January 17, 2014

"The easiest way Hillary can be stopped is if she stops herself."

"There is a reasonable chance she’ll decide not to [run again]," writes Bill Kristol (reacting to TIME's question "Can Anyone Stop Hillary?") 
She’s an intelligent woman. She remembers that her last experience of running for president wasn’t fun and didn’t end well. She knows that winning the Democratic nomination won’t be as easy as the media now pretend and that the general election will be, at best, a 50-50 proposition....

Hillary has no agenda different from that of other generic Democratic candidates, or for that matter from Barack Obama, the man she would succeed. Hillary’s first term would in reality be Obama’s third. She’d be tinkering with his successes and trying to cope with his failures. Becoming president in 2009 after eight years of dastardly Republican rule, with a chance to make things anew, was an exciting prospect for a liberal. Succeeding the modern liberal president after two terms?
Not worth it... maybe. When's the last time we had a President who followed a 2-term President from his own party? It was when we had Bush I, the man Hillary's husband defeated. Basically, Americans don't want more than 2 terms of the same. The 22d Amendment, barring anyone from election to a 3d term, was our reaction to FDR's election to a 3d and a 4th term. Before him nearly everyone followed the principle demonstrated by George Washington, serving only, at most, 2 terms, and the few who tried for a 3d failed.

Since the ratification of the 22d Amendment (in 1951), not only has it been impossible for anyone to serve a 3d term as President, efforts by other members of the President's party to follow on, being — to use Kristol's phrase — "in reality" the "third" term have all but one have failed. The one exception, George H.W. Bush, not only had Reagan as his predecessor, but also had a weak opponent (Michael Dukakis).

50 comments:

Revenant said...

"Can anyone stop Hillary" was a pressing question in 2007. Then she got stopped. It turns out it isn't even that hard.

Original Mike said...

"The one exception, George H.W. Bush, not only had Reagan as his predecessor, but also had a weak opponent (Michael Dukakis)."

While Obama is no Reagan, don't underestimate the ability of the GOP to nominate a Republican Dukakis.

campy said...

Basically, Americans don't want more than 2 terms of the same.

Fortunately for Hillary!, it no longer matters what Americans want. If she can manage to secure the democrat nomination, she will be elected president.

No question.

garage mahal said...

Then she got stopped. It turns out it isn't even that hard.

Hillary received more actual votes in the 2008 primary than any candidate of either party.

tim in vermont said...

Ah, Mike Dukakis. "Good jobs at good wages."

They liked him so much in Massachusetts that they named two towns after him, Marblehead and Stoneham (pronounced "Stone 'em" for you non New Englanders.

tim in vermont said...

"Hillary received more actual votes in the 2008 primary than any candidate of either party."

More proof, as if more were needed, of the inherent racism of the Democrat party.

Soon, they will be proving their sexism.

garage mahal said...

More proof, as if more were needed, of the inherent racism of the Democrat party.

You changed your mind on pot within 5 minutes, and you're now high?

Bob Ellison said...

Kristol writes, "Succeeding the modern liberal president after two terms? Hillary may well decide it’s not worth the candle."

What could motivate her to run, though?

1 - leftist policies
2 - personal power
3 - defeat of conservatives
4 - something specific, like single-payer health care
5 - money
6 - a big legacy

Hillary Clinton probably does think leftist policies are best for America. But why should she care? Does she want what's best for America? Not obvious.

She probably wants personal power, and defeating conservatives would make her feel good.

Something specific...like what? A newly high income tax rate?

Money-- she already has a lot of it.

Legacy-- she's probably an atheist, so why should she care what people think when she's gone?

I don't think righties can succeed in analyzing lefties like this. Hillary Clinton may have other things driving her.

Revenant said...

Hillary received more actual votes in the 2008 primary than any candidate of either party.

I'm not sure how that's relevant to what I wrote. Neither the primaries nor the Presidential race are determined by popular vote. Hillary racked up some big vote totals in California, New York, and Texas, for example... but who cares? We all know which parties are winning those states in 2016.

AJ Lynch said...

Hillary may not run? Kristol continues his streak of being wrong on just about everything.

Bob Ellison said...

I forgot!

7 - revenge

If she wins in 2016, she gets revenge on both conservatives and on Obama. Take that!

Mingus Jerry said...

How does she pass up the chance to be the first woman president?

Plus, she gives the dems a do-over.

Who would beat her in a primary? I think the dems learned their lesson about inexperienced diversity hires.

pm317 said...

