Skip to comments.Condoleezza Rice will defeat Hillary Clinton for the 2008 presidency
Posted on 11/13/2002 8:39:38 AM PST by Dallas
Condoleezza Rice will defeat Hillary Clinton for the presidency in 2008, New York Times political columnist William Safire predicted during a stop in Ypsilanti Monday.
Safire was the featured speaker at an annual fund-raiser of the Jewish Federation of Washtenaw County at the Ypsilanti Marriott Hotel.
Asked if he, a political columnist, misses Bill Clinton in the White House, Safire answered: "Desperately."
"He enlivened my life," said Safire, who awaits the day Hillary Clinton stops being a quiet, respectful freshman senator. He then predicted she will run for president in 2008, but will be defeated by Rice, who is now Bush's national security adviser and will by then be governor of California, he said.
Safire, 72, spoke to an audience of 600 people Monday night without benefit of notes, which surprised no one. After all, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist was a speech writer in the Nixon White House, and is the most widely read writer on the English language.
"So it just comes out," Safire said of his writing during a press conference earlier in the day.
During his speech and question-answer period that followed, Safire talked about the upcoming election in Israel, the approaching political scene here, and U.S.-Israeli relations.
Calling himself a good Republican, he said he nonetheless likes a divided government.
"Gridlock is great," he said. "My motto is, 'Don't just do something. Stand there.' "
The fact that so many Jews vote Democratic is "against all common sense," quipped Safire, who is Jewish, as the audience laughed.
The soft-spoken Safire reminded the crowd that there was a time people doubted Japan and Germany could ever become democracies. "It can happen anywhere if people give it a chance," he said, referring to the Middle East.
During the press conference, Safire, whose column appears in the Ann Arbor News, noted that last week's election results can partly be blamed on Democrats who opposed the war, but not too stridently; and opposed Bush's tax cuts, but were fearful of saying so. In addition, too much money was spent trying to beat Gov. Jeb Bush in Florida that could have been spent on other Democrats across the country.
Safire, a conservative Republican at a newspaper written largely by liberals, is a hawk who hopes the result of a war with Iraq will be the spreading of democracy in the Middle East.
He said the election proved people support Bush's foreign policy.
"Conservatism is better for the country than liberalism," he said, "because it's more tuned to individual freedom."
Bill Zirinsky of Ann Arbor is a regular reader of Safire's column and was interested in what he'd have to say Monday night. "Though he's a Nixon Republican, he manages to write an original column with interesting idea two times a week, and he's been doing it for 30 years," said Zirinsky.
"Ann Arbor has the highest per-capita readership of The New York Times outside of New York," said Jeff Levin, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Washtenaw County. "So we knew that Safire would be a recognized and intriguing personality to present to the community."
Safire, who lives in Chevy Chase, Md., and works at his paper's Washington bureau, looks back on an exciting and varied career as a reporter, columnist, correspondent, novelist, TV producer and historian.
But nothing beats what he does right now.
"Writing about politics for The New York Times is the greatest job in the world," he said.
If I knew this were true, I could drop dead tonight and die with a smile on my face.
Note to Bill Safire:
2008 is SIX YEARS away.
That's practically a millenium in politics.
Do you have a crystal ball?
What do I know, though... I'm just a guy from rural NC. :)
Not exactly a career building combination.
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