The Inevitable American Evita?


She's inevitable.


The very politically astute Ann Althouse links Frank Rich, who thinks she might not be:

[T]he Republicans have fallen into a trap by continuing to cling to the Hillary-is-inevitable trope. They have not allowed themselves to think the unthinkable -- that they might need a Plan B to go up against a candidate who is not she. It's far from clear that they would remotely know how to construct a Plan B to counter Mr. Obama...

Part of the Republicans' difficulty in countering Mr. Obama, should they have to, is their own cynical racial politics. For the most part, race has been the dog that hasn't barked in this campaign despite the (largely) white press's endless fretting about whether the Illinois senator is too white for black voters and too black for white voters....

An Obama candidacy would force them to engage....

I don't know what to think about that. Perhaps it's one of Frank Rich's usual indigestibles, meant only to cause stomach upset.

Althouse offers few clues about how to season the Rich dish, and I don't blame her. But I so loved her response to the question of whether Hillary's support among women "represents 'a hunger to make history':

I don't believe it... unless the "history" in question is: first President to make an end run around the 22nd Amendment.
I can't second that enough! That's exactly what this race is. A tawdry and tacky solution to a constitutional inconvenience:
I'm sorry, but the idea of a wife of a president who could never become president on her own becoming president as an end-run around the Constitution is cheap, tawdry, and above all tacky.

From a feminist perspective, it is insulting and degrading for women. But the feminists don't especially care how they smash the Last Glass Ceiling.

In terms of pure tackiness, it's amost on the level of Jim McGreevey, heterosexual until a corruption scandal caught up with him, and then "the nation's first gay governor." Although I'll say this for McGreevey: at least he ran on his own. I doubt he could ever have been elected had he run as a gay man, but OTOH I doubt very many people voted for him because he had a wife and kids. The usual non-controversial "straight" assumptions were made, and he never had to say, "I'm running because I want to become your heterosexual governor!" (Correct me if I'm wrong, but I just don't remember that.)

My point is that it was tacky for gay activists to claim McGreevey, and it is almost as tacky for feminists to claim Hillary. I stress "almost" because she did run for and serve as a United States senator. But even that involved a huge effort by her husband and the Clinton machine, and considering what's happening right now, it's laughably unreasonable to deny that the goal all along has been for the Clintons to retake the White House.


Sorry to quote myself, but I'm just not feeling terribly original today.

And besides, I think it matters enough that it bears repeating, and I'll probably repeat it again.

If people feel so strongly about putting the Clintons back in the White House, isn't the proper way to get rid of the 22nd Amendment first? Is it really necessary to put on a charade we'd laugh at if it happened in an ignorant Third World country?

There's no GOP equivalent that I can think of. The closest thing would be to have Maria Shriver run for Arnold.


It might just work.

(After all, she is a Kennedy....)

NOTE: The title of this post is a takeoff on the title of this book, and it should be noted that while Evita never became the president of Argentina, the Peronist penchant for having wives take over is well known.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm not a fan of Peronism. Or Clintonism.

MORE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for linking this post, and a warm welcome to all!

Your inevitable comments are welcome!

I'm especially honored to be linked in the same post as Tim Blair, who notes an interesting Paul Krugman inconsistency over legitimacy (to say nothing of plagiarism....)

MORE: I'm glad to see that Venezuelan voters rejected Chavez for life.

What remains to be seen is whether Americans will do the same for Hillarita Clintón.

Where's the King of Spain when you need him?

posted by Eric on 12.02.07 at 03:10 PM


We have Bushism. However, the Adams family is precedent for that.

M. Simon   ·  December 2, 2007 4:42 PM

It isn't even an original method around it. After the lege impeached Pa Ferguson as Texas Governer, he came back and ran Ma Ferguson, making no bones about saying that "a vote for Ma is a vote for Pa."

Phelps   ·  December 3, 2007 10:50 AM

The Clintons have tried to turn this weakness into a strength by having it both ways. They give her credit for being part-president 1993-2001 so she is "experienced," but any suggestion that she should be thereby ineligible is regarded as sexist, an unwillingness to give her credit for her own accomplishments.