I think the biggest drawback for Hillary is that she can't without damage rip to shreds Obama's record or lack thereof. She can't freely talk about his incompetence, -- a kind of 'I told you so in 2008'. She has to go after Obama's failures to win but she can't. Can she tell us where Obama was on the night of Benghazi attack and if she did, she may absolve herself too. But she can't. She is in a terrible position. What a missed opportunity for America!

pm317 said...

Hillary received more actual votes in the 2008 primary than any candidate of either party.

Yes. They stole the nomination due her right under our noses. Robbery in broad daylight. May 31, 2008, RBC in Marriott in Woodley Park. They gave Obama the delegates he never won. Fuck the DNC and Obama minions.

garage mahal said...

I'm not sure how that's relevant to what I wrote.

You said it wasn't that hard to stop her. It was hard. Obama beat her by racking up flyover states, and superdelegates that didn't want to vote against the potential first black prez.

Seeing Red said...

Obama beat her by racking up Chicago & intimidation of delegates.

Strelnikov said...

She cannot be stopped because she is inevitable.

Just like 2008.

Strelnikov said...

"I think the dems learned their lesson about inexperienced diversity hires."

What's your evidence for that, he asked rhetorically, neither expecting nor desiring an answer?

rhhardin said...

The Dems should go with Putin, who was also born in Kenya.

He's a leftist and has executive experience.

Paco Wové said...

"She has to go after Obama's failures to win but she can't."

Why do you say that? I assume she will pretty much ignore Obama's actions, concentrating instead on "War on Wimmenz!" and "Put y'all back in chains!!" with a little bit of "Eat the Rich!" thrown in.

pm317 said...

Why do I say that?! hmmm, any candidate in 2016 can have an easy win by contrasting how Obama came into the office with what he did (or did not, could not do). Republicans, take note. There is a gold mine there. But of course, for that tack to work, they have to bring their own alternative good workable ideas.

garage mahal said...

Some black liberals already hate Brian Schweitzer because he is criticizing Obama and his policies. Schweitzer is an interesting figure. Anti-war, anti-spying, pro-gun, pro-single payer populist. If he would change his horrid environmental views I could get behind him.

Paco Wové said...

Well, yeah, but we're talking about Hillary! here, not the Republicans. Like Kristol said, she would probably run as Obama, part III, so I don't think she would do anything to tarnish the brand.

pm317 said...

And of course, go after the fucking lapdog media who forced this incompetent on all of us -- one more thing Hillary won't be able to do.

America's Politico said...

Because of GOP's no-love for immigrant-citizens, women, and science, I will vote for Hillary!, much as I dislike her. I want to be the change-agent. GOP has no class. No class.

Get rid of every-one starting with Chritie, Ryan, Jindal, Rand, etc. You know a GOP pol - make sure that person is defeated.

We need new blood in the GOP. Smart, progressive, interested in innovation, etc.

We have dinosaurs. We need to make the current GOP party officials - extinct.

Revenant said...

You said it wasn't that hard to stop her. It was hard.

Well, no. She lost to a political neophyte with no leadership experience, even though the Clinton political machine had been planning for the 2008 elections for eight years.

The problem she ran into is that she's got the charisma of a dishrag. People think "Clinton! Yay!" but when they actually listen to her the inescapable fact that she's no Bill creeps back into play.

pm317 said...

People think "Clinton! Yay!" but when they actually listen to her the inescapable fact that she's no Bill creeps back into play.

What BS!

readering said...

It takes a special kind of ambition to run for president. Hillary has shown she has it. She knew how difficult it was to run in 2008. This would be effectively her fourth campaign. If she is in decent physical and mental health, she'll run.

mccullough said...

If Hillary didn't run, who in the hell would the Dems put up that would have a chance? Would people really elect Biden? Warren? Who else is there?

Revenant said...

Republicans, take note. There is a gold mine there. But of course, for that tack to work, they have to bring their own alternative good workable ideas.

The 2008 election shows that you don't need alternative ideas in order to run against somebody else, provided the "somebody else" has a low enough approval rating.

You can get by with vague promises, if people are hungry enough for change.

rcocean said...

Her nomination will depend on the African American vote. About 20% of Democrat primary voters are AA, and they vote as a monolithic block.

If another Black politician runs in 2016, all bets are off.

Hagar said...

More to the point, she can't clean house, but will be stuck with Obama's appointees.
And if she goes to criticizing Obama while campaigning, "the Black vote" may well go fishing on election day.

Hagar said...

Or even sounds less than enthusiastic, and if she sounds enthusiastic, who is going to believe it?

Fen said...

Has anyone noticed the "after-taste" of the Bengazi is similar to that of Whitewater, Rose Law Firm, Vince Foster, etc?

Its like the same Cleaner Crew is still at work.

Fen said...

