Brown Win = Hillary in 2012

We’re all very excited about the Boston Tea Party 2.0. And we should be. But not long after the results were announced I realized that there was someone else who was–if anything–even more enthusiastic about the Brown win than any of us. Who might that person be?

Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Back in July I wrote a piece called Revenge of the Hillary where I laid out my case that Clinton would not only fight Obama for the Democratic nomination in 2012, but she would win.  (Jeff wrote <a href=”http://americasright.com/?p=1236″>about the same topic</a> in October.)

My case rested on 3 facts:

  1. Obama and the Clintons hate each other.
  2. Obama’s popularity is declining
  3. Hillary Clinton isn’t getting any younger or any less ambitious

When I wrote the piece I included this graph from Rasmussen’s daily tracking poll showing that Obama’s net “strongly approve” had sunk to -7. At that time it was news for Obama to have a negative rating at all. What was novel at the time is common place: he has never made it back into the positives since then, and his rating is -16 today.

The reason Obama’s polls are important is because they are a pretty good surrogate for a measure of his political capital. And the Brown victory – coming on the heels of GOP victories in New Jersey and Virginia – shows that Obama’s popularity and political capital are sinking faster than Ben Bernanke or Tim Geithner can say “too big to fail”.

Challenging a sitting president is a *huge* deal, and only extraordinary circumstances would anyone consider it. What just happened in Massachusetts? That’s extraordinary circumstances right there.

In 2012 the liberals will hate Obama because he got squat done when he had all the power. The moderates will hate Obama because he led their party over a cliff. And also because he got squat done. They will all be looking for a new leader, and they will all understand that the only chance for the Dems in 2012 is a repudiation of Obama.

There will be some Obama loyalists hanging on just like Hillary has loyalists to this day. They weren’t enough for her in 2008, and they won’t be enough for him in 2012. The fact that she’s a woman will also help to insulate her from the inevitable race-card.

The final thing to keep in mind is the debt clock and the insurgent Tea Party movement. MA proved that the small-government crowd can make inroads with the independents and moderate democrats. So in addition to being completely fed up with Obama the party is going to be looking for someone with some pragmatic credibility who will be able to appeal to those voters and hold off the Tea Party movement or even co-opt some of it.

Hillary–running shamelessly on Bill’s legacy–will be the answer to their prayers. Never mind that she had nothing to do with Bill’s moderation after 1994. Neither did Bill. They have that reputation and they will cash in.

You might think that she has poisoned herself by becoming part of his administration, but that’s not going to be an issue thanks in no small part to Obama’s efforts to keep her shut out from any important work. We’ve never had a Secretary of State as inconsequential as Hillary Clinton, and it’s obvious the reason is because Obama doesn’t trust her as far as he can spit.

In the end, this is a blessing for Hillary. She has had no substantive influence on policy and has never been trusted with anything important or high-visibility. Combine that with the legendary bitterness and rivalry and the result is that no one thinks for one minute that Clinton is actually a member of Team Obama.

If anything, her position is a huge opportunity. Her line will be something like this: “I thought he was too idealistic and inexperienced in 2008, but when he won I wanted to give him the greatest opportunity. I wanted him to succeed. Unfortunately my initial impressions were right. So, reluctantly, I have to stand against him for the sake of the nation and carry on the same campaign I was carrying on in 2008.”

It’s a great narrative for her. She’s insulated from any charges that she tried to undercut his administration (she was in it!) and she can claim privileged information on what was wrong. She’s in a great position.

I’m actually very worried that she will win in 2012.

I can’t predict how public the fight will be between Hillary and Obama in 2012. She’s not going to announce early because it benefits her nothing, and she’s going to try and make sure that by the time it goes public it’s a done deal. The worse the Democrats do in 2010 the more support she is going to have among party insiders to force him out. They aren’t loyal to other people or principles. They are loyal to their own interests, and they will turn on Obama if they think it can save them. If Hillary’s completely successful it will all be over but the crying before the media hears a thing about it, but more likely there will be rumblings as we get closer and Team Obama starts to really panic.

It goes without saying that none of us should be happy about this. As angry as Obama has made all of us we can’t afford to suffer from Obama Derangement Syndrome. He doesn’t matter. The country matters. And in the long run Hillary could easily be more dangerous to this country than Obama.

