May 27, 2008

"The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."

That's what Teddy Kennedy said at the Democratic Convention in 1980 when he could not wrest the nomination away from President Jimmy Carter. Recently, he explained: "I loved the Senate before I ran for the president... I think I became a better senator, with greater focus and attention... It all depends on the attitude, what's in the mind of the person."

Will Hillary Clinton — assuming she doesn't pull off some miracle and get the nomination — return to the Senate with anything like this attitude? First, she'll be surrounded by Senators who supported Obama. ("I'm sure she'll remember, for the rest of her life, who was with her and who wasn't," says Christopher Dodd.) Second, won't she immediately start running in the 2012 election — if McCain wins — or for New York governor... and President in 2016?

13 comments:

Simon said...

I suppose it depends on whether she feels the Presidency has eluded her forever, or whether she may need her colleagues support in the future. If the former, perhaps she'll become a born-again opponent of pork. Particularly pork projects for the districts represented by Obama-supporting superdelegates. Or maybe she'll just take to waxing sardonic about her colleagues' merits, or lack thereof, a la Thomas Brackett Reed. I'll even help her retire some campaign debt if she promises us to exact some real grade-A quality revenge.

Mark Daniels said...

Yesterday's NYTimes column on Clinton's return to the Senate was interesting ("Clinton Could Face an Uneasy Return to the Senate").

One problem she may face is that, should Obama lose, she could be blamed for dividing the Democratic Party in a year that was clearly theirs to lose. The Democratic coalition of southern whites, the working class, limousine liberals, African-Americans, and other minorities has been tenuous since 1946, when Harry Truman felt compelled to push for civil rights. Except for 1960 and 1964, it has only been patched up when the Dems have nominated southern governors. It will be interesting to see what happens this year...and if Clinton, who has, in some respects, been the 2008 version of the 1972 George Wallace, will get blamed or become the heir apparent if Obama loses.

Mark Daniels

AJ Lynch said...

The more interesting question is what kind of fireworks go off in the Clinton marriage if Obama wins the PREZ?

Roger J. said...

Do any of the Althouse commentariat foresee a Hillary run as an independent? I don't, but I suspect her willingness to bolt the party depends on her (and presumably Bill's) ego factor.

Simon said...

Roger J. said...
"Do any of the Althouse commentariat foresee a Hillary run as an independent?"

Oh, no - Hillary's very smart. You don't contemplate running as (or voting for) a third party if you're smart. I think she'll sit on the sideline and watch Obama get obliterated and play the "I told you so" card.

Kirby Olson said...

Maybe Obama could promise to have her face cut into Mt. Rushmore and then she'd be satisfied. That way she won't have to be president, or a Supreme Court Justice.

Or she could have her own mountain with her face on three sides of it, like the goddess Hecate.

garage mahal said...

One problem she may face is that, should Obama lose, she could be blamed for dividing the Democratic Party in a year that was clearly theirs to lose.

This doesn't make much sense when you consider that it would be her colleagues in the Senate and the House (superdelegates) that didn't commit to a candidate. Wouldn't it be their fault for tearing the part apart, or being responsible for losing to McCain?

Simon said...

Garage, you're kind of assuming a rational search for the person or group most objectively to blame, in order to avoid making the same mistakes (if they can fairly be called such) next time. More likely, however (I suspect), it'll be a circular firing squad in search of a scapegoat.

Methadras said...

It was a Democrat Convention, not a Democratic Convention.

garage mahal said...

Simon
True. Grassy knoll commentary is all the rage this year.

Chip Ahoy said...

I don't expect anything, because I know better. But if I were to expect something, I would expect her to take a path similar to the Gore route, except, instead of slinking into the obscurity of Academialand, gain seven stone and grow a beard, she'd slink back into the limelight of Senateland, there to leave her imprimatur, her imprimatur, her imprimatur, her imprimatur, while concluding after much brooding, the POUS much too small a pond to contain all her vision and energy and plans. She'll devise a new scheme using an over-arching global problem-to-solved through some pre-existing multinational organization, which will oddly still be in tact, complete with its own Ponzi scheme through corporations set up in countries that are not the United States and so largely free of the scrutiny found there, so then she can have her hand in everbody's pocket regardless of their political affiliation or nationality, and in every sense become Queen of the World for life with awards and accolades heaped at her well-pedicured feet. That's what I'd expect were I to expect anything atoll.

# 56 said...

She will not run for NY Gov. If Patterson steps aside or falls Cuomo and Bloomberg are waiting in the wings. The State will be a mess, and she burned bridges, Rangel and company. That old grey mare, she ain't what she used to be...

Iapetus said...

An equally interesting question is what will Hillary do if Obama wins the nomination and the election. Will she go quietly back to the Senate and fade into the background? I wouldn't count on it. Obama may find that she remains a formidable adversary, who can derail his legislative program whenever it suits her needs.