In all likelihood, Hillary Clinton was originally planning her Presidential run in 2004. Prior to 9/11 it seemed George W Bush was destined to be a one-term President, and the Shadow Party was well in place to keep a steady drumbeat of attacks on Bush's competence, effectiveness, and even his mere existence. Then Hillary, after four years of pounding on Bush through proxies, was to ride in like a good memory of the Clinton years (after the short memories of the public had time to overwrite those inconvenient bad memories of the Clinton years).
However, 9/11 got in the way. And in 2004, the Clintons decided it was far too likely that the American people would be hesitant to "change horses" in the middle of a fight that was only about 2 years old at that point. Also, the strategy of relentless attack through proxies the Clintons were relying on in peacetime had a good chance of blowing up in the Clintons' faces in the middle of a war. So Hillary decided not to run in 2004, figuring she could control Kerry if he actually won, and that if Bush won (which he did), she'd have a better chance at an ultimate victory after another four years of pounding on the GOP some more through proxies. She gave up a possible victory now for a hoped-for victory in 2008.
Let's see how that's turning out:
A lot happened in those four years. Quite a bit happened with regard to the public perception of the Clintons, such as The Path to 9/11 and the Clintons' high-handed attempt to censor it. The Democrat win in 2006 didn't bring with it everything the Democrats promised, leading to a bit more jaded view of Democrat promises. More has come out about the bad part of the Clinton years as time has passed and loyalties have softened.
Hence, instead of ultimate victory, Hillary may be facing either defeat by some empty-suit nobody, or losing the Presidency due to divisions in her party she has played a large part in creating. She gave up a very possible victory in 2004 for an ultimate victory in 2008 that may not happen--which would mean she gave up 2004 for nothing.
I'm not asking anybody to be happy with the GOP's choice, or even its rather limited set of choices for the Presidential run this year. I am simply questioning what seems to be the Sooper Sekrit Plan for Ultimate TRUE CONSERVATIVE Victory Forever and Ever:
1. Stay home this year to punish the GOP and (maybe) make them Lose Big
2. Somebody Makes A Mistake Somewhere
3. TRUE CONSERVATISM (tm) after the GOP and the rest of the country comes back to Real Conservatives (tm) hat in hand and begging on their knees in 2012
The biggest thing these folks seem to be relying on are mistakes that would be made either by the McCain campaign or by Hillary/Obama when in office. Unless you are the direct cause of the mistake, don't count on some other guy's mistake causing your ultimate victory. Because if they decide not to screw up, or events intervene, you have simply given up a very possible victory now for absolutely nothing later.
Think about it.