You wouldn't think they could succeed at such a transparent dodge, but Clinton supporters have made a habit of accepting any threadbare excuse.

Assistant Village Idiot   ·  December 3, 2007 11:25 AM

Even if he was an Aryan poster boy Barack Hussein Obama is not going to be president of the United States. The only possibility of that happening is if Ron Paul were the Republican nominee. It's the Hussein part that is the deal breaker. Besides he is a Chicago politician so you know the poo poo will be coming out into the sunshine were he ever to get the nomination.

cubanbob   ·  December 3, 2007 11:44 AM

[T]he Republicans have fallen into a trap by continuing to cling to the Hillary-is-inevitable trope.
Or maybe the Republicans have managed to pump her up so much that anything less than an HRC blowout looks like a defeat?

Cris   ·  December 3, 2007 11:55 AM

George Wallace used this trick to retain the governorship in in Alabama with his wife Lurleen. And, according to, did it without much regard for Lurleen.

Davis   ·  December 3, 2007 12:00 PM

I hope Hillary gets the nomination. Then the millions in the U.S. who despise her will rise up and not allow her into office, no matter who the GOP runs, and we can get the last Clinton campaign over with.

Too optimistic? I sure hope not. Just imagine if she loses the nomination. It'll be four years of poor delicate feminine Hillary, beaten up by the boys again ... and another run in 2012, gah.

Lori   ·  December 3, 2007 12:38 PM

Althouse astute?

Brett   ·  December 3, 2007 12:39 PM

Rich's comments aren't terribly complex. He's really, really disappointed that an African American is running for president and he hasn't yet been able to play the race card because he'd be playing it against fellow democrats. Here's what Rich's saying: "If Obama is the dem candidate, I and my fellow democrats in the main stream media will write story after story saying anyone who won't vote for him is a racist. If his opponent challenges him on any issue, we'll call the opponent a racist. If any media go off the reservation and ask him to defend a position, we'll write that the media outlet is run by racists. If he's deemed to having lost a debate, we'll explain that it's because the debate was run by racists. If the polls show Obama behind, we'll say the pollster, the questions, and the respondents are all racists. If, somehow, race doesn't become THE issue of the campaign, we'll make it the issue. And if Obama loses? Well, we'll spend the next four years writing columns about how racist the United States of America is."

An Obama candidacy is a wet dream for race baiters like Rich.

Anonymous   ·  December 3, 2007 1:59 PM

The next time Rich has a clue will probably be the first time. Honestly, between him and Krugman it's as if the NYT *wants* lame-o liberal columnists. (Hmmmmmm. Wait a minute. Rich and Krugman. Pinch. Stock tanking. Do I see the hand of KKKarl Rove?)

JorgXMcKie   ·  December 3, 2007 2:02 PM

It just happened in Argentina, why not America?

The difference here is that the Clintons are already starting to remind people of how totally sleazy and downmarket they are, and people will probably reject them at the second (or third, I suppose) time of asking.

Martin   ·  December 3, 2007 5:32 PM

It just happened in Argentina, why not America?

The difference here is that the Clintons are already starting to remind people how totally sleazy and downmarket they are, and we the people will probably reject them at the second (or third, I suppose) time of asking.

Martin   ·  December 3, 2007 5:33 PM

There's Liz Dole. She's much less pleasant than her husband, too. Kirchner isn't the politician that her husband was. I'm not sure why this is. There's lots of great political women married to powerful guys (most of my favourite Dem Senators are women, with the WA delgation leading the fight to keep the Democrats on board with trade, plus, you know, Thatcher). The politician women married to powerful politicians tend to be much less good. I've not been able to come up with a reason why this might be.

James of England   ·  December 3, 2007 6:47 PM

Time to get over it. Edith Bolling Galt Wilson was the first 'functioning' woman President of the United States, taking care of the office after her husband Woodrow Wilson's stroke.

Don   ·  December 3, 2007 8:36 PM

Hillary is as inevitable in 2007 as Howard Dean was in 2003. Yyyyaaaahhhhrrrrgggghhhh!!!!

Joshua   ·  December 3, 2007 8:51 PM

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