Are you ready for Hillary, version 2.0? One veteran D.C. pundit believes you should be. John McLaughlin, the moderator of his eponymous PBS program The McLaughlin Group, capped off a round of commentators’ predictions with his own stunner: “Michelle Obama will run for the United States Senate in 2016 and she will be thereby mimicking, if that’s not the right word, duplicating the career of Hillary Clinton.”
McLaughlin is a well-connected pundit whose insights are as often based on inside information as whimsy or surmise. Has he heard something from someone in the know? Michelle has kept a much higher profile as first lady than her predecessor, Laura Bush. She and Valerie Jarrett continue to force the fledgling administration leftward, drowning and eventually pushing out compromisers like Rahm Emanuel and Bill Daley while emphasizing Chicago community organizer values. Most recently, she has wrapped herself in the sheltering cocoon of preferred victim status, claiming that her critics have falsely portrayed her as an “angry black woman.”
Hillary rode her status as an enabler of a serial philanderer and potential rapist into a Senate seat and came within whistling distance of becoming her party’s nominee for president of the United States in 2008. Are the Obamas planning a political dynasty? Does Mrs. Obama plan to run from, say, Carol Moseley Braun’s Senate seat to the Oval Office?
Americans have proven their affinity for political families, from the Adameses to the Harrisons, the Roosevelts to the Kennedeys, the Bushes to the Clintons. On a lighter note, the film The Distinguished Gentleman showed the value of having a familiar name.
The presidential election of 2008 may be about far more than who controls America until January 2013.
– Ben Johnson, The White House Watch.