Hillary's Plan B
In the middle of the battle for this year's Republican nomination, a curiously irrelevant diversion has appeared. Suddenly, we're told, a "Hillary 2016" bandwagon has sprung up out of nowhere. Senator Gillibrand proposed the idea, Nancy Pelosi endorsed it, Bill Clinton has coyly denied it (but given it his blessing), and a Google search discloses over 300 hits about it.
In Hollywood, they say that if a starlet gets on a magazine cover, she's lucky, if she gets on two, she's good, but if she gets on half a dozen, all at once, she's got a good agent. Those 300 hits mean that somebody has been very busy. But to what end? To quote an earlier article about Hillary, "just as in Las Vegas, there are no coincidences in politics." This curious timing must mean something.
Maybe Obama is in more trouble than we think. A president who's popular in the spring can be toast by election time (remember Carter?) Something may be looming on the horizon (jobs? debit crisis? Iran? gay marriage?) that can't be covered up until after the election.
The Obama machine must be aware that a critical Republican weakness is the disaffection of women voters . Anything that tilts women toward the Obama ticket would win the election. What could be better than Hillary as running mate? The idea, proposed in January and dismissed as "silly", might be a stroke of political genius.
This would be the ultimate September surprise. A sudden "spontaneous" win-with-Willkie-type ground swell at the convention, an astonished and flustered Hillary reluctantly yielding to the will of the people-you can write the script yourself. And it just might work.
Need I suggest that Hillary would enthusiastically go along with the plan? The vice presidency would be the perfect springboard for a 2016 campaign.
The only problem is Joe Biden. His usefulness as a stalking horse for Obama's most preposterous political sallies is rapidly fading; he can be dispensed with. But he's a little obtuse about the subtleties of political strategy, especially when it means losing his job. And he loves being vice president; he fairly wallows in it. He will not yield his job to Hillary voluntarily.
If I were Joe, I'd be careful about what I eat for the next few months. Maybe, like the Roman emperors, he should hire a food taster. And if Hillary does become vice president, Obama should hire one.
Update from Thomas Lifson:
The plot thickens. Hillary is letting it be known, via HuffPo, that she won't be attending the Democratic convention. Amanda Terkel writes:
Hillary Clinton, perhaps President Barack Obama's most high-profile cabinet member, won't be attending this year's Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C., citing the duties of her job as secretary of state.
"Given her current position, she will not be attending, consistent with her not engaging in any political activity whatsoever," Philippe Reines, Clinton's spokesman, told the Charlotte Observer on Friday.
He added that it will be the first time Clinton will miss a Democratic convention in decades, "possibly all the way back to '68 in Chicago."
Hat tip: Jack Kemp