HILLARY IN ’08
Michael Barone makes a compelling case that HRC is running for the 2008 Democratic nomination already and that she’s likely to win it. He thinks this may be a big problem for the Democrats:
Democrats would be unwise to give up entirely on their chances in 2004; as the Clintons showed in 1992, great turnabouts in politics are possible. But if 2004 turns out as most people suspect, Democrats must decide if their psychic investment in the Clintons, and in Hillary Rodham Clinton as an icon of feminist success, justifies nominating a candidate with her electoral weakness. Democrats exulted when Bill Clinton seemed to be paying no price for his personal shortcomings in the 1992 and 1996 elections, and in the impeachment controversy. But nothing in politics is free; there is only some question about when you pay the price. Democrats may end up paying the price for Gennifer Flowers and Monica Lewinsky, Whitewater and Travelgate, in 2008.
I tend to agree with his analysis that Clinton would win the nomination if she sought it and that she’d have an uphill fight winning a general election because of her high negatives. But 2008 is a loooong way away. Barone believes, as do I, that there’s even a chance of a Democrat winning an upset in 2004 if circumstances change. If that’s the case, then HRC winning in 2008 isn’t inconceivable; she has a long time to defuse her negatives.
Update (11:00): Poliblogger points out that he has also posted on this. I agree with his analysis, actually moreso than Barone’s, which I find a bit too static.