Many of my friends who worked with me on Hillary’s campaign are actively trying to finesse the general election so that Hillary can run and win in 2012. Nothing would make me happier than to see Hillary back in the White House but I think they are making a mistake.
History shows that whoever wins this coming election is very likely to be in office through 2016. Since 1932 the party that won the White House has stayed in power for at least eight years, with one exception.
FDR won in 1932 and he and the Democrats controlled the White House until they lost to Ike in 1952. Ike then went on to win two terms and was president until 1960. Kennedy and then Johnson — filling out Kennedy’s first term — kept the Democrats in control for eight years until Nixon won in 1968 and the GOP stayed in power until 1976 — that includes Ford finishing out Nixon’s second term. Then Carter won and had one term. He was the exception. That was followed by 12 years of GOP rule again — Reagan and Bush One. Then Bill got elected and stayed for eight years. Then our favorite, Bush Two, has tortured us and the world for eight years.
With the exception of Carter’s four years, each person we have elected since 1932 has led their party in ruling the White House for at least eight years. So, whoever wins this time is very likely to lead their party to another eight years in office.
My point in mentioning this tonight is not to get into specifics about McCain versus Obama. As I have said to some of you privately, I still have very serious concerns about Obama. My point is to discourage people from trying to sabotage this election with the notion of “setting up” Hillary to run in 2012. If Obama does lose, yes, there is a good chance she can run again. But if the past is prologue, McCain would likely be in office for eight years. Likewise, if Obama wins, he will probably have two terms.
Hillary is doing nothing that would ruin her chances four years from now. But I think she is a realist and understands that unless some unforeseen event changes the course of history, she had her best shot at winning the presidency during this election. Her actions and her comments tell us she knows this.
Sad to say, I have to agree with her.