Monday, September 22, 2003

Maybe Hillary really will run for president. Until now, I had thought this was ridiculous. I guess I still do. But the talk among conservatives that Wesley Clark is paving the way for a Hillary Clinton presidential run is starting to seep into the mainstream.

In a Time-magazine piece on Clark's decision to jump into the race, Karen Tumulty writes:

It appears that Hillary's husband knows which Democrat he wants to emerge: the junior Senator from New York. Two sources close to the Clintons have told TIME that the former President has been urging his wife in private to reconsider her pledge not to run for President in 2004 and pondering the most feasible way for her to back out of it.

Tumulty's Time-mate Joe Klein notes that, until last week, Clinton had been running e-mail on her website from fans urging her to run -- although Klein, who knows his Clintons, discounts the importance of that, calling it "self-promotional cotton candy."

On the other hand, New York Times columnist William Safire definitely thinks Hillary Clinton is up to something.

I think we have to assume that Clinton means it when she says she won't run in 2004 -- although if she's serious about running for president someday, she's got to be wondering about what it means for her if a Democrat beats George W. Bush next year. (Here's what it means: no chance to run until 2012, if ever.)

Still, the notion of a Clinton candidacy -- or, for that matter, an Al Gore comeback -- is predictated on the idea that none of the Democrats now running can win.

That may be true. But in 1992, Democrats were filled with despair when then-New York governor Mario Cuomo declined to run, leaving the field to a bunch of second-tier nobodies such as Paul Tsongas, Jerry Brown, and that Bill Clinton guy, best-known for talking too long at the 1988 Democratic convention.

The Romney rope line. The Globe and the Herald today go with this extremely entertaining AP story about security in front of Governor Mitt Romney's New Hampshire lakefront vacation spot.

Here is the New Hampshire Sunday News story upon which the AP dispatch is based. Great photo of the security line in front of the Romney residence.

I suppose these days any high-ranking public official is a potential target. But I wouldn't want to be one of Romney's roped-off neighbors.

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