HILLARY FOR MAJORITY LEADER?….Ezra Klein informs the readers of the LA Times this morning that Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy “looks a little dimmer each day.” Why? Among other reasons, because liberal bloggers, “the weathervane of the emergent left,” can’t stand her.
I have a funny feeling that this matters a lot less than bloggers would like, but no matter. Ezra makes the argument that she’d be a better Senate majority leader anyway:
Clinton possesses qualities that could turn the thankless, grueling realities of congressional preeminence into something glamorous and powerful. She’s a human megaphone, for one, able to focus the press corps on whatever it is she wishes to say that morning. Such a skill would prove invaluable to a legislative leader, allowing her to set the agenda and advance her priorities even from the minority.
Second, she’s an extraordinary fundraiser, far and away the best the Democrats have. She’s raised $33 million for a Senate reelection campaign that lacks a serious opponent ? partly the benefit of retaining the Clinton Rolodex, partly a function of her own magnetism.
Perhaps most important, her ability to bury enmities and forge alliances has been astonishing.
As Ezra notes, speculation about Hillary angling for the majority leader position was floated by Steve Clemons a couple of weeks ago and refloated by Time magazine this weekend. At the same time, it’s worth mentioning a couple of things. First, the three qualities Ezra mentions above are pretty good attributes for a presidential candidate too, aren’t they? Second, the same Time piece that retailed the majority leader rumor also noted that when Democratic pollster Mark Mellman asked a focus group of 10 African-American women to name their all-time political hero, “eight picked Hillary.” This intense popularity among black voters is one of Hillary Clinton’s hidden strengths, and one that I suspect the largely white blogosphere takes too little note of.
And what do I myself think of HRC’s presidential chances? I don’t know. I literally have no idea. I’m just waiting and seeing.