Robert Novak this morning has a column about the failure of the West Coast Liberal Establishment to embrace Hillary Clinton. To be honest, I think that if Hillary has the momentum, Hollywood will fall right into line. They will do anything to defeat the Republicans, and even if they are not thrilled with Hillary, they will back her to the hilt.
And when you think about it, the Democrats have no real bench strength anymore. They have been pulled further to the left that is reasonable, and thus moderates like Evan Bayh will not be able to get through the primaries without a huge shift to the left, which will destroy his credibility. So in my opinion, the nomination is Hillary’s to take.
Back east, well-placed Democrats have agreed that the party’s 2008 nomination is all wrapped up better than three years in advance. They say that the prize is Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s for the asking, and that she is sure to ask. But here on the left coast, I found surprising and substantial Democratic opposition to going with the former first lady.
Both the Hollywood glitterati and the more mundane politicians of Los Angeles are looking elsewhere. They have seen plenty of Sen. Clinton over the past dozen years, and they don’t particularly like what they’ve seen. Two far less well-known Democrats — Virginia Gov. Mark Warner and Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh — were hits on recent visits to California, mainly because they were not Hillary.
The concern here with Clinton is not borne in fear that she might fail to carry California. Almost any Democrat would be likely to win in the nation’s most populous state, where the advent of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is an exotic event that has not changed the GOP’s minority status in California. Rather, the fear here is pronounced that Clinton cannot win in Red America, guaranteeing a third straight Republican term in the White House.
Talking to some of them, I found concern that Hillary carries too much baggage from her turbulent marriage and her husband’s presidency to do any better than John Kerry did last year. One female office holder was looking hard for another Southern moderate who could bite into the Confederacy as Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton had done.
Another woman office holder was hostile to a Clinton candidacy on a more personal basis. “Don’t think that Hillary has the women’s vote,” she told me. “I will never forgive her for sticking with her husband after he humiliated her. It’s something I can’t get over.”
While all this sounds good, I think that when push comes to shove, these Californians will be waving the Hillary banner long and hard.
Michelle Malkin is not sure if Hillary has is wrapped up.