Thursday, September 18, 2003

Trial Balloon: Drudge links to this speculative Daily News story. Bill Clinton, speaking to his old buddy Leon Panetta in California, said that the calls for Hillary! have begun:
Clinton said his wife was being urged to run by supporters in spite of her commitment to serve out her six-year Senate term, the newspaper said.

The former President's statement tantalized Democrats who have heard the senator say repeatedly she will be on the presidential sidelines next year.

"He's clearly not discouraging speculation that she could be in the race in 2004," said former New York State Democratic chairwoman Judith Hope, who is close to the former First Lady but is supporting ex-Vermont Gov. Howard Dean.

I'll say this much: This scenario is how we've all known it would go -- she promised to serve a full term in the Senate; but if the people she promised to serve are practically begging her to run, then she owes it to them to consider 2004. Beyond that, you can be damn sure Hillary knows that her 2004 chances are looking a lot better than they were a year ago. If I were her political advisor, I'd tell her to jump in. If she shows she can compete with Bush, even if she loses, she makes herself the top choice for 2008 anyway. Sure, nobody likes a loser . . . for a little while. But remember how badly Gore was trashed by the party when he lost? Didn't mean crap. He'd still be the front-runner immediately if he jumped in for 2004.

My instinct is that either Gore or Hillary has to make the move. I read everywhere that major Democratic money is sitting this one out, not energized, and likely waiting for a name to get in the race.

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