Dana Milbank opines in the Washington Post today the question that must be on the minds of every Democrat; “Would we be better off under a President Hillary Clinton?”
The Washington Post: As I sat in the East Room last week watching a forlorn President Obama account for his shellacking, I listened with concern as he described the presidency as a "growth process" and suggested that the midterm setback was somehow inevitable. "You know, this is something that I think every president needs to go through," he said.
It brought to mind Hillary Clinton's 3 a.m. phone-call ad from the 2008 campaign, and her withering criticism of Obama: "When there is a crisis . . . there's no time for speeches or on-the-job training." I wondered whether Democrats would be in the fix they're in if they had chosen a different standard-bearer. [MORE]Milbank seems to think that Hillary would have been better for the Democrats and I tend to agree but for different reasons.
If you recall the primaries of 2008, there was microscopic difference between Obama and Hillary on the issues. So, in term of policy, I don’t think Hillary would have followed that different of a track. I think the big difference would have been how she handled health care.
Hillary still would have had to pass health care reform. Socialized medicine has been the left’s wet dream for decades and with full control of the government, not passing it would have been the sin of sins. Where Hillary would have done better was dealing with the reaction. The Clintons would never have completely ignored the resistance the way Obama did. Hillary and Bill would have found some way to sugar coat the process so that anger was kept to a minimum. Much of the fuel behind the Tea Party was Obama and the Democrats' complete lack of respect for the will of the people.
In the end, a President Hillary would have lost seats too because these left wing policies are the wrong prescription for the times. However, I don’t think the losses would have been of the same magnitude. Hillary and Bill are political animals of the first order. They would not have allowed opposition to them to build so strongly.
Hillary would also have a better chance at smoothing things over after the loss. Just like Bill, she would have quickly become Republican Lite to set herself up for 2012, because the Clintons put their own political survival over ideology and party.
Via: The Washington Post