Saturday, March 29, 2008


This idea, floated by Jonathan Alter of Newsweek, is absurd in many ways:

Some Democrats terrified that their bloody primary campaign will doom them in November are floating a consolation prize for Hillary Clinton: governor of New York.

The travails of New York Gov. David Paterson have opened up a new potential career path for Clinton, according to well-informed Democratic Party insiders who refused to allow their names to be used when discussing contingencies. They want her to consider the option if she concludes after the April 22 Pennsylvania primary that she cannot overtake Barack Obama for the party's presidential nomination....

In the event that Paterson had to resign, the New York State Constitution calls for a gubernatorial election this November. Clinton would be the favorite in that contest if she were interested. Were a politically wounded Paterson to serve out Spitzer's term, which ends in 2010, Clinton would no doubt be a strong potential candidate to succeed him.

Under the scenario sketched out by the insiders, serving two years as governor would give Clinton the executive experience to become the prohibitive favorite for the 2012 Democratic presidential nomination....

First of all, we know Clinton won't go for this -- she's not giving up. Second, as far as I know, speculation about a Patterson resignation is just that -- speculation. The public here isn't particularly turned off by what he's revealed. He may well get down to business and be a strong candidate in 2010.

But more important, this "consolation prize" may not be the Democratic Party's to give. As Alter notes, yesterday's New York Post mentioned the possibility of a run by Rudy Giuliani. Humiliated as he may be after his presidential race, he still has a lot of fans in this state. Another possible candidate, not mentioned by Alter, is Mike Bloomberg, who's been talked about as a possible gubernatorial candidate for a long time. (He's term-limited as mayor and his second term ends on the last day of 2009.) Bloomberg, unlike Giuliani, hasn't suffered a recent wave of negative publicity and hasn't incurred the enmity of non-white voters (who thus might prefer him to Hillary after this year's primary season, especially if she's also seen as shoving aside a black governor). Plus, he's stinking rich. He could even run on a third-party line and win. So the party can't just hand her the office -- it could be yet another tough fight, and surely she knows that.

So pay no attention to this. It's not gonna happen.

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