Saturday, January 05, 2008

Hillary's Self & Party Sabotage

An interchange I had with the ever-gracious Prof. Kleiman, in response to his pointing out here that Hillary's camp is willing to sabotage Obama and the Party by giving the Republicans all the talking points they need:
One impression I get from analyzing Hillary is that she has no qualms in attacking her Democratic colleagues if they stand in the way of her ambitions. In the past few months we've seen as an unnecessary ferocity in her back-swipes against Edwards and Obama. And everybody knows that attacks during the primaries are usually more vicious than during the general - and most likely to have long-term damage.

But another Hillary crime, I fear, will be her active or passive sabotaging of any non-Hillary candidacy. I remember thinking back in 2004 that Bill (and Hillary) weren't helping Kerry nearly as much as they should have been. I was pissed back then and I had assumed that it was because they wanted to run in '08 and they wouldn't be able to do so if Kerry won in '04.

Now that it's '08 and if Hillary loses this race, she can't afford to wait until '16 -- she'll be 70 and Bill will be (in all likelihood) dead. Her last chance, if she fails now, is '12. Which means that Obama will need to lose in '08.

Which means that her attacks on Obama will be unrestrained on purpose. She needs to win now or for Obama to lose in November - and, lucky for her, both conclusions rely on the same tactics.

The silver lining is that her attacks will need to be moderated by the studies/polling that will show that negativity by her emphasizes what so many people hate about her (and thus drive down her numbers). Also, Obama seems to have teflon-ized himself with the 'new politics' rhetoric that can jiu-jitsu every overt attack into a proof that his opponents (Hillary or GOP) are just practicing 'politics as usual.'
His response:
Nice analysis; hadn't thought of it that way. On the other hand, she might want to be Majority Leader -- a job she'd be good at -- and sabotaging the campaign would get in the way of that. Also, if Obama is the nominee he's going to win, whatever she does.
My response back:
Thanks for the kudos.

I think that she would make a credible Majority Leader, but I see that job going next to Schumer who will be a *great* majority leader (I can't wait). But you're right about her ambitions may be kept in check by that possibility (which will mean she and her husband will just go for the '04 passive sabotage)

And I also believe that if Obama gets the nomination that he will win - barring any scandal that we don't know about of course.

And another angle I didn't mention: the Afro-American backlash against the Clintons if they keep up the heavy negative talk. Hillary may not care but Bill does.
Backpost finished 2009-12-14.

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