October 25, 2006

IF THEY WIN SHE'D BETTER QUIT FAST:

Clinton, McCain: Irresistable and Unstoppable (JOHN BATCHELOR, October 25, 2006, NY Sun)

"He who is not against us is for us," the Gospel of Mark observes. This is as succinct a statement as exists of the stealthy and smart presidential contest already under way between the junior senator from New York and the senior senator from Arizona.

Of 300 million Americans, startlingly few don't know who Hillary Clinton and John McCain are, and even fewer are against both of them, which, after Mark, means that we are overwhelmingly for them. As a couple, they are already in royal purple. As rivals, we approach a smash-up that will match Lord and Lady Macbeth.

An appetizing new book, "The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008," from two veteran White House watchers, Mark Halpern of ABC News and John Harris of the Washington Post, overflows with advice to the start-up candidate for the presidency, and it elucidates the electioneering of Bill Clinton and George Bush. But the heart of the book is celebration of the fact that Mrs. Clinton and Mr. McCain are irresistible and unstoppable.


If the Democrats were to win the Senate it would be a disaster for Ms Clinton, who'd be forced to vote on all the little pet projects of the Left that she's been able to avoid taking a stand on for six years. Meanwhile, John McCain would be handed all kinds of opportunities to posture against such bills, restoring his cred on the Right.

MORE:
Who Knew Democrats Could Not Spend? (ANDREW FERGUSON, October 25, 2006, NY Sun)

In this space a few weeks ago, I stuck out my wattled neck and declared, with the kind of confidence only political columnists can summon, that the Democratic Party is busy developing policy ideas about how to run the government — assuming, of course, its members win control of Congress next month.

And ever since, I've been looking for further evidence that my confidence was well-placed.

I've come up empty. Hoping to find a new version of the GOP's winning "Contract with America" in 1994, I've found instead that this year's Democratic campaigns for Congress are essentially negative — against the war in Iraq above all.

"I'm not a Republican" seems to be a sufficient argument to wow voters at the moment, and who can blame them?

A substance-free strategy in this season of discontent may be smart politically. And it's tactically efficient. But it also helps explain a curious anomaly in many polls: As approval ratings for congressional Republicans fall, congressional Democrats haven't enjoyed a corresponding rise the way Republicans did against their Democratic counterparts before the 1994 election.

It's hard, in other words, to build positive ratings without a positive message. Next year and beyond, Democrats may come to regret they didn't have one.


The only reason a political party in a democratic society remains silent about what it wants to do is because it knows the voters are opposed.


Posted by Orrin Judd at October 25, 2006 10:22 AM
Comments

Maverick's too old and too volatile.

CFR.

Posted by: Sandy P at October 25, 2006 10:49 AM

Reagan was too old and had to pretend to be volatile to win.

Posted by: oj at October 25, 2006 11:05 AM

Hillary reached her zenith probably 18 months ago. While she may still win, it is going to be brutal. And Obama's sweet whispers give him the media darling status, something Hillary will never have.

Elizabeth Edwards' hisses towards Hillary earlier this month are the first shot. More to follow.

McCain and Rudy will slug it out. Your drumbeat for McCain, based on all his 'endorsements' and his fund-raising, will continue. But he has to get a plurality of primary votes. It might not happen.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 25, 2006 11:22 AM

jim:

It'll be a walkover. First she whips him in IA and then NH and he's done. All he does is make her look like a better candidate than she is.

Posted by: oj at October 25, 2006 11:37 AM

Maverick's not Ronnie.

He's also not as funny.

And when his buds in the MSM get hold of him.....

The torch was passed in 1992, mistake to pass it back.......

Posted by: Sandy P at October 25, 2006 2:06 PM

generational torch

Posted by: Sandy P at October 25, 2006 2:07 PM

Ronnie actually picked Maverick out very early on, while he was still a POW:

graphics.boston.com/news/politics/campaign2000/news/McCain_aims_for_repeat_of_Reagan_s_upset_in_S_C_+.shtml

Posted by: oj at October 25, 2006 2:15 PM

Hillary is going to have to fight, because Edwards, Kerry, and possibly Al Gore are going to try to destroy her. While Kerry is a joke, Edwards has money and his hair (and media adulation). Gore has the animus and can swing a fair portion of the party to his side.

Now, Obama could knock Edwards out and simply look at the camera and say - "I represent the future, a bright new American future". And just how is the vaunted Clinton machine going to attack him? If she runs, Hillary should win. But she has to get that damned plurality. It looks easy now. It won't be.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 25, 2006 3:38 PM

jim:

The more un-Hillary's there are the easier it is for her. She'd fund Gore and Kerry campaigns.

Posted by: oj at October 25, 2006 4:02 PM

Rodham-Obama '008.

What's not to like?

(If not Obama, then whomever is in second place/causing the most trouble. Why beat 'em when you can buy 'em off? A pol like B.O. will gladly wait 8 years for his chance to play Algore, because he knows he won't screw it up, either.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 25, 2006 4:24 PM
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