NEW YORK (Reuters) - Democratic U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Saturday she planned to form an exploratory committee for the 2008 presidential race, the first step toward becoming a candidate for her party's nomination.This raises a dilemma for me, although it's not an unexpected one: Obama, Clinton, or Gore (rumours abound, despite his rather clear-yet-loophole-y-denials)?
"I'm in. And I'm in to win," Clinton wrote on her Web site that reads "Hillary for President."
The second-term U.S. senator from New York and former U.S. first lady had been widely anticipated to announce her bid to become the first woman to win the U.S. presidency. She is considered a front-runner among five other candidates in the Democratic White House field.
The complaints from Democrats about Hillary seem to come under two headings: She's too polarizing, and she's too accommodating.
I think she can win. Polarizing is nothing new in Presidential candidates who've won and in fact, I can name four in the past 60 years who were more polarizing than Hil, and all won: Reagan, Bush the Younger (2004, in particular), Nixon, and Truman.
You'll notice something about all four: polarizing, yes, but they also skewed right of their parties at the time of election. Yes, three were Republicans, but you'll notice something else about the past 60 years since FDR: only once has a party held the Presidency for more than two consecutive terms, and that was only because the Democrats were dumb enough to pick the bloodless Michael Dukakis over Gary Hart, who would have wiped Bush the Elder up with a sponge with passion and vision.
And Hillary has vision in abundance.
Don't get me wrong, I love Barack Obama, and its obvious from the rhetoric from the Republicans that they are scared shitless of his candidacy: imagine trying to run against a godly black man who came up from next-to-nothing? It's like running against Martin Luther King, Jr, post-sainthood.
And Al Gore should get a chance to get re-elected, as well.
But I wouldn't count Hillary out, by any stretch. I think she's the strongest candidate the Democrats can field, and can win easily. Upstate New York is redder than most of America, including a lot of the Deep South, and she won handily in those districts.