Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bull Moose, party of two

Has anyone done any polls where all three run?

I think Andrew Sullivan is right: it's going all the way to Denver. It doesn't matter what happens in Indiana - even if Senator Obama manages to squeak by with a win, Senator Clinton has the money now to compete for a lot longer... and more than that, she has, after these wins in Pennsylvania and Ohio, the legitimate claim on the all-important blue collar white man (ie, the 'no way I ever vote for a black guy') vote.

So she is able, somehow, to convince the superdelegates NOT to go for Obama in June, to wait to decide until the convention -- and then we all gird for a showdown in the Rockies...

And then what? Do we really think she loses that fight gracefully, hops up on stage with Senator Obama, and the two grin at each other as the band plays 'Happy Days Are Here Again' and the balloons cascade down and the Democrats are happy and united again? Really? After the way she's run her campaign up to now, does it all just spin on a dime like that at the end?

No, it's a lot easier to imagine her deciding to bolt the party and go for a third party than conceding defeat... Think of it. "The Democratic Party is abandoning its base; it is disenfranchising two great states it needs for victory in November; and it is deliberately choosing an untested, untried newcomer who will polarize the electorate and keep the White House in Republican hands. Therefore, Bill and I are starting The New Democratic party.... Join us as we campaign to take America back to greatness...!" And they rent a hall in Philadelphia - where the nation began! - and begin the most audacious third-party campaign since another disgruntled ex-President started a third party to reclaim his hold on the White House...

The question is, could she win the Presidency this way?

I can't deny, it'd make for great theater. But we're well past the point where the country could afford it. Still, it's about the only endgame I can realistically envision at this point.

God help us all.


Peter Davis said...

And who would her running mate be, Perot or Lieberman or Bloomberg? In any case the 3rd party would give the Republicans yet another presidency. I can't believe the Clintons would quite do that, however, since it's a party-wrecking move and they're party loyalists. TR was always a party maverick in a way neither Bill nor Hillary has ever been. It's more likely Obama would feel he had to offer her VP, as JFK did LBJ whom he didn't like and knew would turn him down, and that Sen. Clinton, like LBJ, would grab it. So let's worry about that for a while.
Owen Jant

Nick said...

I think she'd pick Ed Rendell, and I think he'd accept it in a heartbeat.

I think you overestimate the Clintons' party loyalty. Their loyalty is, has been, and will forever be to the Clintons. If they think it will give them a chance to get back in the White House, they'll go for it.

nyhusker said...

I agree with Peter; she wouldn't do that, because they know they could never win the presidency, and then Hillary would be a hugely unpopular person in the Senate. I think the most likely scenario is, as I said some while back, she concedes defeat then does everything humanly possible to sabotage Obama's campaign. What's more, Bill has way too much work in this world to do to alienate his party, and he knows that if he bolted, no party regulars are coming with him. How many party regulars campaigned for Lieberman after Lamont beat him in the primaries? But for the sake of argument, if she did do that, Rendell would never take the veep. Senator Specter is not going to beat cancer again, so a Senate seat will be opening up in PA soon, and that's Rendell's next step. Wesley Clark would be her veep. No coup is complete without a general, and he's been her taillights throughout this campaign. In other news: Hey, Peter, you wouldn't happen to know a good documentary on the Vietnam War would you?