“Watch for smoke signals from Chappaqua,” a Democratic friend said recently. “She wants back in.”
She — there is only one political she — might be getting what she wants.
The report that Hillary Clinton could become Michael Bloomberg’s running mate is one of those times when it is no exaggeration to use the word bombshell. Earthquake would also work, assuming the political marriage actually happens.
For now, it’s a trial balloon, as demonstrated by the timing and the way the idea was leaked. A big red banner on the Drudge Report blaring “EXCLUSIVE” is designed to shock and awe the political system, then gauge the fallout.
Bloomberg, remember, is a numbers guy and his team conducts polls relentlessly. Drudge says they’ve already tested the tag-team idea quietly and, liking what they saw, now want to go public and test it more broadly.
It won’t take long to figure out which way the wind is blowing. It is such a big, bold stroke that, while it comes out of the blue, the public reaction will be swift.
My guess is that this marriage of convenience gets consummated fairly quickly. Bloomberg needs immediate help to win the nomination, with March a make-or-break month.
Clinton, as the world knows, is desperate to get revenge on Donald Trump and will almost certainly seize another chance at the White House, even if it means being relegated to standby equipment.
While Bernie Sanders and his committed clan will be loud exceptions, enough Democrats, I believe, will support a Bloomberg-Clinton ticket as the best chance to defeat Trump.
If all that comes to pass, the general election would be a combustible clash that will make the 2016 election look like a walk in the park. It won’t exactly be a Trump-Clinton rematch, but close enough that the faint of heart should start searching for safe and quiet refuge.
Clinton, of course, is a human lightning rod and her relationship to voters is obviously complicated. The 2016 results perfectly captured the love her/hate her split, as she won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College.
It was her second defeat, with Barack Obama besting her in the 2008 primaries, and it looked as if her political obituary was complete. Her disgraceful whining that Russia helped Trump steal the election marked her as a sore and bitter loser and even among her fans there has been little appetite for a third Oval Office run.
Although she and her camp dropped hints that she was not closing the door, no Draft Hillary movement emerged.
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