Dick Morris has waffled a little on his predictions of the Lizard Queen’s future behavior, but he may well be onto something this time: But the big reason Hillary should run is that the Democrats might well win in 2004. If a new president takes office in 2004 – and runs for a second term in 2008 – Hillary will have to keep fresh for eight years, a hard task in the best of times. In the Senate, she would be, at best, an onlooker as the action moves to a Democratic White House. But as vice president, she would have the on-deck circle to herself and would be the presumptive nominee in 2012….. If Hillary doesn’t run for vice president on the Democratic ticket in 2004, the person who does will be a strong candidate against her in 2008 if the ticket loses and a presumptive favorite in 2012 if it wins. She doesn’t need the competition. Should Bush win re-election, it will likely not be by the massive margin by which he would probably have defeated Dean. There would be no shame for Hillary in running for vice president on a ticket that narrowly lost.
It now appears that I was correct when I agreed with Morris’ original 2002 calculation that the Lizard Queen would not run for president this time around. I do think that there is a real chance that she’ll accept an offer of a vice-presidential nomination from Senator Kerry, however. Kerry won’t win – senators seldom do – but the election will be close enough that Hillary wouldn’t be tainted by it and would therefore become the presumptive nominee in 2008. If she allows Edwards, for one, to claim the VP spot, she’ll find it nearly impossible to beat him out in the 2008 primaries, as the sputtering failure of Clark’s “amazing campaign” has demonstrated the limits of the Clinton machine. If Kerry manages to win, of course, the VP logic becomes even more pressing. And in that case, she’d also make history as the first female VP.