Now some people have never stopped believing that Hillary Clinton would finally be nominated as Democratic candidate for the US Presidential election in 2004. But until recently it seemed that there was really no reason to be Democratic nominee in 2004 if you would actually like to be President some day.
However, now that more and more Americans are waking up from their post-9/11-thought-paralysis and are beginning to ask questions about their current government’s actions and policies from Kyoto to Iraq to the estate tax abolition, the electoral maths has changed a little.
Should a Democrat indeed win the White House next year, it is hardly imaginable that he would not be nominated for a second term in 2008. In that case, the earliest possible election in which Mrs Clinton could be nominated would be 2012, and as the American electorate is almost evenly divided between the two parties, swing voters would make the difference (now that may change until 2012, but where’s Yoda when you need him…).
My guess is that the odds of having three consecutive Democratic presidencies are too small for Mrs Clinton to bet her Presidential ambitions on them.
The problem is that her strategy will now depend on two variables – the Democratic primaries and Bush’s approval rates. Howard Dean may just be an inch too far on the left to be the clear winner of the primaries. But more centrist candidates would have more trouble to position themselves against Mr Bush, and if things remain bleak in Iraq, a lot of Americans might vote Republican as a Patriotic reflex, so even the latest entrant in the Democratic race, former NATO commander Wesley Clark, who clearly had some people do this kind of math might not make the difference.
Mrs Clinton, on the other hand, would easily turn the Presidential election into “The Return Of The Jedi” – I guess her public statements in the coming months will be a good indicator of President Bush’s reelection prospects.
Call me crazy, but now I think there’s actually a certain possibility for a Clinton/Dean Democratic ticket next year…