No, the Clintons want Hillary in the second slot. If her ticket loses, she can claim that it was Clark, not she, who lost the election. Her political career will not be over. A former vice-presidential nominee still carries weight in the Democratic Party. Edmund Muskie was the early Democratic front-runner in 1972 after running with Hubert Humphrey in 1968. Jimmy Carter lost the 1980 election, but his running mate, Walter Mondale, became the presidential nominee in 1984. Joe Lieberman still carries some weight in the Democratic Party despite his 2000 loss. Hillary's political future will be safe even if a Clark-Hillary ticket goes down in flames.
If her ticket wins, Hillary can wait until 2012 to be president. Another four years won't make a difference. After eight years of gathering her forces around her, a Hillary campaign in 2012 would make a Saddam Hussein election campaign look like a Libertarian Party presidential run.
For the Clintons, politics revolves around maximizing personal power while enduring only slight political risk. Hillary isn't likely to jump the gun and run in 2004 as president. She can't afford to wait until 2008 and run for president then because Rudy Giuliani could put her out of politics in 2006. The only way to assure her political future is to put her name on the 2004 ticket -- as vice president. Whether her ticket wins or loses in 2004, Hillary wins as long as she's in the No. 2 slot. For the Clintons, that's all that matters.
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