Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Clinton in 2008: The Winds of Change are In the Air

There was once a time when I thought Hillary Clinton running for president in 2008 would be just the thing the country needed. Then I, and many other liberals, became a little dismayed about Hillary's pandering to conservatives in an effor to win moderate votes. This is something her husband did and did well: his support of NAFTA appealed to business interests and torqued off the far left, but many of them still voted his way. Hillary, on the other hand, just doesn't seem to get how this works. Her first stumbling steps in this direction were about video game violence of all things, something I blogged about at the time. Recently, she's made more overtures in that direction, and the results are dubious at best. As a leftie, I'm looking her way and wondering why she isn't rallying behind traditionally conservative values that the current administration has completely screwed the pooch on - say, balanced budget and reduced government - and has instead gone the route of government interference in video games of all things.

Andrew Sullivan posted a link this weekend to a Johnathan Chait Op-Ed in the LA Times that examines Hillary's shortcomings vis-a-vis a possible Gore candidacy in 2008. I've been seeing more and more rumblings about this not only in the liberal blogosphere, but all over the 'Net: Gore's movie has put him back in the spotlight, and has done more for his image than a year of campaign ads could have. Frankly, you can't buy that kind of exposure (as Clinton will likely come to find out.)

I'm still on the fence about a Gore candidacy. Whomever runs on the left better have a goddamned solid plan, and not just run on a platform of "I'm not Bush!" because frankly that isn't going to cut it, and it sure as hell won't win the swing states. Even Bush had a plan in 2000 that went beyond an "I'm not Clinton!" even though he got more than a few of those jabs in during the campaign (which is fine: fair game this time around too, in my opinion.) Is Gore that candidate? Maybe. Is he looking better and better? Hell yes. Color me cautiously optimistic.

And why not? It worked for Nixon in 1968, right?

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