Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Captain's Quarters: Clintons Losing Grip On Democrats?

Captain's Quarters

In a move that calls into question Hillary Clinton's expected run for the presidency in 2008, Harold Ickes has pulled out of the race for chair of the Democratic National Committee:

Former Clinton aide Harold Ickes and former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk let top Democrats know Tuesday that they won't be running for chairman of the Democratic National Committee. ...

Ickes, a longtime Democratic activist, also let party members know he would not be running.

"I just decided I probably did not have enough of the attributes (a chairman needs) to do the party justice," Ickes said in an interview.

Ickes has strong ties to the Clintons. He served for years as Bill Clinton's deputy chief of staff and has been a big money man for both Bill and Hillary. While the DNC chair may have been more high-profile than usual for Ickes' comfort zone, having him ensconced at the heart of DNC strategizing would have been a tacit endorsement of Hillary for 2008.

Obviously, Ickes could not generate the necessary support for the DNC chair. The two front-runners appear to be Howard Dean and Tim Roemer, neither of which have much connection to the Clinton entourage. The Democrats appear to be shying away from the Clintons, making Hillary's presidential aspirations more remote than ever. With Dean, one can expect Democratic money to back a candidate that will energize the Deaniacs -- not exactlt the best match for Hillary's newly-found centrism. Roemer likely will want to find a candidate that attracts moderates on abortion and Midwesterners, again an unlikely draw for Hillary.

For better or worse, it appears that the Democrats have finally begun to shrug off the Clinton influence. Hillary sat out the 2004 presidential race in the assumption that Bush could not be beaten and that her time had not yet arrived. Instead, she may have missed her best chance.

Indeed, Captain she may be not ready for prime time. However, Ann Lewis is now heading up her New York political operations, presumably for her Senate race in 2006.

Maybe the Demos will recycle the John Kerry show?

Well, he is better looking than Gore and hasn't grown a beard yet in defeat!

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