Senator Hillary Clinton, D-NY, responds to student volunteers from Americorps City Year program, Thursday, Dec. 21, 2006 in New York, before announcing her support for Miracle on 138th Street, a collaboration between Feed the Children, the NBA Players Association and the Abyssinian Development Corporation to give away 355 tons of food to more than 10,000 needy New Yorkers in a single day.
Washington Post: Clinton, Obama Clearing The Field
Without Declaring, They Beat Back Would-Be Rivals
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), trading on star power, the capacity to raise tens of millions of dollars with relative ease and an ability to dominate media attention, are rewriting the script of the 2008 Democratic presidential campaign, driving potential rivals to the sidelines and casting a huge shadow over all others who may run.
What once shaped up as a sizable field of Democratic candidates is now shrinking. Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.) announced on Dec. 16 that he would not seek the Democratic nomination, a surprising decision that came just days after he witnessed firsthand the megawatt voltage of Obama’s drawing power in New Hampshire. As Bayh drew small crowds on his seventh trip to the Granite State, Obama enjoyed sold-out audiences and saturation coverage on his first.
Bayh became the third Democrat to quit the race before Clinton or Obama have taken formal steps to enter. Former Virginia governor Mark R. Warner and Sen. Russell Feingold (Wis.) abandoned their bids after lengthy periods of exploration. All chose not to run for their own reasons, but Obama’s sudden emergence creates a significant obstacle to those hoping to become the alternative to front-runner Clinton in the Democratic nomination contest.
“Simply put, it’s the Obama factor,” said Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart. “Obama’s entry into the presidential race essentially raised the ante. Candidates who used to do careful exploration with the hope that they could catch fire in Iowa and New Hampshire and move from there recognize that there’s no oxygen left out there for their candidacies.”
The Democrat race for President in 2008 has ALWAYS been Hillary Clinton and whoever could muster or had the intestinal fortitude to mount an anti-Hillary candidacy.
Barack Obama has been a surprise to the Clinton Cabal.
Obama runs to the LEFT of Hillary on war issues and locks up the key black constituency for himself – one which Bill Clinton monopolized during his career. So, he has the NUTROOTS, the anti-Clinton Lefties, the anti-Clinton populists and the Blacks.
But, will this be sufficient number of votes to beat Hillary?
Probably not, but MAYBE
And the Clinton Cabal has not yet turned up the heat on Barack by launching their politics of personal destruction against him. And why is this?
If the keep Obama around just long to clear the field and then he withdraws (joins Hillary as Vice President) they keep his constituencies for the ticket (meaning Hillary), they will have expended NO political capital and they waltz into April 2008 with one goal – raise money and slime Giuliani or McCain.
A very sound strategy. Paul Begala and James Carville are insightful political strategists. There is only one problem:
If Obama screws them over and decides to turn on Hillary and GOES FOR IT
Might there be a surprise?
Political ambition is mostly BLIND.
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