Unlike lots of other political blogs, BlueNC is not a forum that's obsessively focused on the 2008 presidential race. Yes we have folks who are strong and vocal supporters of individual candidates, but by and large, we lean more toward state politics than anything else.
All of which leaves me in a swivet when I get calls asking from people asking me to support this or that candidate. As a person who has flushed a boatload of money in primaries over the years, I'm up in the air about what to do right now. For example, I think John Edwards is a great guy who would make an awesome president, but I haven't jumped on his bandwagon because I haven't yet been able to make the case that it's the highest and best use of my resources.
The call I got today, however, triggered some new thoughts about the relationship between presidential politics and state politics. In particular, I'm trying to think through what kind of top-to-bottom ticket we might have in 2008 - and which collection of candidates would most likely result in a victory for progressive politics. For example, the wrong presidential nominee could undercut all sorts of North Carolina races and make it harder for progressive candidates to win in the NC House and Senate - and in the governor's race.
I don't know who the absolute best presidential candidate will be, but it may very well be John Edwards. My own personal favorite, Wes Clark, does not appear to be near the front of the pack, which is a shame. The 2008 elections will be even more about national security than the 06 cycle was, and Clark has had the most cogent and consistent views on those issues of any candidate in either party.
All that said, there is one candidate who I believe would be devastating in North Carolina. Her name is Hillary Clinton. Don't misunderstand me, I think Clinton is good on lots of issues. And it's exciting to see a powerful woman taking on the Boys Club mentality that dominates US politics. Plus she's doing a great job as a New York Senator.
But in the disastrous wake of the Child King's rein of error, two things will be of critical importance for our nation and the world. First, the new president will have to pull America back together again. And second, he or she will have to reach out to the international community and repair the untold damage done by the American Party of Greed. Hillary may be able to pull off the latter, but she cannot deliver the former. If she were elected, she would be the second most divisive president in history right out of the blocks.
I don't know who would be best in doing the two jobs I'm describing, but I do think this is a productive way to look at it. Not just for what it means for the country, but for what it means for each and every state as well. We're building strong momentum for progressive policies in North Carolina, and we cannot afford to lose it.
Final thought. Does anyone actually know a real live person who thinks Hillary Clinton should run for president? I've asked far and wide, all around the country, and I have yet to find a single soul who supports her candidacy. I'm sure their are some, but I don't know them.