What Could Stop The Hillary Juggernaut?

Salon takes a look at how the seemingly inevitable rise of Hillary Clinton could end, with 10 possible scenarios for dethroning the Queen of the Democratic Race.

It is quite possible that Barack Obama could get his act together just as Kerry had done in the waning moments of 2003 and early 2004. However, the dynamics of this race are vastly different than the 2004 race. In 2004, the Democrats were searching for the most “electable” candidate. The meltdown of Howard Dean at the Val-Aire Ballroom was the clenching moment in which Democrats realized that Dean was a liability to the party. Edwards—despite the endorsement of the Des Moines Register—was too much of a lightweight, and Kerry had the perception of “electability” that the Democrats so desperately wanted.

In 2008, there seems to be little doubt that Clinton doesn’t have a problem with “electability” despite her high negatives. Clinton would get women to the polls. She has experience. She’s been preparing for this job for most of her life. She is the polar opposite of her husband. Bill Clinton was naturally magnetic but an undisciplined and unfocused campaigner. Hillary Clinton is not naturally magnetic, but she’s focused like a laser on achieving her objectives. Her discipline counts for a lot in politics, as it’s kept her from making too many of the mistakes that other candidates commonly make early in the race.

Is Hillary Clinton an inevitability? Politics isn’t about inevitability, and the dynamics of any race can and will change over time. With months left before even the first primary (even in this collapsed season) there’s plenty of time for Hillary to jam her foot firmly in her mouth. Her bizarre cackling on camera, her $5,000 baby bonus plan, and her having to wiggle out of her previous support of the Iraq War are all liabilities for the Democratic frontrunner. Will something cause her to crack, leaving room for a resurgent Obama or an invigorated Edwards? Only time will tell, and even as disciplined as Hillary may be, the more time in the spotlight the more the likelihood of making that fatal mistake.

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