A Republican takeover of the Senate this fall would hurt Mr. Obama for the final two years of his presidency, but it might help Mrs. Clinton if she runs to succeed him.
Republican control of both the House and Senate would provide Mrs. Clinton a clearer target to run against in courting voters fatigued by Washington dysfunction. The longer an unpopular president and his more-unpopular partisan adversaries battle to a standstill, the easier it is to offer herself as a fresh start.
“It would be bad for the country,” said Stanley B. Greenberg, President Bill Clinton’s former pollster, but “total gridlock would allow Hillary to be the change.”
…Except, of course, for the minor problem that Hillary Clinton put into motion, and was the public face for, the current administration’s disastrous foreign policy record*. To say nothing of the fact that a sixty-nine year old apparatchik is not exactly what one thinks of when one says ‘dynamic agent of change.’ But that’s just the NYT’s little ways.
What’s more interesting is that the Old Grey Lady is busily reassuring its readers about the sourness of those Senatorial grapes. Contra the Democratic argument – and not a few conservative ones – there is no particular evidence that the Republican party is at any serious electoral risk vis a vis its policies and stated goals. If there was, we wouldn’t be seeing the Republican party poised to take control of the Senate. If you want to see what a political party out of tune with the electorate looks like, look at 2006**. Or, indeed, 2010.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*I was going to say ‘worst foreign policy record in American history,’ except that I have to be fair. Barack Obama has not yet managed to get Washington, DC burned down by an invading army.
**2008 is what a party blindsided by an economic crisis and a new data-driven voter drive paradigm looks like.