This is probably not going to change anybody’s minds out there, but before Democrats put the tiara on Hillary Clinton and send her down the runway, they really ought to ask themselves: Would anybody besides us vote for her? I realize that a lot of her supporters are likely to be personally offended that someone other than true-blue partisans would get a say in this, but unfortunately, them’s the rules.
And time and time again, a key difference between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama emerges: She appeals to the party-warriors who want to refight the polarizing battles of recent years, and he appeals more to people who want consensus government.
It was summed up fairly well last night by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who had this to say upon endorsing Obama:
“A lot of the Democrats are feeling heady these days — we’re sensing victory. We feel like we can reach out and grab at the White House again …. But I’m asking you to beware my friends. Beware because this discontent with Republicans is not enough to ensure a Democratic victory, nor should it be. I believe the challenges before us transcend party partisan politics. We don’t just need a Democrat — we need a leader.”
But the fact remains that plenty of folks just want a Democrat, preferably one who yearns to stick it to the "vast right-wing conspiracy," which apparently refers to the 50 percent of the electorate that says it would never vote for Mrs. Clinton — while Mr. Obama’s negatives in the same poll were only at 37 percent.
As I said, this post probably won’t change any Democrats’ minds, as those who care about getting the votes of Republicans and independents probably already prefer Obama between the two, and the rest would stick with Sen. Clinton.
But I thought it was time to issue a warning to the Democrats similar to the one I raised to Republicans a few days ago: You really, really need to think about November, people.
And I would add, you really need to think about the next four years. There are a lot of us out here who just aren’t going to put up with any more of this incessant red state-vs.-blue state, tit-for-tat, so’s-yer-mother, trashing of our shared public life.