Hillary Held to Double-Standard?

December 4, 2004

During an interview with Sean Hannity yesterday Dem operative and Hillary aide Ann Lewis said that Hillary Clinton should be required to serve out a second full six-year Senate term. Lewis added:

I don’t think Hillary Clinton should be held to a higher double standard, different from people like George Bush — who also ran for re-election in 1998, then went on to a national campaign. … I just don’t like to see women candidates being judged differently than men. I think we ought to all play by the same rules.

I don’t how how my buddy Sean responded to this because I wasn’t tuned in during the interview, but personally I don’t think it matters what Hillary or her aides say about this.

The hard facts are that absent extraordinary intervening circumstances, Hillary is going to run for president in 2008. She mainly ran for Senate, in my opinion, to position herself for an eventual presidential run. Notwithstanding the Yankees ball cap, it’s not like she had any particular allegiance to New York when she first ran.

Further, Hillary certainly figures that she’ll be in a much better position to run in 2008 if she is a sitting Senator at the time. Thus she will run in 2006 and regardless of whether she promises then to serve out her term, she will run for president in 2008.

This is a non-issue. No one will hold Hillary to a promise to remain in the Senate, even if she makes such a promise. What’s Ann Lewis talking about? Clinton supporters never hold the Clintons accountable for their behavior or their broken promises.

But I do think it’s amusing that Ann Lewis used the phrase “higher double standard.” I didn’t know, until now, that we had higher and lower grades of double standards. But who am I to challenge the erudite sister of Barney Frank?

One other thing: This may surprise you, but I don’t think it’s terrible if Hillary does run for re-election to her Senate seat in 2006 with every intention of not serving out her term, especially if she discloses her intent. She has every right to run and the New Yorkers have every right to elect her knowing that it may be temporary. In fact, I’ll even go so far as to say that it will help Hillary to stay in the Senate mix, if she does intend to go for the big one.

None of this is to say that I won’t fervently oppose this uber-lib feminist for either or both positions, because I will. But let’s be done with this idle speculation about whether her re-election to the Senate in 2006 will deter her from a presidential run in 2008. It won’t in a million years, even if she promises under oath that she’ll complete her Senate term no matter what. It’s ridiculous to think otherwise. It’s also ridiculous to think it will matter if she reneges on a promise to serve out for full term. Ridiculous. It will not sway .00000000000001% of the voters of NY, much less those of any other state.