How Hillary Clinton might run in 2012 against Obama


I was asked on a radio show in Ireland yesterday was there any way I could see Hillary Clinton running for president in 2012.

No, I said, with one small exception.

That is a 1968 scenario where a deeply unpopular president, Lyndon Johnston was forced out of the race after a complete outsider, Senator Gene McCarthy,ran him close in the New Hampshire primary, 49 per cent to 42 per cent.

Soon after, Johnston, wearied from the Vietnam War debacle, announced he was not running,

Hillary is not Gene McCarthy in that scenario, rather she is Bobby Kennedy, who tragically, saw the McCarthy opening as an opportunity for him to jump in, a quest that ended tragically with his murder in California later that year.

If the economy continues to tank and Obama continues to roll over for Republicans then a McCarthy scenario becomes more likely.

Last week's crisis revealed Obama as a show horse rather than a workhorse,searching only for a deal to mollify the Republican right.

He did not stand up and fight for the people who elected him who will now be hit with the trillions in cutbacks.

As a result there is now a profound unease about him in Democratic party circles.

Thus,a New Hampshire opponent is not as unlikely as it might have been a few weeks ago.

There is an obvious McCarthy-type person, Vermont independent senator Bernie Sanders from a neighboring state who has been deeply critical of what Obama has been doing.

He'd have to change his affiliation and there is certainly no guarantee that he would fare anything like as well as McCarthy did.

But with the economy tanking by the day and Obama seemingly in professorial mode listening only to the Harvard clique surrounding him it is not impossible.

He seems deaf to those who elected him, and they may take a measure of revenge.

In which case Hillary might well be back in the game.

Listen to Niall O’Dowd on Ireland’s Newstalk 106 on In Discussion with Eamon Dunphy here (31st July and 7th August)

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