Suddenly, Next Summer

Bob Novak thinks that between Howard Dean’s big mouth and his endorsement by Al Gore, Hillary might just slip in and take the nomination:

As worries about Dean’s nomination rise inside the Democratic establishment, hopes of stopping him diminish — particularly after the Gore endorsement. To slow Dean even temporarily, Rep. Dick Gephardt must stop him in the Iowa caucuses Jan. 19. That’s why these worried Democrats were stirred by Hillary Clinton Sunday on “Meet the Press.”

After an impressive performance answering Tim Russert’s policy questions, the former first lady would not flatly promise to turn down a presidential draft. “The nomination — it’s not going to be offered to me,” she insisted. “But if it did happen?” asked Russert. “You know, I have, I am — ,” she stammered. “I think the door is opening a bit, Senator,” Russert concluded. “Oh, no, it’s not,” Clinton shot back. Finally, when pressed to say she would “never” accept the 2004 nomination, she said, “I am not accepting the nomination.”

That was ambivalent enough to intrigue Democratic worriers. It’s a slender reed, but still reason for them to think that Hillary Clinton might be there if Howard Dean self-immolates by next summer. They are thinking such thoughts because their prospective nominee is spinning wild conspiracy theories.




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