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Sliding Down-Hill

Who falls if Senator Clinton fails?

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New York’s democratic Establishment rallied around Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president. What could be better for them than having one of their own in the White House? But with Barack Obama surging, suddenly she’s no longer quite so inevitable. If Clinton’s bid collapses, what does that mean for the New Yorkers who supported her?


The Rangel Family
LOSER
Charlie persuaded Hillary to run for Senate; he endorsed her presidential bid early and spoke up for the Clintons when they were (somewhat ludicrously) accused of racism. Now there’s the first African-American presidential candidate, and Harlem’s top pol has little pull.

WINNER
Alma went her own way, ignoring hubby Charlie’s candidate and endorsing Obama.


Harlem Power-brokers
LOSER
Power-broker consultant Bill Lynch, deputy mayor to Dinkins and deputy campaign manager to Kerry, ran Hillary’s Harlem efforts. She won there, but only with the help of Hispanic votes and dean Rangel’s enthusiastic support.

WINNER
State Senator Bill Perkins was New York’s first elected official to support Obama. With Lynch and Rangel on the losing side, watch him become the go-to guy uptown.


State-wide Bigshots
LOSER
Eliot Spitzer lent Hillary his prestige back when he was the landslide-winning future of the party. Now, if she stays in the Senate, all those pols clamoring for her seat have no more reason to kiss up to the unpopular guv who would have named her successor.

WINNER
Chuck Schumer was a nominal Hillary supporter who says he helped her campaign. But he kept her at arm’s length. Maybe now people will remember who’s New York’s senior senator. Plus with Spitzer’s popularity still low, maybe it’s time for a new potential first Jewish president?


The Money Men
LOSER
Hill’s money people— like Alan Patricof, Steve Rattner, Roger Altman, and Hassan Nemazee—earned loyalty points. But now, instead of going to their usual Hillary parties in the Hamptons, they’ll have to beg for invitations from …

WINNER
Obama’s money people, the even-further-left plutocrats like George Soros, Orin Kramer, Jim Torrey, Earl Graves, Andre Harrell. They’re the smart political bucks now.


The Opinion-Makers
LOSER
Arthur Sulzberger Jr.’s Times editorial page came out big for Hillary by endorsing her just before the important South Carolina primary.

WINNER
Rupert Murdoch’s long-standing, politically convenient flirtation with Hillary (and his Post’s sneering treatment of Obama as a lightweight) suddenly, and politically conveniently, ended when the tabloid endorsed Obama on the front page. Might Obama feel he owes Rupe something?

Have good intel? Send tips to intel@nymag.com.


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