The race for president of the United States is on. It seems pretty clear to me that the Republicans will nominate Chris Christie and the Democratic candidate will be Hillary Clinton. It will be one hell of a race.
Hillary wants the nomination and it is hers for the taking. The other potential Democratic contender, Joseph Biden, pales in the polls against Hillary. The super campaign team of Bill and Hillary is already out on the gate. They are identifying key ethnic and religious groups and showing us the type of A+ politics that left Bill Clinton one of the most popular presidents ever at the time of his last day in office. Of course, you can count on the evil tabloid press to find compromising pictures of Bill at cocktail parties with other women, but no one will do anything but yawn, as in “Been there done that.”
The Clintons have a conservative fiscal Democratic ideology and progressive social ideas. The number one issue for Hillary Clinton will be breaking the glass ceiling for women. She will raise all the money she needs to run and she will have mended fences with the black community who didn’t like the big fight that led up to Barack Obama’s nomination. Since that time, Hillary has done a tour as Secretary of State where she distinguished herself as a loyal lieutenant to Obama. She also picked up a set of creds as the top foreign policy expert in the United States, bar none. Recent photo opportunities with President Obama have left little doubt that he will be there for her when the time comes, despite the fact that she will have to distance herself from Obama on some of his latest difficulties, including the health care mess.
A recent poll showed Hillary beating Chris Christie in New York but showed Christie besting Andrew Cuomo. Apparently, New Yorkers remember their former senator with great fondness. In considering a vice presidential nominee, I suspect they will take a long hard look at Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts who has distinguished himself in office. He is brilliant, a top lawyer and guaranteed to prove attractive to the African American voters who helped the Democrats when Obama ran.
On the Republican side, Chris Christie has proven himself to be a top vote getter. He is the head of the Republican Governors Association, evidence that he has been forgiven for cooperating with President Obama in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The moment he hugged Obama, a lot of Democrats and independents said, “Hmmm, I could vote for that guy.” Many people think Christie could never win the nomination because of his relationship with the president, but I suspect American voters have had enough of shrill, partisan politics. Here is a guy who knows how to cooperate. He also knows how to make contact with the average voter, which is something that others, including Hillary Clinton, have trouble with. Because he is corpulent and struggles with his weight, he has a lot in common with the rest of us in the fight against fat. As for those Republicans who have been out in the cold for years with no patronage or judgeships, one can only believe that they would like to win. Christie has never given up his conservative credentials and while he has backtracked on some of them, he still has the bragging rights he will need to win. If he gets the nomination, you can bet that Republicans and conservative independents will choose him over Hillary.
Just think about what a debate between these two will look like. Christie will talk about his mother and how thrilled she would have been to see him up on that podium. Hillary will talk policy. Let me assure you that this race will be very close and one for the books.
Originally published in the Legislative Gazette, 12/3/13