Okay, here’s my jilted bride theory of Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton has positioned herself for this Presidential election for the last 16 years. In this time, she created the contemporary template for female political leadership and expected to receive the ultimate reward. That may still happen but even if it does, Obama has clearly short circuited her ascension. Clinton seemed to presage a radical new shift in American politics but in reality it’s Obama whose broadly perceived as the history maker. That perception is enhanced through the campaigns they’re running and the way he’s forced the issue of change into the forefront. Yes, it’s true, the only First Lady in our history to become a Senator and Presidential candidate is in real danger of becoming an historic footnote.
IF Obama wins the nomination—
She’s in the process of being skipped over and potentially in a permanent sense. If Obama wins the general election and is anything other than a massive failure, Clinton is done with Presidential politics. That must be incredibly hard for her to accept.
Perhaps this is why Clinton seems to be willing to help give McCain so much ammunition for the fall. Some of the criticisms she’s leveling at Obama seem unnecessary and unhelpful if her ultimate aim is to make certain a Democrat wins the White House. A friend forwarded me this post from James Fallows and it raises some interesting ideas.
Would the Clinton team ever admit they’d prefer McCain to win the Presidency over Obama? No chance of that. But perhaps the reality is different.
However, if Obama wins the nomination but loses the general election, Clinton still wins. In 2012 she’ll be THE important Democratic candidate. Obama won’t run again, Edwards is done, Gore will no longer be interested and none of the potential upstarts will want to be the next person to cost Clinton the Presidency. If McCain wins this year, Clinton will still have a great opportunity to challenge him or a new Republican nominee. She’ll be an even more accomplished Senator and the clear next Democratic choice. Democrats still regret the failure of their last ascendancy candidate, Al Gore, to have their full support. The cries for Gore to run again were nearly deafening last year and Clinton would receive the same treatment next time around if Obama falters in November.