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To: Sen. Bob Torricelli, D-N.J.

From: Jude Wanniski

Re: Mrs. Clinton’s Political Future

You know, Bob, that before I am a Republican, or a Democrat, I am a
supply-sider. When I supported you in your Senate race in 1996, I did so
knowing it would not sit well with some of my conservative friends who
do put partisan positions above all else. That’s why you may see,
better than most, my interest in Hillary Clinton’s run for the Senate.
If Mayor Giuliani decides to make the race, I would take a rooting
interest in his candidacy, precisely because he is one of the very few
Republicans in recent years who has identified with the Reagan/Kemp
growth wing of the GOP. If he does not run, I am going to assume that
Hillary will be elected in November, and it will be because of the
direct interest you take in her candidacy. Indeed, you are the fellow –
as chairman of the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee — who initially
urged her to get into the New York race.

We all know the reason the New York race is attracting so much
national attention. Hillary’s interest is not simply to spend the next
six years on the back bench as a freshman Senator. She has in mind the
Oval Office as a distinct goal. This is why Republicans are ready to do
anything they can at this early stage of the game to stop her — before
she picks up momentum. There is a sense of dread among GOP activists
that if she makes it to the Senate, the incredible luck of the Clintons
will continue to work for her and she will end up in the White House.

For my part, there is no such sense of dread. My assumption as a
political analyst is that the best man always wins in a fair election,
so if Republicans cannot put up better candidates against Hillary than
they did against Bill, she will deserve to rise as high as she can. What
I’ve seen of her thus far suggests she can travel up the learning curve
as a candidate in her own right, after spending a lifetime working for
others. I’ve also detected your hand in seeing her throw out the line
that New York’s tax rates may be higher than they need to be. If you
really want to help her win, you should personally hand her a copy of my
book, “The Way the World Works,” and encourage her to especially read
chapter VI on the Laffer Curve and Chapter VII, which covers the Wall
Street crash of 1929. As a senator from New York, Hillary would be well
advised to learn as much as she can about how the financial markets
work. (Her Republican opponent will be quick to point out she has
already mastered the commodity markets.)

As for President Hillary? I don’t see why not. There are only a
handful of men I see on the political landscape who I would say are
clearly presidential timber — you being one of them, if you marry the
right girl.

There are even fewer women, Texas GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison being
high on my list, but Hillary Rodham Clinton being there, too. I once
thought Christie Whitman, our New Jersey governor, had White House
potential, but she really was not a very good governor, bowing to her
husband John on critical matters of public finance. I have the same
problem with Elizabeth Dole. If she were in the Oval Office, Bob would
be behind the desk, which is the reason voters rejected her candidacy
for the GOP nomination this year. Hillary, though, would “be her own
man,” to coin a phrase. My assumption is that her marriage will remain
intact, and of course her husband would give her the benefit of his
opinion on matters requiring executive action. She does, though, have
the experience of being close enough to that kind of action to be able
to act on her own, should he instead decide to play golf.

I would not plan to vote for her, if I’m around when that time comes,
but perhaps I would, if you could help nudge her along the supply-side
path. I voted for John F. Kennedy in 1960 and he was a supply-sider — a
tax-cutter and advocate of a gold-backed dollar. These are the lessons
Hillary has not had the opportunity to learn, given her husband’s
reliance on conventional demand-side advisors. Please let me know if
there is anything you would like me to do to help her education in that
regard.

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