(Aha. Found that Bad Signal straight away. Here it is, from last night in the pub:)
So the word is that Hillary Clinton is now sounding out supporters for a 2008 Presidential bid. I thought she was smarter than that. If she runs, those of us who treat US presidential politics as a spectator sport are going to be treated to a snakepit fight unlike anything since ’72. There’s not even a guarantee she’ll lock the Democratic nom. Evan Bayh can call on old, old Democratic powers: his father wrote two Amendments, was the principal behind the ERA and saved Ted Kennedy’s life. There’s another good story in there — as I’ve said, Americans like their political stories — Bayh Sr was going to run in 72, eventually ran in 76 and was defeated for the nom by Jimmy Carter, losing his senatorship some ten years later to a maggoty right-wing political hack called Dan Quayle. If Hillary and Evan Bayh both run for the nom, then Barack Obama almost begins to look like a uniting force.
(Since writing this, I have received a note which read in part, “Barak Obama will not run for Prez. To suggest so means one doesn’t have an understanding of the racial politics in America.” To which I replied, I’m not sure if anyone’s told Obama that yet.)
Thank God there’s comedy relief coming. On the left, John Kerry is talking about running, and on the right, Newt Gingrich, now plainly crazier than a monkey fucking a lion, is also considering a run. Which, if it happens, will be the greatest political suicide in years. I mean equivalent to someone setting themselves on fire in the middle of town at rush-hour.
Someone once asked Newt what the hardest part of his struggle against Bill Clinton was. Astonishingly for a pro pol speaking on the record, he said it was face-to-face meetings. Apparently Bill’s great personal charisma made Newt’s knees give way. “I melt,” he cooed. This man wants to run for President.
This is going to be my favourite campaign year since Bush/Clinton. I mean, Clinton/Dole was funny. But this one promises to have it all.