging.
    Obama’s challenge will be to make his supporters part of a well-organized franchise that is deep and lasting–a movement. Obama constantly repeats that he can’t do it alone. He needs the American people to help force change in Iraq, on health care, and on global warming. Simply relying on those sell-outs posing as Senators and Congressmen won’t get the job done. And Obama does have the communications skills to inspire and lead…

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  47. Anon says:

    If Obama believes his own rhetoric, he will never put Clinton in any position of power. If he wants “change” he will keep the Clintons as far away as possible. Personally, I will not vote for an Obama/Clinton ticket exactly because i am so sick and tired of the Washington bullsh#t that is exemplified by the Clintons/Carvils/Bagala/DLC… You yourself are a Washington insider, so i don’t expect you to see all your political rivals as anything but “friends”. But there is a large portion of people like me in the USA. Those who want term limits on the Washington mafia and who never want to see them again. I don’t care how much of a machine the Clintons have, or how much their “franchise” is worth, the exact reason i am open to Obama is that he does not have a franchise and he not part of the establishment. And for that matter, I don’t want to see a single Clinton adviser on his team, or as a senior appointment if he becomes president. I think the Clintons failed America and the world, and i am sicks and tired of them.

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  48. Carroll says:

    Speaking as a voter, who actually does like Hillary in many ways, I don’t think an Obama-Hillary ticket is a good idea. Or should it win, a good working team for WH policy.
    Reinstalling the Clinton franchise with the Kennedy franchise is not something voters would go for if the understand what the franchises are.
    If Obama is smart he will pick Edwards or someone else who doesn’t have a franchise.
    Obviously voters don’t want franchises or else they wouldn’t be rallying behind a change campaign.
    Out with the old…..at least as much of the old system as we can get out.

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  49. Mr.Murder says:

    Oh bullshit, Gates has been a stellar Sec. of Defense in a biref tenure, anyone not keeping him in is going to set things back, he’s more than capable.

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  50. Bruce says:

    I’d like to see a Pres. Obama emulate the Pres. Lincoln of “Team of Rivals” and bring strong leaders into his administration: say Al Gore for an enhanced EPA, John Edwards for Atty. Gen, Chuck Hagel for Defense. I’d offer HRC any job she wanted (HHS?), but think she’d prefer to be Senate Majority Leader.

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  51. Pat says:

    Thank you. You have expressed my exact thoughts, but in much better words.
    I do hope this will be the scenario as it has the potential to build on and to maximize the strenghts of both very good people and creates a true synergy for them, for the party, and for the country and we all benefit.

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  52. Greg P says:

    Very much agree about the need to have the Clinton machine working in tandem with an Obama administration. I don’t think Obama is going to want Hillary on the ticket, though — as it would be just a bit awkward to have Hill (and Bill) around the White House as the ‘voice of experience’ just as President Obama was trying to strike out in some new directions (as I hope he will). But Senate Majority Leader would be a perfect fit for Hillary Clinton, and I hope the party sees fit to put her in that post.
    As for folks in Hillaryland moving on, anyone at all plugged in in Washington is seeing evidence of it. A former mid-level Clinton appointee I know recently confided to me that he was putting out some feelers into Obamaland, and that most of the people he knew who were seeking jobs in the next administration were quietly doing the same.

    Reply

  53. jim miller says:

    Great read…though it is important to go to the numbers and that without florida and michigan then HRC would have to win Texas and Ohio plus 8 more of the remaining contests with over 65% of the vote…NOT happening…the demographics just dont show it…actually it seems probable that both states will break for obama…tex by a lot and Ohio by a hair…but we will see…
    As to the future of HRC and her machine…I dont think she can go down ticket…too many strong laden negatives in the electorate….though she is winner and a fighter…tough call. Real tough call…I think the obama supporters would grow to love her, not sure if his advisers would ever trust her and her band of advisers….
    Senate majority leader would be a perfect fit…I dont see a downside to this scenario, plus it would alllow her to address her strong negatives, which she must if she hopes to prosper in a national election. I am still in disbelief that she has pumped 150mill into this thing w/o successfully addressing these…it wouldnt be difficult either she showed her winning personality on Thursday night….

    Reply

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