The flaw in this thinking is that Hillary could carry the Kerry blue states. In the same way that many Democrats were cooled off by a McGovern candidacy in 1972, many Democrats would also turn away from a Hillary candidacy (or sit on their hands), especially if the Republicans run an apparent moderate like McCain.
Worse, Hillary could not possibly rise above the din of invective, distortions, partial truths, and uproar that would accompany her everywhere she would go. The onslaught against her would make the entire Bill Clinton Presidency look like a tip toe through the tulips. Her personality, her abrasive style, her husband, her feminism, her record -- all would work against her in a country that is, at heart, worried about security, which is naturally conservative (small "c") and not given to revolutionary political decisions. And let's face it, her very femaleness would not be an asset for the majority of voters especially in what is perceived as a time of war. It would be very unlikely for American male and female voters to elect a non-military serving woman to the Presidency under these circumstances. It just is not going to happen.
It simply is not time for a female Democratic President like Hillary Clinton, no matter how much liberals and progressives may think it is, or how much Rep. Rahm Emmanuel wants it to be. Condoleeza Rice would stand a much better chance as a female Presidential candidate for the Republicans, but I don't think even that will happen.
If, through some wierd set of circumstances, it became a Condi vs. Hillary race, I think Condi would win, given the perception of her eight years of service on the battlefront in the war on terror. That is how significant I believe Hillary's feminism and lack of military service would adversely affect her campaign. The American people, by 2008, may believe, in even more significant numbers than now, that the Iraq War was a mistake, but they will also still believe we need to be strong in the face of terror and other real threats. Hillary will not make them feel safe.
There simply is no one as powerful as Al Gore to run as the Democratic candidate in 2008. He has all the experience of serving as a United States Senator, of serving as the Vice President, and of already having run once for the Presidency and, thereby, learning from his mistakes. Although he should not personally exploit it, the increasing view that he had the Presidency taken away from him by a biased Supreme Court in what is now widely believed to be a questionable Presidential election in 2000, would also work in his favor. Many Americans could easily look back on the last eight years and imagine much better things for America than George Bush has given us.
Gore has stayed on message about the environment, he has been consistently opposed to the Iraq war and has offered concrete approaches to resolving American involvement there, and he has raised the esteem in which he is held throughout the world, a Presidential characteristic even many Republicans realize is needed for America in the years ahead. Hillary has had a muddled, lukewarm pro-Bush Iraq position that convinces no one. She tries so hard to straddle some issues (like flag-burning), it is obvious to everyone and is reminiscent of the Kerry waffling.
Gore would bring to a campaign beautifully aged and ripened political positions and voice. There is no Democrat who would be as formidable. Just on the one issue of global warming, which the American people are beginning to see with their own eyes and feel with their own skins, he would be utterly unbeatable. Over the next two years, the increase in tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters will amplify this realization. Gore can talk about these coming crises like no other candidate could.
Here is what Al Gore has said, in an interview after giving a speech at an economic forum in Sweden, about how his Presidency would have been different from the Bush years:
We would not have invaded a country that didn't attack us... We would not have taken money from the working families and given it to the most wealthy families....We would not be trying to control and intimidate the news media... We would not be routinely torturing people.
In this interview, he does shy away from any Presidential aspiration, but he also does not rule it out.Hillary Clinton, as the Democratic Party Presidential candidate, would be a monumental mistake.