In the short run she will make pragmatic decisions to get us back on track, but small victories could take the wind out of the Tea Party movement’s sails. The burgeoning small-government mentality that is sweeping the nation could be reduced to a minority viewpoint again. And we’d be on the same road we were on with Obama, just moving a little more slowly.

The temptation of power is eternal. We may yet survive this particular charismatic egomaniac, but there will be another one. If Hillary wins and the Tea Party movement falters the country will be even more statist and the population even less liberty-minded on that day then they were in November 2008.

In the end I don’t care if Obama or Clinton runs in 2012. They can both run for all I care, as long as neither one wins. What I care about is who runs against them. And – even more than that – who runs in all the legislative races in 2010 and 2012.

Now, as Obama falters, is not the time to take a breath or relax. It’s the time to drive the blade home and kill the dragon of statist government in our generation. Temporary survival is not enough. What I care about above all else is handing over to my children a republic that is in better condition than when I found it.

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Comments

  1. NONE OF THE ABOVE says:

    Once again, why is it good, decent people don’t seem to run for president?
    Come on!, out of 300 million, can’t we cough up a charm?

  2. NEW PRESIDENT NEEDED RIGHT NOW says:

    (Northeast Memphis 1/25/2010) Employees walked out of Sitel on Sycamore View, some of them knowing their days there are numbered.

    The customer service outsourcing company announced it’s slashing about 426-employees. That’s more than half of the 775 people who work at the Northeast Memphis call center.

  3. Nicknack says:

    While the tenenets of the pice is correct the conclusion seems off. To revisit the 2008 election in 2012 will never happen. Hilliary is damaged goods because of what she didnt do and didnt say in 2008. All the comments that have come out of the Game Change book make it abundently clear that Ovamit was not the mainstream Democrates choice and if John Edwards indiscrstion had been made public she would have won Iowa and the nomination. Regretably she also would have won the election and we would be lamenting another term with her at the helm.

    Ovamits election was a conspiracy by the media to have a black man in the white house. Wether it was to sell more newspapers books or advertising on TV, it is undeniably the biggest sellout by corporate america and the ramifications are still not felt. He was the dark horse that was mounted and ridden into victory and he will be the horse that will lead them to runiation in the 2010 and 2012 elections. It becomes even more important to have a solid conservative candidate that will appeal to the defecting democarates than ever before and should steal all the votes that Hilliary would have gotton if running for reelection

  4. sirmatthew says:

    Robert: I’d like to tap into your insight just a bit further if you’re game.

    How would you see this playing out if Hillary ran? Do you see her running as an independent or as a Dem with DNC support? Would the DNC really do an about-face on Obama like this? Obama’s campaign fund is huge and he could put up quite a fight either way so I can’t see him dropping out. Wouldn’t they end up splitting the votes which would essentially help the Republican candidates win? If that be the case, would the RNC submit to Tea Party demands to run a conservative (Palin?) or would they stick with a yet-to-be-named moderate RINO since an easy victory seems sure?

    Thanks!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Things to REALLY change THIS year.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=662R2awSwPQ

  6. Dee says:

    Robert, very interesting article. There have been times this past year when I wished that if a Democrat was in office that it had been Hillary instead of BO. Do you think that the thugs in this administration will do whatever it takes to discredit her? I can just see the fights between the Clinton machine and the Chicago group. I’m interested in knowing why you feel that she may even be worse for the country. I think it is very important for the conservatives to continue to be aware of what is at stake and maintain their presence and interest until the election. Thank you once again.

  7. YouShouldKnowBetter says:

    Where Soros pocketbook goes so goes the DNC. I bet if Soros sees the opportunity for pushing his agenda through Obama dries up so will his funding.

  8. Boston Blackie says:

    None of the above- Would you drag yourself and family through the mud during the election cycle, I know I couldn’t.

    In the end I don’t care if Obama or Clinton runs in 2012. They can both run for all I care, as long as neither one wins. What I care about is who runs against them. And – even more than that – who runs in all the legislative races in 2010 and 2012.

    Now, as Obama falters, is not the time to take a breath or relax. It’s the time to drive the blade home and kill the dragon of statist government in our generation. Temporary survival is not enough. What I care about above all else is handing over to my children a republic that is in better condition than when I found it.

    Amen, Robert, this is why I love this site. You guys put into words what I could never but exactly what I am thinking, thank you.

