Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Victory From Defeat?

I tell you, I really have to hand it to Jay Newton-Small of Time Magazine (here).

I mean, she takes a few quotes from some individuals who you can safely assume would like to see the Democratic Party fall collectively on its face (Thomas Mann of The Brookings Institution, Larry Sabato of the University of West Virginia – some interesting stuff on ol’ Larry later – and Senator Bob Bennett), some interestingly-parsed quotes from a former and present Democrat (Tom Daschle and Chris Dodd, respectively), plenty of literary fertilizer and – ta daaah! You have a “story” from our corporate media.

And the headline is “Can Hillary readjust to the Senate,” which may be the stupidest story line yet to emerge from this campaign (and there have been plenty of stupid story lines).

And just to make sure, you have this bit of snark from Bennett (in a minute)…

"It was very important to me to come right back to work (after losing in 2000), I think it was my nature, but I think it was a lot of people's nature," (Joe) Lieberman said, standing just off the Senate floor last week as his Republican colleague Bob Bennett happened to pass by.
As much as I’d like to, I won’t take a shot at “The Last Honest Man” for now – life is short (though I can take note of this).

Update 5/29/08: Paging "Holy Joe"...

"He's (Lieberman) one who made the adjustment in about 30 seconds. There're some who had a little bit more difficulty coming back," said Bennett, a Republican who represents Utah. Looking archly at Hillary Clinton, just steps away, he added: "There're some still walking around like President in exile."
Oh ha, ha, Bob; at least HRC, for all her faults, isn’t a race-baiting Repug “in exile” (here).

Hillary Clinton is a pro. If she has been a member of the U.S. House while running for president, she would have returned to that body after the primary ends. If she had been governor of New York, she would have returned to Albany. Btu since she is a member of the U.S. Senate, she will return there; indeed, based on this post about her questions for Gen. David Petraeus and Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno last week, she already has.

And Small also tells us…

First, though, Clinton has some fence mending to do with her colleagues…
Why on earth should that be the case? As somebody said (John Edwards?), “politics ain’t beanbag.” Her peers will get over it.

…And, ultimately, she may decide it's not worth it, Sabato said. "Clinton may be restless in the Senate," he said. "She came tantalizingly close to being the most powerful person in the world. Being one of 100 in a body that is half the Congress is a poor substitute. Losing presidential candidates have a hard time readjusting, as John Kerry can attest." Though as Clinton is proving in this Presidential race, she is likely to stick around the Senate a lot longer than most people expect.
People like Sabato represent everything that’s wrong with our media/political/industrial complex as far as I’m concerned; their view is that they are failures unless they’re not being talked about within the Beltway inner sanctum.

As proof, I present this column where he tells us that Hillary’s husband would be a good senator (he may be right, but help me out here; it’s OK for a former president to serve in the Senate, but it may not be OK for a present senator who ran for president to do that - ???).

Also, Sabato tells us here that the Swift Boat liars were telling the truth, he tells us here that it would be “a national disgrace” to continue “the Clinton/Bush dynasty” (another idiotic construct as far as I’m concerned; things were a hell of a lot better for me and everyone I know under Bill than under either of the Bushes), and he tells us here that the Democrats are the “mommy” party while the Repugs are the “daddy” party (given all of this, I think Sabato should be automatically disqualified from commenting any further on any matter of concern to the Democratic Party).

Returning to Hillary for a minute (and referencing the post title), I think one reason that her return to the Senate is a positive outcome is because the Senate Dems will need all of the brave, intelligent voices it can get on behalf of families, children, and working men and women of all races, ethnicities and sexual preferences (and Hillary is certainly that).

This is because I cannot possibly see how Ted Kennedy will be able to continue serving in that body; a miracle would be wonderful, but I cannot see how he can overcome his affliction. And should Hillary’s career end up paralleling his, I believe she will find (like Kennedy did) that she made a hell of a lot more difference in her current job as long as she kept it than she ever could for eight years at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (and in that event, Newton-Small would actually be right).

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