PK - quite right. The natural Republican instinct is to think of an Obama run with a colossal wave of morphine-like relief -- Hillary will never be President. I would share that relief. And I do not think in a national democratic primary Hillary would come out on top; we are, all of us, red and blue, sick to death of dynastic American politics, or at any rate of Bush-Clinton regressive tradesies.
That said there is no reason why Republicans oughtn't rise to the challenge Obama presents -- for all its gauzy sentimentality, a serious and fair challenge. Confronting a non-Hillary does not leave Republicans with the luxury of framing the election as a battle of age-old hatreds, crony machines, and worst nightmares. This, I daresay, would be an unmitigated good for American politics. There is no doubt in my mind that having Obama instead of Clinton at the top of the Demo ticket in '08 would elevate the national game in every way conceivable, and any Republican candidate worth his salt ought to see that as a prime time to shine.
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