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Hillary Clinton told aides that she will run for re-election to the Senate in 2006 even if she plans a run for the Presidency in 2008, according to the New York Times:
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has decided to run for a second term in the Senate in 2006, despite arguments by some Democrats that such a move could complicate her potential bid for the presidency in 2008, her advisers said on Tuesday. ...
The disclosure of her re-election plans seemed intended to stanch what aides said was rising speculation among Democrats, particularly since Senator John Kerry's loss two weeks ago, that she might need to forgo the Senate race to focus entirely on running for the White House.
"It's not an issue," said Howard Wolfson, an adviser to Mrs. Clinton. "Senator Clinton has said she is running for re-election. She is raising money and moving forward."
Mandy Grunwald, her longtime media adviser, said, "The questions about the presidency are flattering. but she'll deal with that in the future."
Others are not so sanguine about Hillary's decision. Adam Nagourney and Raymond Hernandez report that James Carville declined to endorse the idea of a Senate run so close to her expected Presidential campaign. As the article points out, she would have only fourteen months from November 2006 to the Iowa caucuses in 2008, meaning that she would no sooner win re-election than be forced to announce her presidential bid. Otherwise she risks losing fundraising opportunities and giving away momentum to another candidate, such as John Edwards, who has the next four years open on his calendar.
The New York GOP has to be delighted with her decision. Granted, she probably wins re-election rather handily unless she faces off against an exceptional candidate; Governor George Pataki has indicated interest, but probably only Rudy Giuliani would be able to beat her. Even if she wins, however, the Republican campaign will be designed to specifically tie her to policy positions that she may later regret during a presidential campaign, when the mass of voters will swing more conservative.
Retiring from the Senate after one term would avoid this trap, and Hillary should reconsider her plan if she's serious about the Presidency. Normally, being a one-termer would also be a heavy negative in a presidential campaign, as a single term does not provide much opportunity to build a political record. (Just ask John Edwards about that problem.) Obviously Hillary doesn't suffer from that. The Democratic Party has plenty of people who want her and Bill to return to the White House in order to recall the days of the trailer-park Camelot, where Guinevere remained faithful but Arthur chased every skirt around the Round Table. At least in a Hillary presidency, he wouldn't be goldbricking from his job while doing so.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Tracked on November 17, 2004 10:25 AM
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