Carol Platt Liebau

Thursday, March 17, 2005

In this piece, Clinton advisor Ann Lewis argues that John Kerry ran an inconsistent campaign.

Why would Ms. Lewis open her mouth? It doesn't make sense for Hillary. As quoted in the story, vetern Democratic operative Hank Sheinkopf notes that such comments will "create more internecine warfare among Democrats, and those who want to take shots at Hillary, who are Kerry loyalists, are now going to do that more than they would have before."

But there's another, subtler reason that it's bad politics. To the extent that John Kerry is "out there," that's good for Hillary. He continues to suck press coverage and attention away from Hillary's other, more formidable but less-known competitors for the Democratic nomination (like Evan Bayh, for example)-- but as a relatively weak candidate, she can dispatch Kerry easily when it finally suits her purposes. All that works to Hillary's advantage.

Perhaps Ann Lewis just became overly garrulous. Or perhaps she's trying to offer a rationale for the Democrats (many of whom believe that Hillary, like Kerry, is just too "blue state" to win nationwide) to believe that a Hillary campaign wouldn't have the same fatal flaws as the Kerry one did.

One thing's certain: If she spoke out of turn, we won't be hearing from Ann Lewis again for a long, long while.


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