Making A Clean Break In 2008
Let me ask you something. By the time we reach early 2008, and survive the next 12 months or so of Bush scandals, Democratic hearings, Bush vetoes, Democratic responses, and over hyped media coverage of the top tier of Democratic contenders, including the upcoming sandbagging of Hillary and ongoing smearing of all things Clinton, do you really think that Hillary will still be Number One? I have been kicking this around in my mind over the last week, and I just can’t get inspired at the thought of Hillary as our standard-bearer heading into the convention next year, especially after the weekly drubbing she will go through with the media.
Is anyone looking forward to a Rudy-Hillary race?
I think people will give Obama and Edwards a long look simply because they have made a clean break on the issue that drags down the party emotionally: the war. I fully understand the political reasons why Hillary and Bill are trying to avoid apologizing for that vote, in the typical triangulating “show the Beltway you’re not a radical lefty” manner that is second nature to all things Clintonian. However, I think that independents and many Democrats will be looking for someone who provides a fresh start in 2009, with immediate competence as well as passion for restoring this national community here at home and abroad with as little rancor as possible. By that standard, Hillary doesn’t make the cut. I personally am keeping an eye open towards Bill Richardson as someone who fits that description, and am watching to see if Obama can demonstrate it as well.
In an ideal world Democrats would put up two people who would both be from outside Washington yet are so smart and world-wise that their ability to step in and fix the last seven years would be immediately apparent to voters. Beltway Democrats who have been involved at all in the debacle of enabling and way-too-late opposing this administration disinterest me. A ticket of Richardson and Montana governor Brian Schweitzer, who did very well on Charlie Rose recently and who knows a great deal about the Middle East would be very solid, and both are very committed to working Americans and Main Street, rather than Wall Street. Both John Edwards and Obama have great qualities in this area as well, along with the major virtue of not being a Beltway enabler over the life of the Bush Administration.
I realize that it may be unfair to lump Hillary, Dodd, and Biden into a group as Beltway enablers if they have gained their spines and voices with the midterm elections, and in fact have been speaking out all along. It’s just that to many Democrats as well as independents, I suspect that there will be a desire to make a clean break from the last eight years and seek out folks who meet that criteria.