Saturday, January 5, 2008
Butter & Toast
So is Hillary Clinton toast? On the one hand, it's a wildly premature conclusion. She's still got money, infrastructure, loyalists, and plenty of campaign left to pull out the nomination. But on the other hand, it's not that far off the mark. Because to win the nomination, she'll have to resort to the very kind of machine politics that Obama is successfully building momentum against. Which means not all of Obama's supporters are necessarily in the Democratic column should Hillary be at the top of the ticket come November.
There's another scenario that no one's mentioned so far. It's very clear how strongly Obama is convinced that this is his moment, on a quasi-religious level. Which means he's not likely to fall into line at the end of the day and wait his turn like Bush 41 in 1980 or Al Gore in 1992. Which suggests two possibilities in the event he fails to win the Democratic nomination. Either he's been doing a lot of groundwork for Mike Bloomberg. Or else he runs as a third (or fourth?) party candidate in the general election.
One thing is almost certain. Should he not be rubbing elbows with John Roberts come January 21, 2009, Obama will launch a third party across the political landscape that we've come to think of as the center. Only he'll re-brand it as more active than just a refutation of the status quo, something along the lines of effective, realistic and responsible.