On Fox News last night, the chairman of Iowa's Democratic party said that Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is not laying the adequate groundwork for a presidenial campaign in the first caucus state and that many are starting to speculate she may not run if Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) enters the race.I think this outcome - Hillary not running - is likelier than some might imagine. It would pave the way for Hillary to become Senate Majority Leader, and the security of that post may appeal to Hillary more than a very risky presidential campaign (her decision to forgo a 2004 run shows that she is wary of launching risky campaigns).
Said Iowa Democratic Chair Rob Tully: "She's been quiet and, you know, there's a question that we all hear is that she may not get in this if Barack Obama gets in. I have never seen a reaction other than Bill Clinton in terms of the excitement that people have to meet Barack Obama. Some people just wanted to touch him."
In other 2008 news, Greg Mankiw and Glenn Hubbard are idiots if they think outgoing Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) is an at all serious candidate for the Republican nomination. This is a man who won a close gubernatorial campaign in 2002 by proclaiming himself pro-choice and a supporter of gay rights, had a governorship marked by Democratic gay marriage and government health care initiatives that are anathema to the mainstream of the Republican party, and then refused to run again because polls showed that Massachusetts voters despised him. He then flip-flopped on gay rights and abortion, indicating to social conservatives - his would-be base - that he doesn't take the issues seriously, if not that he's just a social liberal in disguise. He would almost certainly lose his home state, which overwhelmingly opposes the very concept of a presidential bid by Romney. Oh, and he's a Mormon, which rules out 43% of the electorate, including 53% of evangelicals. Between his liberal history, lack of any support in his home state (which, due to its traditional Democratic bent, was supposed to be his main asset), and religion, there's not a snowball's chance in hell that he'd win the primary. Mankiw and Hubbard would do well to start talking to either Newt or McCain, pronto.