The Campaign Spot

Wacky Old Uncle Safire Tells Funny Stories To Tim Russert

William Safire was just on Meet the Press, to offer an updated version of one of his “Office Pool” columns. Tim Russert seemed amused, but supremely skeptical of his predictions.

On Hillary’s running mate, Safire predicted… Illinois Congressman and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel. Huh? He said they’re the two hawkish voices in party, and suggested the bumper sticker, something like, “Hillary and Rahm, they’re the ones who will bomb.” I don’t get it at all.
Interestingly, Russert seemed insistent that Ohio Governor Ted Strickland be a choice for Hillary’s running mate, saying, “Remember: Ohio, Ohio, Ohio.”
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(Jim’s prediction: A retired general not named Wes Clark. Slogan for the Hillary-Zinni or Hillary-McCaffrey ticket: “The grownups are back in charge.”)
For Obama’s running mate, Safire predicted Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California. I have a really hard time seeing that (and hard time picturing Obama getting the nomination)… You know who would make a fascinating running mate for Obama, if he’s running as the man who can get us out of Iraq? Jim Webb. Might as well make the whole ticket fresh-faced glamour with little taint of Washington experience.
For Giuliani’s running mate, Safire predicted Fred Thompson. That one I could see. He listed McCain as an option, and I note that Giuliani has said that if he weren’t running, he would be backing McCain. So while it would be a ticket of two old guys, it would be the ticket of two old guys popular with independents.
For Mitt Romney’s running mate, Safire predicted Gen. David Petraeus. If progress continues in Iraq, I could see Petraeus becoming an Eisenhower-like (or at least Schwartzkpf-like, or Powell-like) figure in American politics. But I don’t think he’ll be on a ticket in 2008.
For John McCain’s running mate, Safire predicted Condi Rice. Nope. Read Rich’s book review of a recent biography of Rice, and you’ll get a sense of why, despite her great strengths, this is not a woman on course for higher office.

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