I remember sitting in an anteroom at Queens College back in 2000. I was there, along with Senator Schumer, to introduce Hillary Clinton, who was running for her first term as senator from New York. Before I went out to make my introduction, a very young woman who was a Clinton staffer looked at me and said, "What do you think of Hillary?" As I was already there to participate in the campaign, I was puzzled. "Do you mean personally?" I asked. "No," she said. "For president!" Although Rick Lazio had no real chance of defeating Mrs. Clinton, her name wasn't yet on a door in the Russell Building, and 'Hillary for President' was starting to roll.
Two years earlier, I had asked a prominent Democratic political consultant about the 1998 Senate race, with the Democratic primary between Schumer, Mark Green and Geraldine Ferraro. All three were vying to finally dispose of the hated Alfonse D'Amato. My consultant friend explained how Ferraro would be tough and would likely stay in the race for some time. "Ferraro had gathered all of her supporters in New York back in 84, when she was the vice presidential nominee. It was a very significant and emotional event for many of these women. Gerry asked that if she ever needed their support again, could she count on them. All the women pledged to be there for Gerry, no matter what. This was a group of powerful, female New York Democrats. They either had a lot of money themselves, or their husbands did. You could tell that they were less concerned with actually winning the race. They just wanted a woman nominee. One of them told me that "We'll never win a race without becoming the nominee. It all begins here. It may take time, but we're building toward something." There are wealthy, politically connected, educated women who want a woman candidate, whether she has a chance in the general election or not. They're building toward something.
Of course, one thing a Clinton candidacy should be building toward is how to deal with the looming disaster in the financial markets that we now face. My friend Max Keiser, who reports for both BBC and Al Jazeera on global financial issues, has a valuable take on what a Clinton versus Obama economic plan might look like. Keiser e-mailed me this brief anaysis:
Looking at it purely from economic angle;
Obama has Paul Volcker as economic adviser -- he mopped up the stagflation of the '70s with 'tough love' of higher interest rates.
Hillary has Robert Rubin -- who demolished the last vestiges of Glass-Steagel which opened up the flood gates of securitizing loans and the current subprime (and now prime) credit crisis.
The current plan by Rubin's Goldman Sachs buddies Hank Paulson, (and Ben Bernanke), and their UK counterparts -- is to simply repackage all this bad debt and resell it again.. (making banks another fee); and hope that the problem will go away...
I do not believe this plan will work -- because in order for it to work -- long term interest rates have to go down -- which they are not likely to do now that China and India are no longer a source of cheap labor they once were... (the productivity miracle Alan Greenspan was always talking about amounted to outsourcing labor to China and now that game is up as wages in China go up and so-called productivity gains have faded).
The absolute necessity now is to stop bailing out banks, stop flooding the economy with more cheap money (money supply in US is running at an historic high of 16%), and stop raising the debt ceiling.
The buck (as in US dollar) has to stop being devalued by Paulson, Bernanke, etc. and their money printing banking friends or prices for food and gas will just continue zooming higher....
A hard, and probably a brutally hard recession has to be allowed to happen right now and the US needs to take its medicine for Greenspan's sins..
Putting off the day of reckoning with more re-packaging of debts as is the current 'master plan' of Paulson and Co. is only going to jeopardize the US dollar and possibly kill the US dollar off completely. (massive devaluation).
In other words: if Obama will force America to swallow a Paul Volcker anti-inflation economic pill than there really is no choice.
Voting for Hillary is voting for certain US dollar death.
(unless you own gold, and you are rooting for a dollar death, then vote for Hillary).
I will be back with more of Keiser's insights (he should be posting here) and Obama versus Hillary comparisons later.
Here are some links to read more about the financial implications of Clinton versus Obama, all provided by Max Keiser.