Majority Leader Hillary
A friend passed along yesterday’s WSJ op-ed from former RNC chair Rich Bond calling on Harry Reid to offer Hillary Clinton his job as Senate Majority Leader as enticement to withdraw her divisive bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Only the proffer of this consolation prize would likely persuade Mrs. Clinton to drop her divisive, and now futile, quest for her party’s nomination.
Make no mistake — because of the increasingly bitter Clinton-Obama fight, the Democrats are poised to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Every political indicator points to a smashing Democratic win this November. Their presidential candidates have outraised the Republican field by a huge margin; 2008 turnout in Democrat primaries has almost doubled over the turnout in 2004; the Democrats’ congressional campaign committees are swamping their GOP counterparts in fundraising; a record number of Republican incumbents are retiring from Congress, opening numerous opportunities for Democratic gains; President Bush’s unpopularity continues at record highs; the war in Iraq remains unpopular; and the economy is in, or near, recession.
Yet, because Mrs. Clinton continues to try to win what has become unwinnable, John McCain now holds comfortable leads over both Democrats for the first time in this race. In her selfishness and grandiose sense of entitlement for the presidency, Mrs. Clinton’s continued pursuit of the nomination threatens to tear asunder what could otherwise be a dream Democratic year.
So will Mr. Reid, like Henry Fonda in the 1964 film “The Best Man,” nobly put aside his own ambition for a greater good? If he considers all the facts, he might. Mr. Reid has to know that, in this most peculiar of election years, only one individual has the power to end the Clinton-Obama war, and that is he. If he voluntarily passes his position to Mrs. Clinton in exchange for her withdrawal, history will likely remember him as his party’s best man.
One wonders why Bond is so eager to help the opposition party out of what he describes as a burgeoning civil war. At any rate, it’s not exactly a new idea. Steve Clemons, for one, has been banging the Hillary for Majority Leader drum for almost two years. Jerid Kurtz posted a “rumor” in February that Reid would offer Clinton his job as a consolation prize if she pulled out after losing Ohio and Texas but, of course, she won Ohio and is perceived to have won Texas.
While I agree that the Majority Leader slot would be attractive to Clinton — especially since the Republicans show no sign of wresting the majority back any time soon — I’m skeptical that she’d be amenable to dropping out of the presidential race before Pennsylvania. If she wins there — no longer a given but still likely — it’s going to be hard, indeed, to persuade her not to stick around for Indiana and beyond. The rest of the states are primaries and most are demographically favorable. It’s true that she can’t win the nomination before the convention but, then, it’s incredibly unlikely that Obama can, either.
Now, if Obama does pull off the upset in Pennsylvania, Reid’s job might start looking like a soft landing. Until then, though, I expect Hillary will fight on.
Photo credit: The Washington Note