Okay, Igive in: Hillary Clinton's astoundingly selfish New York Senaterun is Topic A this week. Since many readers keep track of my political wagers-I'vebeen on a losing streak since '94-let me assure them that I've already maileda check for $100 to Chris Caldwell at The Weekly Standard, a deservedcomeuppance for predicting just weeks ago that Hillary's gambit was an elaboratetease, a salve for the manifold wounds inflicted upon her by President Clinton.Apparently, what started out as a lark-thanks a lot, Charlie Rangel-hasmushroomed into a near-reality. Not that I think Hillary will ultimately representa state she knows little about in Washington, DC; it's just thatin the next 18 months New Yorkers are going to see so damned much of her. Ralliesthat will clog traffic, given her First Lady Secret Service protection; shrilldebates between Hillary and RudyGiuliani (the presumptive GOPchallenger) that I'll be forced to watch; Bill Clinton himself coming to NewYork City and fouling the air.
Before gettinginto specifics, let me reiterate what I've said for two years now: Al Gorehas the unfortunate fate of being the Clintons' final victim. Hillary's Senaterace will siphon away money, organization skill and media attention from Gore'spresidential campaign, not only in New York but the entire country. HillaryClinton was very effective on the stump for Democratic candidates in the midtermelections of '98, milking the sympathy that so many suckers felt for her duringthe President's impeachment/Monica woes, and was probably responsiblefor Barbara Boxer's reelection in California. She'd bea key asset to Gore and other candidates in 2000 if she put aside her own ambitionstemporarily, deferring a Senate run till 2004 in her native Illinois.