Hillary in ’04: For the want of a newspaper

· long story short

I was struck over the weekend by the enthusiasm the folks at Fox News have shown for a Hillary Clinton presidential bid in ’04. Even though (almost) all evidence points against a last-minute Hillary run, they look at her numbers in the primary polls and say, “C’mon now, you can do it! Believe in yourself! Jump right in!”
We assume most of what’s driving this is money. Fund-raisers on the right and left must love this story and pray it rages until the Iowa caucuses close. And of course, for Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, etc., Will-Hillary-Run? scores better ratings than Has-Graham-Dropped-Out-Yet?
But the tone on Fox News in particular – watching them practically reach through their monitors to beg former Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal for some tiny scrap they could pin their hopes on – comes from an even more basic yearning.
They can’t go back in time and beat Bill. (Not that they haven’t tried.) But Hillary…Hillary’s their best shot at finally holding in their hands that thing they’ve craved for 12 long years: a newspaper – any newspaper – with a big, bold, headline reading “Bush Beats Clinton.”