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Back in 2004, when everybody from the Village Voice to members of her own party were telling Hillary Clinton to chill and let that stiff John Kerry take the fall in what was sure to be a disastrous presidential election for the Democrats, Hillary listened but flirted nonetheless with the idea of entering the race at the last minute.

Don’t do it, they warned. Nobody unseats a wartime president, not even the unpopular president of an unpopular war. Besides Blondie, by 2008 the Democratic nomination will be yours. I mean, who’s gonna get in your way? That light-skinned guy from Chicago who looks like Jay-Z and talks like Dr. King? Please.

Of course, the past is littered with things that should have happened but didn’t. We look back on them as history and nod as if the results were always expected but if we were honest with ourselves, we’d admit that we were shocked at the time. Muhammad Ali was supposed to get crushed by Sonny Liston and he was supposed to die in the ring when he faced George Foreman. Just this January, The New England Patriots were favored by as many as 21 points against the New York Giants. Kobe Bryant demanded a trade at the beginning of the season because he knew that this year’s Lakers weren’t going anywhere. And of course, there’d never be a Black nominee for President from a major political party.

But where does all this leave Hillary? I mean, is she really stationed somewhere on the grassy knoll waiting for Barack Obama’s open-roofed car to pass? Or is she trying to worm her way into a Vice Presidential nod? The grim reality is that she should be looking at Barack Obama as her 2012 successor as she prepares to enter into her own second term in the Oval Office.

Those dolts from her own party that sent out that charisma-less Frankenstein of a candidate John Kerry were doing what sports teams claim to do when they are heading into a season where they don’t like their personnel or their teams chances; they call themselves having a “rebuilding year.” Of course, if you’re a fan of the team in question, there are no worse words to hear. What in the hell is a rebuilding year? Am I still supposed to pay for tickets to watch this? You’re telling me in advance that, not only do you have no hope of winning it all this year, but you’re not even gonna try? Hell, I want last year’s money back!

In the real world there are no rebuilding years. I mean sure, there are years where you might not feel as confident about your odds as in others years, but that should never prevent you from putting your best effort forth. John Kerry was the Democratic Party’s 2004 version of Leopold and Bloom’s Springtime for Hitler. The only thing that would have made the Dems angry would have been if he had won. Then they would have had a rabid Hillary Clinton to deal with this year as Kerry more than certainly would have been, as sitting President, again the party’s nominee. So let that be a lesson for you the next time you see that pretty girl on the train or ladies, when you debate the merits of dating the cute UPS guy that has just dropped off that package—go for it! She might just be in town visiting or he might get bumped up to dispatcher. You never know. All you know is what you have right now. And Hillary Clinton’s right now was 2004. And 2004 as we all know, is history.

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