Is Clinton in for the really long haul?


At least one source is saying people in the camp of Hillary Clinton (D-NY) are quietly floating the notion that if the road to the Democratic nomination for president comes to an end in Denver, that may not necessarily mean the end of the road in her pursuit of the White House. Is an independent candidacy a possibility?

The speculation comes from U.S. Politics Today. It says, “At the moment, a Clinton independent candidacy is viewed as an idle threat, designed to pressure superdelegates with a party disaster if they don’t nominate Clinton. But when you look at the electoral college calculus, an independent run could represent a realistic path to the White House for Clinton.”

The thinking is that Bill Clinton made it into the White House with only 43% of the vote against a crippled Bush 41, who picked up only 38% of the popular vote. The thinking is that presumptive Republican nominee John McCain (R-AZ) is carrying so much baggage that Hillary Clinton could still come out on top in a three-way race.

RBR/TVBR observation: We don’t see it. We have to think this is a long shot. The history of third party candidacies, if they have any legs at all, is that they tip the election to the least similar of the group in the running. Just because she switches her suffix from (D-NY) to (I-NY) does not mean she’ll be doing anything other than splitting the Democratic vote with Barack Obama (D-IL) to the benefit of McCain.

But if it does happen, it will keep a formidable fund-raising apparatus in business right up until November. And what the heck – if Hillary is still going to be hanging around even if the Democratic nod goes to Obama, maybe New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I-NY) will take it as a call of “everybody in the pool” and throw his formidable cash resources into the mix. And why not see if we can lure Ross Perot out of retirement for another shot?

Maybe the presidential election alone can be the trade wind that blows the entire broadcasting business out of the doldrums.