Friday, May 09, 2008
Hillary's $6.4 Million is a Wise Ivestment, for 2012
Hillary Clinton's decision to dump another $6.4 million into her lifeless campaign actually makes an odd and devious kind of sense. Because for her the end game is no longer November, it's 2012.
That's how anybody within the Clinton campaign, who's not in absolute denial, must be looking at her prospects. Clinton's 2008 campaign is dead, and nothing short of an 11th hour Obama scandal is going to change that. It's certainly not something Hillary can bet on.
But for the Clintons, who have bagged better than $100 million over the past two presidential terms (part of it working for Colombian free trade interests, but never mind), $6.4 million is not that much money.
And think about what it buys them.
First, it gives her another few weeks in which to delude herself that Obama might implode.
It helps keep Clinton afloat, perhaps long enough to get the DNC to change the rules, and turn the exhibition games in Florida and Michigan into regular season games that count in the standings.
More importantly, it gives Clinton more time to attack Obama, in order to make him less elect-able against McCain, come November.
Having a Democrat in the White House for the next four years is not good for Clinton's Oval Office aspirations. It virtually rules out her running again before 2016, when she'll be pushing seventy.
Clinton's only chance, for 2012, is to continue to damage Obama so badly that McCain wins in November. That would allow Clinton to take a run at McCain or some other Republican, four years from now.
And Clinton won't be able to keep bashing Obama, at least not publicly, once the Democratic race is officially over. Once that happens, she'll have to put on her team-player-let's-bring-the-Party-together act.
So she's forking out a few million to extend her 2008 campaign, and make it the un-official start of her 2012 run.
Normally, to subscribe to this kind of theory would require one to have a particularly cynical view of the junior senator from New York/Arkansas/Illinois/Pennsylvania etc.
But look at the evidence.
Clinton's already written a large part of McCain's anti-Obama material. There was the 3am ad. The nonsense over "clinging to god and guns", which she made the most of. Playing the Jeremiah Wright card, repeatedly.
Republican talking points all, that she took to heart, and ran with.
Politicians, when it comes to governing and policy, tend to live in the now, often failing to take the long view. Electoral politics are a different matter. When it comes to that, candidates are always thinking ahead.
That's what Obama did. His original plan was to run in 2012, but when he realized the White House was there for the taking this time around, he too did the math, and realized if he didn't run now, he was probably looking at 2016.
All of a sudden there was a bit more audacity there. A bit more hope. Enough to accelerate his plan.
Hillary Clinton is making a similar calculation. Investing, wisely, she probably thinks, in the future.
Get ready for a few more weeks of Obama bashing, courtesy for the Junior Senator from Everywhere. I get the feeling Hillary Clinton is going to get her money's worth.