Monday, February 19, 2007

More Than a Little Presumptuous

An interesting story came across the news wires today. Some top Democratic leaders are already planning a continuing political career for Bill Clinton should his wife, Hillary, become the President of the United States. Paul Begala and Larry Sabato believe Bill would make a wonderful senatorial replacement in New York as Hilary would have to vacate her seat in the middle of a term.

This possibility should raise not a few eyebrows. There are several things to consider:

Isn't this presumptuous of Democratic leadership? What about the will of the people of New York? The governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer, is the one who will make the choice - not the DNC or the Clinton machine.

From the article:
So far, speculation about potential successors has focused on New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whose father once held the same Senate seat.
The other concern is the compromise of the balance of powers in American government. If Hillary is chosen by the American people to be President, and Bill is appointed to finish her Senate term, there will be the appearance of nepotism. Also, will Bill's fellow senators be afraid of working with him because of the power he may wield as the husband of the President? He will never be treated like a freshman Senator. There is no precedent for this type of situation. Additionally, senators who were involved in the impeachment proceedings are still in office in the Senate. What will his relationship with them be like? In the Senate, it is necessary to work out compromises for legislation to be passed. The rules of the Senate foster a spirit of debate. Senators need a sense of collegiality to work together, and it is likely that giving Bill Clinton a Senate seat would stifle the process because of the fear and awe he would inspire. Mostly fear, unfortunately.

I would not be pleased with this situation if it were happening with a Republican presidential hopeful and spouse.

I would love to know what my readers think about this. Please leave a comment.

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