Despite Hillary Clinton's front-runner status, don't count out Barack Obama
I was watching William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, on one of the morning talk shows today. It was probably Fox News since the lefty networks don't usually have a conservative like Kristol on their programs.
The discussion was the status of the presidential campaigns on both sides of the aisle when the host asked Kristol if Hillary Clinton has the Democratic nomination locked up and will be picking out curtain patterns for the White House in 2008. Or is that Bill Clinton's job as "First Gentleman"?
Anyway, Kristol said something very interesting. He compared Hillary Clinton to the New York Mets. Like the Mets, Hillary Clinton was supposed to crush her rivals and run away with the top prize. She has been at the top of the polls since she announced her candidacy. She has the most money. She appears to be the unstoppable front-runner, with the Democratic nomination just a formality.
The Mets were in first place for nearly the entire 2007 baseball season and were expected to clinch the National League East Division.
Of course, we all all know what happened to the Mets as baseball wrapped up its 162-game season over the weekend. On Sunday, the final day of the season, in game No. 162, the New York Mets lost their final game and the the NL East crown to their rivals, the Philadelphia Philies.
It is the biggest collapse in baseball history. The Mets led the Phillies by 7 games with 17 left to play. It doesn't matter who was in first place for the first 161 games. It matters who was in first after game No. 162.
Kristol believes Hillary Clinton is headed for a similar fate. In other words, don't count out Barack Obama just yet. When four of 10 Americans say they would never vote for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party may pull the plug on the Clinton dynasty before Mrs. Clinton sinks the party in 2008.
Or they might go ahead and nominate Hillary and lose an election that they should win. This is the same party that nominated John Kerry, Al Gore, Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale and George McGovern.
Can it happen? Will Hillary flop as voters get serious about who the next president will be? Can an underdog win the Democratic nomination? Just as in baseball, anything can happen in politics. Just ask the Mets.
Tony Phyrillas is a leading conservative political columnist and blogger based in Pennsylvania. He is a veteran journalist with 25 years experience as a reporter, editor and columnist for several newspapers. Phyrillas received recognition for column writing in 2010 from the Associated Press Managing Editors, in 2007 from Suburban Newspapers of America and in 2006 from the Society of Professional Journalists, Keystone Chapter. A graduate of Penn State University, Phyrillas is the city editor and political columnist for The Mercury, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa. In addition to The Mercury website (www.pottsmerc.com), his columns are featured on more than a dozen political websites and blogs. Phyrillas is a frequent guest (and occasional host) on talk radio and has been a panelist on the "Journalists Roundtable" public affairs TV program on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). Phyrillas was named one of the '10 Leading Greek-American Bloggers in the World' in 2007 by Odyssey: The World of Greece magazine. BlogNetNews.com ranked Phyrillas the Most Influential Political Blogger in Pennsylvania for three consecutive years (2007-2010). You can follow Phyrillas on Twitter @TonyPhyrillas