Larry Elder

Otherwise sane people speculate that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will resign her post and challenge President Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination in 2012. But Hillary's futile challenge would have a far more damaging effect than that inflicted on Al Gore by persona non grata Ralph Nader in '00. After Dems get through blaming her for Obama's fall '12 defeat, neither Bill nor Hillary would be able to get a table at Fatburger.

Here are the 10 reasons why she won't do it.

10. She's not a fool. If she ran, she'd lose.

The Clintons couldn't defeat Obama when he was an inexperienced freshman senator. But they're supposed to snatch the nomination from him as an inexperienced incumbent President? Puh-leeeze.

9. The rationale behind her candidacy is exactly what?

That Obama is a confused and indecisive commander in chief? That Obama took forever to decide that the Afghanistan War is worth fighting and winning? That Obama made reckless promises to close Guantanamo Bay and to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian court in New York? That, after naively criticizing President Bush's prosecution of the War on Terror, Obama continues nearly all of his policies?

All true. So what? The primary/caucus left-lefties like their Democrats to vacillate on foreign policy. They equate vacillation with thoughtfulness.

8. The Democrats who do the nominating love Obama.

He signed ObamaCare, while President Bill Clinton failed to pull off HillaryCare. Obama passed "stimulus," and thus rewarded government workers who helped him win the presidency. He replaced two left-wing Supreme Court justices with two left-wing Supreme Court justices. Dems blame the undone stuff -- cap and trade, union card check, raising taxes on the rich -- on Republican/tea party resistance to (aka racism against) a black president. What's not to like?

7. Hillary would make Obama spend money to fend her off -- leaving him financially weakened.

With less money in Obama's war chest, a Republican victory becomes more likely. Campaign contributions would flow from Obama and to the Republican, as the lobbyists sense blood and jump to the winning side.

6. A challenge from Hillary would provide scads of anti-Obama sound bites, quips and put-downs -- all deliciously usable.

Imagine the GOP hit ad: (Baritone voice-over) "Secretary of State Clinton warned us about the 3:00 a.m. call."

Pan to a desk clock reading 3:00 a.m. Pan to empty bed. Cut to Obama in sunny Rio teeing off on the ninth hole.

(Voice-over) "She was right."

5. The 1968 analogy is a bad one.

President Lyndon Johnson was challenged from the left. He faced a formidable one-issue challenger in Eugene McCarthy, who had a strong anti-Vietnam War message that resonated with young people who faced a draft. And McCarthy did not win the New Hampshire primary -- a surprising strong 42 percent, but second nonetheless. The damage done, Robert Kennedy jumped into the race four days later.

Facing a battle against Kennedy "royalty," a rising Vietnam war body count and chants of "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids have you killed today?!" the weary Johnson stunned the nation by deciding not to run.

Clinton has no McCarthy-like stalking horse to bruise Obama -- so she can swoop in and pick the carcass. Plus, Obama is not job-weary. Nor is the youth anxious over Afghanistan and Iraq, given the all-volunteer military.

4. The 1980 analogy is even worse.

President Jimmy Carter was challenged from the left. Yet even with the Jack-Bobby-Camelot glow still fairly intense, Ted Kennedy could not unseat a weak incumbent who was disliked and distrusted by his own party. Carter survived a nasty, divisive political convention. Obama's leftist bona fides, however, remain intact.

3. The nostalgic "we're thinking about getting the band back together" thing won't fly.

The FOBs, friends of Bill, now work for Obama or used to or want to. Bill Clinton's former policy advisor, Rahm Emanuel, just finished a stint as Obama's chief of staff. Obama's new chief of staff served as Clinton's secretary of commerce.

2. The media still adore Obama.

They helped him get elected, and they will help him get renominated and then re-elected. Obama, alone among the major Democratic '08 rivals -- and to the delight of the major media -- opposed the "dumb" Iraq War from the start. They remember. Plus, several well-connected "journalists" left their money-losing, dead or dying publications and now work for Obama.

1. Blacks would go absolutely, positively berserk!

The 95 percent black pro-Obama 2008 voting block would crumble if Hillary even attempted to "steal" the presidency from the first (real) black president. If she somehow, some way, managed to win the nomination, blacks wouldn't vote Republican -- but they'd sure stay home.

To summarize: A Clinton challenge to Obama would inflict so much damage and intra-party angst that the Republicans could run Snooky in 2012 -- and win.

So, please, Hillary, do it -- for your country.


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.