Washington, Sept.13 : The 2012 presidential election may very well turn out to be an all woman affair, with Republican greenhorn Sarah Palin taking on veteran Hillary Clinton.
Palin is an "authentic model of feminism" and her vice-presidential candidacy "could well" lead to an historic all-female White House race in 2012 against Hillary Clinton, The Telegraph quotes a former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton, as saying.
Dick Morris, who was a top aide to Bill Clinton from 1994 to 1996 and has since become a harsh critic of the Clintons, said that a John McCain victory in November would make the two women the front-runners for 2012.
"McCain will be 76 in 2012. I wonder if he'll even run for re-election. And Obama has put Joe Biden on the ticket this time. It's very hard to imagine Biden [who would be 69] running in 2012 with any chance of success, particularly after being drowned out by Palin like he is now. So I think that Hillary would have as easy a shot at the Democratic nomination as she did this time - but she blew it this time. You can't take these things to the bank," Morris said.
"In Palin, you have an authentic model of feminism and in Hillary you have a counterfeit one. Even Hillary's best friends agree that Hillary would not have been where she is if her husband had not been president. Palin's worst enemies concede that Palin would be where she is no matter what her husband does," he added.
Morris said Palin is poised to attract significant numbers of Hillary Clinton supporters.
"There are three kinds of Hillary voters. First are the early supporters who are dedicated feminists and liberals who followed Hillary for decades and love her. They will almost all vote for Obama. Your next group are racists who voted for Hillary because she was running against a black guy. And Obama's still black so they're going to vote for McCain. Then your third group are kind of impulse voters, more women than men, who realize that there's a woman running and gee it would be nice to have a woman as president. They're not dedicated pro-life, not dedicated feminists. Those women could well be drawn over by McCain-Palin," said Morris.
Bill and Hillary Clinton, he argued, are determined to avenge her defeat in the Democratic primaries by allowing Obama to lose in November.
"They desperately want McCain to win so she can run in 2012. But at the same time they can't let the Democrat party base think they're being anything less than aggressive in campaigning for Obama," Morris claimed.
"Right now, the Clintons are just getting out of the way and letting Obama hurt himself with Sarah Palin," said Morris, 59, now an author and Fox News commentator.
Palin, he predicted, would appeal to the "single moms" who could be the key voting bloc in 2008, just as "soccer moms" were in 1996 and "security moms" in 2004.
"About 27 per cent of the national vote is unmarried women and they're a core constituency of the Democratic party. Democrats have to carry them by four or five to one in order to win. The Republicans have made inroads among them with Palin's selection and with the Democrat attacks on her," he said.