By Jeff Fecke | April 26, 2008
Eleanor Clift has a warning for everyone. If Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, says Clift, Clinton will be out to settle some scores:
I’m beginning to think Hillary Clinton might pull this off and wrestle the nomination away from Barack Obama. If she does, a lot of folks—including a huge chunk of the media—will join Bill Richardson (a.k.a. Judas) in the Deep Freeze. If the Clintons get back into the White House, it will be retribution time, like the Corleone family consolidating power in “The Godfather,” where the watchword is, “It’s business, not personal.”
There’s never been any love lost between the Clintons and official Washington. The Georgetown dinner parties they rarely attended during the Bill years might as well be in Outer Mongolia for all President Hillary will care. Notables who abandoned her for Obama will get the Big Chill. “He’s dead to us,” a Clinton aide was quoted saying of John Kerry, who along with Ted Kennedy was turned off by the perception of race baiting that led up to the South Carolina primary. A major donor, conflicted between the two candidates and apologetic over his backing of Obama, found Hillary less than sympathetic. “Too bad for you, because I’m going to win,” she snapped.
You know, Eleanor Clift is absolutely right. If she’s elected, I’m sure Clinton will punish enemies, reward supporters, and generally settle business. I know this for a fact. You see, Hillary Clinton is a politician. And rewarding friends and punishing enemies has been an integral part of politics since the dawn of humanity.
I mean, really: Does Clift think that Mark Penn would have a key role in an Obama administration? Do we expect John McCain to appoint Mitt Romney as his chief of staff? Of course not. This is part of politics. When John Kerry chose to back Obama, he did so knowing it would hurt his ability to get a job under Clinton, just as Ed Rendell will probably not get a job under Obama.
Unless, of course, Clinton and/or Obama and/or McCain can get some benefit by turning to an enemy. Kennedy picked Johnson for veep, Reagan did the same with Bush. Clinton could very well appoint Bill Richardson to secretary of state — if Clinton thought it would help her advance her agenda.
That’s not evil, or Machiavellian. It’s just politics. Criticize Clinton for her choice of frames, or for her campaign’s ever-shifting rationales for victory. But don’t criticize her for being a politician. That’s like being upset with a goalie for trying to make a save.
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