Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Hillary Update - Pirro's in the Race

Now that Jeanine Pirro has declared herself a candidate in the 2006 New York Senate race against Hillary Clinton, the campaign is officially underway. Just a week after her announcement, it may not be too early to pronounce Pirro DOA.

Her kick-off event went terribly. (She paused for a full half-minute after realizing that the tenth page of her speech was missing.) But that's no big deal. Her husband was called in to stand by her side at an event on Day Two of the campaign after it was widely noted that he was absent on Day One. Still, not necessarily a big deal. She hasn't stated a substantive reason why Hillary Clinton doesn't deserve re-election. Very, very big deal.

The reason she has stated for running and for being the best choice?

“I am running for the Senate because New York deserves a Senator who will
give her all to the people of New York for a full term—full time—and not
miss votes to campaign in the 2008 Presidential primaries. New York deserves
a Senator who has New York’s interests at heart—not the divided loyalties of
one seeking to satisfy the needs of the people in Iowa, New Hampshire or
Florida."
The simple truth is that her ambitions are no reason for voting against Hillary Clinton in 2006, just as then-Governor George W. Bush's ambitions were no reason to vote against him in 1998, for example. Pirro can try to make it a reason, or the reason that she's "the one." But she won't succeed if she does. In 1998, reporters tried to press Governor Bush into promising that he'd serve out his full term. In response Bush said, "The truth is, I don’t know whether or not I’m going to run for the Presidency, and won’t know for quite a while. That’s just something Texas voters will have to factor into their decision.” His answer sufficed; he mauled Democrat Garry Mauro that Fall by 37 percentage points and took Texas in November 2000 by 21 percentage points. Voters in Arizona who overwhelmingly put John McCain back into the Senate last November weren't concerned by talk of a Presidential campaign in his future. Kansas voters clearly weren't bothered by Bob Dole's Presidential hopes when they returned him to Washington in 1986.

This is not to say that there aren't reasons for voting against Hillary. There are, and her opponent will likely raise them. Of course, if she thinks it will bring voters to her side, Jeanine Pirro could run with this psuedo-issue as her platform. History just shows that she'd be foolish to do so.

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