Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda: Debunking The "What if Hillary Had Won?" Meme

For all Democrats, rabid and reluctant Obama supporters alike, who've been secretly wondering "Would we be in this mess if Hillary had won?" New York Magazine's John Heilemann has an answer: "probably." '"Hillary in 2016? Absolutely. Hillary in 2012? You are high," he writes.

He points out that both Clintons, despite their occasional moments of making nice across the aisle, are no strangers to being virulently targeted by the right wing. If Hillary and Bill were back in the Whie House, "the intransigence and nastiness would have had a different cast (no birthers, no posters of HRC with a bone through her nose), but would’ve been no less intense," he says.

Going down the list, he points out where HRC and Obama would line up: Foreign policy (she's his Secretary of State, after all), national security, economic policies and advisors (same team: Summers, Geithner et al,) and a health-care push which would have invited major conservative pushback. "For Hillary, then, advancing similar policies in a similar macroeconomic and partisan environment would surely have meant that her first two years would have been no less rocky than Obama’s," he writes.

The only place the Clintons are more proven than their formal rival and current ally is in "climbing up off the mat" Heilemann writes--in other words, surviving a drubbing and living to fight the next round:

"Like all the greatest politicians, they have repeatedly been knocked on their asses but have figured out how to stand back up, regain their footing, and make lemonade—hard lemonade—out of the lemons with which voters had pelted them."

Let's hope they're giving Obama lemonade-making lessons as we speak, he concludes (and we agree). Read the full story at

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at November 1, 2010, 6:16am