While some key Republican strategists dream of a Clinton candidacy and have gone out of their way to encourage it, King says Clinton really would be a tough candidate.

“Probably a lot of Republicans would want Hillary, but I think they’d be making a mistake,” he said, pointing out that Democrats licked their chops over Ronald Reagan in 1980.

“The Clintons have the best political team in the country – they’re like the government in exile,” King said.

That shadow government will be at the heart of her decision, and not everyone inside it thinks she should run – meaning Clinton is in for some tense, heated strategy sessions.

After her husband, sources told the Daily News that key group starts with party mastermind Howard Wolfson, who just helped two New York Democrats win GOP-held congressional seats. Others on that level include Harold Ickes, Mandy Grunwald, Ann Lewis, Capricia Marshall, John Podesta, Tamera Luzzatto, Terry McAuliffe and Patty Soltis Doyle.

They will need good information to start their work. Getting that will include focus groups and advice from experts and Democratic Party sages. Then there is collecting raw data.

“The plan is to poll and poll and poll and then make a decision,” someone close to the camp said.

If the decision to go is made, Clinton already has a national-caliber organization she has spent more than $25 million creating to kick into action. She’ll be able to draw on an innovative voter databank that Ickes is building. And there are all the chits she and Bill Clinton earned helping new Democrats take back Congress.

“All of the pieces are in place – organization and money – but they still have to again do the calculation of the math involved to determine if she can win,” a longtime Clinton source said. In order to use the $15 million she has in her Senate campaign account, she would have to form an official exploratory committee.

There are a lot of reasons to skip the high-risk bid. There are personal stakes to consider. She was the first First Lady to get elected to the Senate and losing a presidential race could take a shine off Clinton’s historic luster, and knock her off the Senate power ladder she’s climbing so skillfully.

“A lot us want her to run, but she hears from certain people who think she should be a senior stateswoman and do that for a long period of time rather than end up just being the punch line to a Jay Leno joke,” said one Clinton confidant.

Failing could also hurt her party.

“She doesn’t want to lose and take the gains in the House and Senate with her,” the source said.

The bit about losing having an effect on her future ascent of the Senate leadership ladder is just silly.


8 Responses to DID IT HURT TED?:

  1. Bryan says:

    If Hillary ran, lots of Republicans would work themselves into the usual frothing rage and only do more harm to their party. “She’s the devil! Whitewater! Vince Foster! Evil incarnate I tells ya!” And most Americans would think, “Geez what a bunch of dicks,” and vote for her anyway.

  2. Orrin says:

    not most, which is the point.

  3. AWW says:

    Bryan – the GOP did overreach against Bill C in ’98 and paid the price. There is that risk against
    Hillary in ’08. However, Hillary is well known and has fairly high negatives even now. It
    shouldn’t be hard to convince most of America (despite MSM pumping for Hillary) that she is too
    liberal for the US and will lose.

  4. Sandy P says:

    Not according to the WSJ, she’s a “moderate.”

  5. erp says:

    Republicans will be trashed so badly by 2008, it won’t matter whether the Dem candidate is Hillary or some other liberal. They’re all interchangeable anyway.

  6. jim hamlen says:

    Highly polarizing figures usually don’t win (at least, not the first time). Nixon slipped by in 1968 only by running
    as ‘new’ Nixon, and because the Dems were so bloody. Reagan won in 1980 because Carter was manifestly incompetent
    and becoming unhinged at the same time.

    Hillary’s biggest problem is her husband. He yearns for the spotlight, hogs the attention, and will always leave the
    ‘true believers’ wanting him instead of her. He will remind everyone of himself (somewhat good, but probably mostly
    bad) whenever he shows up.

    Had the GOP held on last week, the 2008 Democratic nomination would be less valuable; now, it might inspire more lust.
    That means Gore and Edwards will be ready to make it a very tough campaign. Hillary may win, but she won’t coast, no
    matter how much money she has, and especially if she is the rightmost candidate in the race (sounds weird, eh?). And
    Barack Obama could mess her up good, if he decides to ‘declare’ that she is unelectable around July 2007 or so. The
    reverberations will build slowly, but I don’t see how she counters them. The hard Left will echo it, and Gore can
    claim he already won once.

    Hillary’s other necessary step is to dissociate from the Pelosi/Schumer wing. But the only way to do that is to
    push for final victory in Iraq.

  7. Orrin says:

    Nixon was Kerry, but won because of that war.

  8. ratbert says:

    OJ, I honestly don’t know whom you’ve insulted more in that comment.

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