Bernie Rapoport on Hillary Clinton
Big time Texas Democratic money man Bernard Rapoport had some interesting quotes about Hillary in Time's snapshot on Hillary's presidential ambitions:
Her strategists tell Time they are urging her to make her intentions clear by next spring—by forming an exploratory committee, for instance—to lock up fund-raising and political talent. Those close enough to know say that she is genuinely undecided but that Bill is not disguising his eagerness to see her make a bid for his old job. "He thinks that she should run, and he's going to do everything possible to help her," says Texas insurance mogul and philanthropist Bernard Rapoport, a longtime Clinton friend and backer.I'm mildly puzzled by the idea that Hillary needs to send a signal by spring 2007. She can wait much longer than any other Democrat in the race: the money will still be there, the consultants will still be there, the endorsements will still be there, etc.
Even when Bill doesn't get in her way, Hillary has trouble pulling off what came so naturally to him. "I wish she hadn't come out against flag burning," says her supporter and funder Rapoport. "The worst mistake she can make is to move to the right. She's going to lose a lot of the enthusiasm of the people who can get her elected." But others point out that by supporting a statute banning flag burning, she helped defeat a more drastic constitutional amendment that would have done the same thing—very much like what her husband did in 1995 when he produced a balanced budget, horrifying the left with 25% cuts in domestic spending. That helped take the political momentum out of a balanced-budget constitutional amendment. "Do you pretend [an issue] doesn't exist, or do you find a way to beat it?" asks former Clinton White House domestic-policy director Bruce Reed. "The Clintons have always found a way to beat it."
In fact, until Hillary says she isn't running, people will assume that she is. So if I were Hillary's strategists, I'd keep her powder dry as long as possible.
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