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December 7, 2005
Hillary Facing Challenge From The Left?

Just when it appears that the GOP's efforts to unseat Hillary Clinton have collapsed with District Attorney Jeanette Pirro's wobbly candidacy for the Senate seat, Clinton may face even more challenge from the Left. Another anti-war candidate has announced his intention to run against Clinton, and this one has some union clout:

A longtime labor advocate launched his challenge to Senator Clinton's reelection while another anti-war Senate hopeful yesterday suggested the two join forces against Mrs. Clinton in the 10-month lead-up to the Democratic primary.

A former head of the National Writers Union, Jonathan Tasini, announced his bid in a 20-minute speech to supporters and members of the press at the W Hotel in Union Square. The address largely focused on his opposition to the Iraq war: He said Mrs. Clinton and other Democrats who voted for it "abdicated their responsibility to the American people and to the values of the Democratic Party."

This could bode well for a serious GOP challenger to the Senate seat Clinton currently holds. By forcing Hillary to address her left flank, it keeps her from preparing for her 2008 candidacy by claiming the middle ground. She will have to convince the anti-war factions that she has their interests in mind -- which could lead to statements and promises that will make great fodder for the Republicans in 2008. If she loses too much ground to the challengers, her star may soon fade from the Presidential sweepstakes, even though her re-election to the Senate seems assured. A close election next year probably reduces serious consideration for her Presidential candidacy.

If she can't shake these guys off early, watch for Clinton to start embracing that "immediate strategic redeployment" theme offered by Howard Dean this week. That will be Hillary's jump-the-shark moment, if it occurs.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 7, 2005 7:14 AM

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