Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Shapiro on 2008

Ben Shapiro weighs in with his opinions on the 2008 race. I tend to agree with most of what he says, except for that typical conservative blindness when it comes to the Clintons. He says:

For the Democrats, the choice is clearer: It's Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York all the way. Although constant media attention has elevated rookie Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois in the polls, this is part of a broader Democratic strategy to boost Clinton. The Democratic Party believes deeply that the illusion of political momentum for a candidate emerging from the primaries is more important than actual political momentum. To that end, the Democrats dub a challenger every four years. Every four years, they talk about how popular the new kid is. Every four years, the old warhorse, the candidate obscured by the blinding brightness of the hot new star, emerges victorious. In 2000, the hot new thing was Bill Bradley; the old warhorse was Al Gore. In 2004, the hot new thing was Howard Dean; the old warhorse was John Kerry.

In 2008, the hot new thing is Barack Obama; the old warhorse is Hillary Clinton. While everyone focuses on Obamamania, Hillary goes about her business -- shoring up her political contacts, busting her campaign coffers at the seams, lurking in the political background until the time is right. And when it is, Obama will recede, possibly to a second spot on the Democratic ticket.

He's not totally wrong. You could even add the Mondale-Hart race as another example. But that's only a predictor of what Democrats do when they lose. When they win, it's when they went for the younger guy. As a matter of fact, the average age of Democrats who won elections in postwar era is something like 48. So why Democrats would question the experience of their younger candidates, who knows. Those are the guys that actually win.

Also, is Clinton really an old warhorse? Sure, she's aging, but she's not exactly a longtime political fixture. The old warhorse in the party is Biden out of the 2008 contenders.

In any case, Clinton is in second place, behind Edwards, a guy Shapiro didn't even mention. At least in terms of the primaries that matter most.