Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Hillary and the others

As Hillary Clinton makes her desire public, Richard Brookhiser considers--in a short but charming essay--what qualifications may be necessary in order to make a run for president.
The latest WaPo-ABC News poll has Clinton at 41%, Obama at 17, and Edwards at 11.

Discussions - 7 Comments

O.K., let’s consider the possibility that Hillary Clinton is inaugurated as president of the U.S. in 2009. First woman in the office, so she’s got a thing or two to prove, and not the most sweet-tempered individual I’ve ever seen. What does she do with respect to foreign policy? Tougher than Bill, I trust? What say you, my fellow No Left Turners?

Bill would be tougher than Bill if he could be returned to office now. My sense is that Hillary would be pretty solid on foreign policy, certainly the best available D. But domestically she would unleash a wave of political correctness....

If there is anything Hillary has attempted to shore up since becoming NY Senator, it has been her foreign policy cred, esp. by serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee, with the usual (and early) foto ops in Iraq, meeting with Afghan leaders, etc. I agree with Peter that even "Bill would be tougher than Bill if he could be returned to office now," and any self-respecting (not to mention any serious candidate for the presidency) Democrat would have to look tough on foreign policy, given what most Americans expect regarding the current terrorist threats.

As for Obama, is there any doubt that he is running for the VP slot, start to finish? He can’t charm his way into the presidency, and his national (and state) record is just too thin for the challenges of the highest office in the land (read: world). His ability to raise money and speak well positions him well for VP consideration, though it would have been better if he were from some southwest state, like New Mexico, where his electoral college votes would be an additional attraction to his candidacy for HRC. My question is, what Democrat can beat HRC for the nomination?

I do not think anyone can beat Hillary for the nomination, and should there be no surprises, the VP slot is Obama’s. Of course, as someone once explained: politics is preparing yourself never to be surprised. Yet, there are always surprises you cannot be prepared for. Yet, if you are in the habit to consider and act on surprises even the surprise will not limit your purposes. This is what is meant by experience, and it is not necessarily measured in years. So far, Obama is impressive. On the other hand, it is arguably the case that Hillary knew that she was forced to ride Bill until she could manage things on her own. She has been surprised, and she has managed. She is now managing things on her own. Also impressive. I think that if the GOP falls into its (arguably) default lazy mode (think 1996) there will be a Democratic president in 2008.

I’m wondering... I think Giuliani would beat Hillary, and most other Dems, in the national election. So, if he could make it through the GOP primaries (the evangelical South being his main problem), given his popularity and name recognition he would probably be the GOP’s strongest candidate against Clinton-Obama. He’d also sweep the Libertarian/Western Conservative vote, which has been lacking in support for the GOP in recent elections and has a chance of seriously challenging Clinton on her home turf.

We need to focus on who will be the best Republican candidate, and who is at least somewhat a real Republican.
Let’s drop all the chatter about who the Dems should, or may, nominate. Their candidates are like dog droppings sitting next to each other on a newspaper. Yeah, they’re different -- but not in any way that matters.

Brookhiser’s mini-essay is an exercise in trivia. What matters is where we are now, not the fact that seemingly unimpressive people have sometimes been OK presidents. To even hint, as Brookhiser clearly does in his last line, that Obama would be a good president is mind-bogglingly flaky, coming from a veteran of National Review and a serious scholar.

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