Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A little Tuesday afternoon sideline quarterbacking

Just had an interesting exchange with a very thoughtful fellow Clinton supporter. My general policy has been to refrain from speculating on what Senator Clinton will do next in her political career but this message got me thinking.

I used to think that she [Senator Clinton-- would be best to remain in the Senate or have a significant role, such as in the Cabinet, in the Administration. However, the biographer, Doris Kearns Goodwin, spoke on NPR the other morning and she explained that its unlikely Clinton will ever play a role as significant as Kennedy in the Senate. She explained that Clinton is too junior of a Senator despite her influence AND too old to have the time to develop her Senatorial career like Kennedy (she reminded us that Kennedy was very young when he became a Senator). She explained that according to Senate rules Clinton would have another 6 years, I think, before she could become the head of a major Committee and begin to have the same level of power and influence as Kennedy. She also talked about other options and avenues, such as potentially running for the Governor of New York. She seemed to suggest that if Clinton ever wanted to run for president again, her best and most viable avenue would be via a state Governorship. Doris, however, did not appear to rule out the vice presidency as a good option for Clinton.

I think there are some risks with her taking the VP spot and I'm not sold on the idea yet. I don't want her to be VP simply b/c I'm too sad to let go of her campaign (not to suggest that this is why others want her to be VP). It would also feel a little condescending for her to take the 2nd position, from a purely emotional stand point. Not to knock the VP spot, but she should really be the president.

My reaction as written:

Just to put in my 2 cents - and this really is just my 2 cents - I don't wish to be seen as argumentative, not my intention.

I think the possibility of Senator Clinton of being on the ticket as v.p. is slim to none, because I highly doubt Senator Obama will offer her the spot.
As for Doris Goodwin's views about Senator Clinton's power in the Senate, I wonder if Doris has spent any time on the Senate floor when it is in session. Every single aide to all the other Senators, and sometimes the other Senators themselves are clustered at Senator Clinton's desk. They rely on her powers of insight and political savvy, and once John McCain beats Senator Obama, that will be more true than ever. Power in the Senate is not solely a matter of technical seniority. Furthermore, Senator Clinton is - and I realize this may come as a shock to a number of you (smile) - not that old: she is 61. She could easily live an active political life into her 80s. Twenty years would leave plenty of time for technical seniority.

If Senator Clinton wants to be the Governor of NY, more power to her. If she wants to run again for President, I respect that choice. And if she is actually offered a spot on the ticket and decides to accept it, I will respect that choice too. I respect Senator Clinton's autonomy. I want her to exercise it fully, regardless of what I want her to do. This, by the way, is why I am so committed to helping her eliminate that debt. No major political figure should be beholden to any other one for her financial security.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does it take so long to be head of a Senate committee, yet only a couple of years in the Senate to be the presumptive Democratic nominee for president?

June 10, 2008 at 5:01 PM  
Blogger democraticjack said...

Anonymous took the words right off my page as that was exactly my first thought.
Whatever path Hillary chooses, we must remember the lessons from this past primary season and call out those who smear and distort her record and her character, immediately. WE have got to reframe the conventional wisdom with the reality rather than 16 years of lies, rumors and strawmen.
But first, as Heidi explains so well, we need to free her up by getting rid of that debt.

June 10, 2008 at 6:49 PM  
Anonymous adamonis said...

DKG- was a detractor on TV so much of the time, which thoroughly saddened me. I believe that HRC, the Senate Workhorse, has plenty of time to distinguish herself as a true leader in the Senate, far beyond what she accomplished already. She is there actually performing the work for the people, not there garnering "titles".

June 11, 2008 at 7:55 AM  

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