THE GROFF/ELLISON POLITICAL REPORT

HRC Has Three Choices

Posted in Uncategorized by groffellison on May 10, 2008

The race is all but over, but Senator Hillary R. Clinton (D-NY) continues to slog on either in stunned disbelief or in a political holding pattern trying to find the easiest and most comfortable exit strategy available. 

After getting thumped in North Carolina and squeaking by in Indiana, the junior Senator’s coronation has turned into an historic and hysterical collapse and the question now is how does she exit the race in a graceful and politically appropriate and beneficial way.  The options are few but the choices are interesting. 

The first choice depends on the man who snatched the nomination out of her grasp near presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL).  There has been a great deal of discussion about the “Democratic Dream Ticket” but it was generally with Clinton at the top.  The question now is will Obama offer the number two spot to her. 

The benefits and problems are just about equal for both candidates, but an acceptance would shine the ultimate light of team player on Clinton and give her actually White House bona fides.  However, after this campaign and all that has been said, the chance of that option presenting itself is slim. 

The other two choices would be far more attractive to Clinton and much more in her “it’s about me” wheel house than being Vice President. 

One of those options is running for Governor of New York.  Clinton remains popular in New York, even though she will have to patch up her relationship with the African American community, and the Republicans will be coming after Governor David Paterson who got off to a slow and rocky start after replacing disgraced Gov. Eliot Spitzer.  Paterson, who wanted to replace Clinton in the Senate if her presidential race had worked out, could still take her seat since the Governor names the Senate replacement. 

As governor Clinton would have a national platform all to herself, she wouldn’t have to share the spotlight with 99 other people as she would in the Senate.  It would give her needed managerial experience to mix her previous “White House” stint and her Senate work.  If either Republican John McCain (R-AZ) or Obama fails in presidency between January and 2012 or when they are done in 2016 she would be perfectly positioned to give the presidency another run. 

She could also run from the Senate again.  The most likely option of the three is that she stays right where she is in the United States Senate.  The seat is hers as long as she wants it and she could use the most exclusive of all legislative bodies to increase her substantial profile and could end up chairing the committee of her choice or as Majority Leader. 

None of the options puts her in the Oval Office in the near future but there is more than one way to become the occupant of the office. The question is will Clinton want to take the circuitous route and if so when will she make that decision?

 

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