Almost forgot to mention this. The other day in my post-Libby decision gloom, a familiar ghostly apparition reappeared, and I found myself again being addressed by the longtime veteran of Republican politics known by the nickname Obi-Wan Kenobi.
“I have advice for Hillary,” Obi Wan said. “She should pull a Perot.”
“Get out the charts?” I asked. “Infomercials?”
“Nope,” he said. “She should drop out. Let everyone else beat each other up for a year in the slugfest. Then, with just enough time before the first caucus, jump back in.”
Hmmm. I think Obi Wan was joking a bit, but it might actually work. Hillary could announce that she’s going to put her campaign “on hiatus” while she focuses on her work in the Senate to bring the troops home, help Americans compete in a globalized economy, blah blah blah. This would force Edwards to be the guy who has to scuff up Obama (because the former North Carolina senator has nothing to lose; there’s no way Obama is going to pick him as his running mate.) Then, once Obama has a few bruises from the rest of the field and the shine is off his halo, Hillary can jump in, and continue talking about being the candidate of a fresh start, the candidate who will make history, the consensus candidate, etc.
I note Mickey Kaus had mentioned a variation of this idea in relation to McCain.