The Unsinkable Hillary Clinton?

by on July 27th, 2005

It is inexorable. The sheer consuming power of it leaves one breathless and in awe, like a giant black hole at the center of the progressive political galaxy. Yes, the juggernaut that is Hillary may well be unstoppable.

Now as all three of my loyal readers well know, I’ve savaged the very idea of a Hillary nomination in 2008 as yet another Dem electoral catastrophe. I remain skeptical, with extreme prejudice, of her chances to re-forge her husband’s broad, blue state lock-picking coalition if she is nominated. I also remain an enthusiastic Bayh booster. All that said, the woman is one awesome politician, is she not?

This is no latter day revelation. I’ve recognized and respected Hillary Clinton’s abilities since the ’92 primaries when she piloted the SS Slick Willie to victory through what seemed then to be unnavigable shark infested waters. Of course as we now know, that was child’s play compared to what was to come. But I suppose it was after reading a few months back that she was doing joint appearances with Newt Gingrich(!?!) that I began grudgingly to mutter in impolite progressive company, “never, NEVER underestimate Hillary Clinton”. If this maneuver doesn’t help inoculate her from the elitist liberal label, likely nothing will.

And as most are probably aware by now, the political coups continue. Her starring role at the recent National Conversation Conference of the militantly centrist DLC erased any lingering doubts that I harbored as to her political acumen. Now, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Bill, a founding leviathan of the New Democrat movement, yanked some strings if not some short and curlies on this one. And it may well be that, given the assumption of a center-wise rhetorical tack from ol Hill, the DLC invoked the “can’t beat em?,..” rule or are at the very least hedging their bets. But this remains an impressive feat nonetheless.

It is, of course, a long way to 2008, and there’s some impressive rival candidacies about to burst from the gates. Bayh, Warner and even Richardson all pass the Ringmaster’s litmus of popular centrist red state governor or former governor. And I’d be foolish to overlook the also politically well-endowed John Edwards (I’m startin to sound like Wonkette!). Hillary, an Ivy League Senator from the northeast (sound familiar?), is of course none of these things. But what I’m coming to realize is that via seemingly infallible political savvy, she has now gone from the 800 lb. gorilla in this race to mass of the sun status. And the phrase “the candidate to beat” has officially reached understatement of the year standing.

Put on your sunglasses folks, it’s going to be one hell of a ride.

Kit Robinson