  9. Robert Wallace says:

    Nicknack-

    “All the comments that have come out of the Game Change book make it abundently clear that Ovamit was not the mainstream Democrates choice…”

    Have you read Game Change yet? I’m only into Chapter 2 so far, but one of the major results of Chapter 1 is that the mainstream Democrats turned on Hillary. Harry Reid, Ed Kennedy, Chuck Schumer: they all personally begged, pleaded, and cajoled Obama to run against Hillary in 2008. Of course the media was complicit, but without the elite Democrats egging him on it’s doubtful Obama would have run at all in 2008.

    This leads me to…

    sirmatthew -

    “How would you see this playing out if Hillary ran? Do you see her running as an independent or as a Dem with DNC support? Would the DNC really do an about-face on Obama like this?”

    Yes, they absolutely would. I know this because it’s what they did in 2008. In fact I don’t think it’s a question of what they *will* do, it’s probably a question of what they *have* done. I would be willing to bet money that quiet, back-channel talks have already started.

    Hillary and Bill were stunned when the DNC stabbed them in the back in 2008. Now it’s Obama’s turn to learn who feckless the political elites in D.C. are. These folks look out for #1 and #1 only. That’s why they got where they are.

    The upper echelons of the DNC will grovel before Hillary, beg forgiveness, and fall over themselves to prove their renewed loyalty. If she gets enough support, Obama’s finances will dry up and he will be forced out. He will fight as long as he thinks he can win, but I don’t see him running as an indie. He feeds off of his celebrity, and I don’t think he’ll survive politically without it. He’ll retreat into the warm embrace of his hardcore fans, sort of like Al Gore found solace with the enviro-loonies.

  10. carder says:

    I have my doubts.

    Mainly because Hillary did his bidding, and her record as SoS thus far has been less than stellar. She “yes, yes’d” him the whole time.

    For her to attempt to justify that whole charade and convince Americans that she really truly is qualified to lead this time (forget my foreign policy, folks), I think enough Americans will wish to flee the party that gave them Obama to begin with.

    I could be wrong, though.

    And besides, imagine the distinct pleasure of viewing a Palin/Clinton debate live on television!

  11. Nicknack says:

    Robert Wallace-

    “the mainstream Democrats turned on Hillary. Harry Reid, Ed Kennedy, Chuck Schumer: they all personally begged, pleaded, and cajoled Obama to run against Hillary in 2008.”

    Mr. Wallace , since when is Harry Reid Ed Kennedy and Chuck Schumer mainstream democrates? I was talking about the electorate not the intellegenisa of the democratic party when i wrote about the mainstream. Iowa was lost because of John Edwards and not raising BHO ghost lived past. If someone(Hillary) would have called out John Edwards Hillary would have won that primary and undoubltly won the nomination. The book cleary indicates that Edwards was in trouble from the onset. In additon if someone had called out BHO about the terrorist associations, passport issues , adoption in indonesia, occidental school records and payment by a foriegn nation for his education, Hillary would have won the nomination. Why didnt she do it? Because she didnt want to furthur tarnish her image as a scorched earth politician that would ignore the party elites and pander to the electorate. It was presicely because she was the mainstream candidate that BHO required all the elites and the MSM to alter the outcome by not reporting all the items that are in that book. She will not regain her stature because of this failure in leadership that she will take her ambitions with her to her grave and find that not heeding her husbands advice was her biggest mistake.

  12. Gail B. says:

    Another great piece, Robert. I love your stuff!

  13. J. says:

    Back when Hillary was running for POTUS, Bill was running around under cover. This didn’t play well when he was in office and for him to continue these escapades during her bid for POTUS 2008 will do nothing but turn off voters in 2012. They had enough. Bringing Bill, via Hillary, back into the White House does nothing but allow for much scandal to surface that it would hurt Hillary because it would leave for many a bad taste in their mouths.

    It would also be bad news for her and the Democrats in general because of the way they are trying to ram highly voter opposed legislation through a Democratic controlled Congress. Her views were almost as radical as Obamas. If the Republicans maintain their vigil and stand against all this spending by the Democrats, I don’t see it being very good odds for Hillary or the Democrats.

    One thing that will come back to bite her is that she is in his administration. Not speaking up about him until close to the end of Obama’s term does nothing but show that she is looking out for her political career and nothing more. Like Arlen Spectre did.

    J.

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