And is that what we can expect everytime she screws up as POTUS? Same old tactics to cover up and distort the truth?

AReasonableMan said...

Revenant said...
"Can anyone stop Hillary" was a pressing question in 2007. Then she got stopped. It turns out it isn't even that hard.


She is unstoppable for the Dem nomination. Only another woman could stop her and that seems very unlikely. Personally I would prefer Gillibrand as the Dem nominee but that won't happen.

SteveR said...

If she runs, and there is no reason to think she won't, she will easily win the nomination. Unless the Republicans do something unexpected in terms of message and technique, with a candidate currently not on the radar, they will lose to her. I may be wrong but I doubt it.

LilyBart said...


What has Hillary actually accomplished really?

Would we even know who she is if she hadn't married Bill? Likely not.

What did she actually accomplish as Sec of State? Other than 'log the most miles' or some such?

Why do these unaccomplished people keep rising to high levels in politics? Don't we deserve better?

AReasonableMan said...

Best thing that could happen to Hillary would be for Bill to die some time during the middle of the campaign. It would remove her biggest negative and garner a sympathy vote. If I were Bill I would invest in a food taster.

The Godfather said...

I remember 2007-08, sitting around the table in the cafeteria of my D.C. law firm, with everybody saying Hillary's inevitable -- including rock-ribbed Democrats who said they would NEVER vote for her (they'd stay home on Election Day). Then out of the blue came this guy nobody ever heard of and took the nomination away from her. That would not have happened if Hillary were a strong candidate, instead of merely an inevitable one.

She's done nothing since then to make herself more appealing. Will someone unknown and unimaginable appear to challenge her for the 2016 Democratic nomination? Will Joe Biden acquire gravitas?

Or will she get the Democratic nomination and lose to a midwest governor, or an Hispanic senator from Texas or Florida, or whoever? She can and should be beaten -- but she is going to run and run hard, make no mistake about that.

Revenant said...

She is unstoppable for the Dem nomination.

She's certainly the obvious front runner, but unstoppable? In January of '06 she looked unstoppable for the '08 nomination. I'm not going to call her unstoppable until I see who else throws their hat in the ring.

coinsutc said...

Ah, Mike Dukakis. "Good jobs at good wages."

They liked him so much in Massachusetts that they named two towns after him, Marblehead and Stoneham (pronounced "Stone 'em" for you non New Englanders.
Fut Coins

SOJO said...

I think it would be one long Benghazi fest from beginning to end, from the opposition.

The one thing that Hillary was really strong in is that she didn't lie about what was needed for real healthcare reform; I'd like to see her actually say that, but it would then put her in direct opposition to her former employer's legacy.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

I don't think America will accept a President whose spouse cheats on her. So no, she will not stop herself.

Kirk Parker said...

Somebody else said: "Then she got stopped. It turns out it isn't even that hard."

Garage replies: "Hillary received more actual votes in the 2008 primary than any candidate of either party."

I respond: "So? They weren't saying Hillary got stopped by getting outvoted in the (D) primaries, just that she got stopped."





AP,

"We need new blood in the GOP. Smart, progressive..."

WTF?

WTF'nF?????

Rob McLean said...

They liked him so much in Massachusetts that they named two towns after him, Marblehead and Stoneham (pronounced "Stone 'em" for you non New Englanders.

You forgot Athol.

jr565 said...

Garage mahal wrote:
I'm not sure how that's relevant to what I wrote.

You said it wasn't that hard to stop her. It was hard. Obama beat her by racking up flyover states, and superdelegates that didn't want to vote against the potential first black prez.

the dems will throw the first woman president under the bus if they can get the even bigger prize of first black president.
This also explains why Romney had trouble beating the incumbent first black president.
Economy shmeshnonomy. For the left, if its the first black president that takes precedence, even if he's terrible.

harrogate said...

Disclaimer: I detest Kristol more than just about any pundit out there. However I do think he is right about this. Not only is it going to be very difficult for *any* Dem to win in a general election in 2016, but the added issue of "American royalty" would make that climb even steeper. Even if Hill does not fully grasp this it remains true and if she does run she will find it out the hard way. Jeb Bush would be making a big mistake if he ran as well, and for similar reasons.

So Kristol is right about something, it seems. Well, I suppose even a blind groundhog will find an acorn every now and then.

Rusty said...

SOJO said...
I think it would be one long Benghazi fest from beginning to end, from the opposition.

Agree. She's toast. Only the die hard ideological feminist left will have her.

Broomhandle said...

The notion that Hillary will have to either defend or distance herself, from Obama's wreckage, is nonsense. Free stuff voters don't care and middle-class Democrats don't want to know. Hillary can run and win purely on her celebrity and gender.