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The Hillary Conundrum

Washington Post commentary:

Hillary Clinton is inevitable.

That, at least, is the consensus view of media wizards, strategists, pollsters and other kibitzers, that HRC is a virtual lock for the nomination. An official with a rival campaign told me that Hillary has an 80 percent chance of being the party's candidate, and most neutral observers would probably go with a higher number.

So why is there such unease about her within the party?

The conventional explanations don't fully cut it. Yes, the former first lady carries a fair amount of baggage from the 1990s. Yes, there will be concern about alternating Bush-Clinton dynasties. Yes, there is that first-woman thing, given that only men have occupied the Oval Office. And Hillary's high negatives, which were 50 percent in a recent Gallup poll.

But I don't think any of that gets at the reservations that some Democrats have about the New York senator. The baggage has been endlessly publicized. Her gender attracts lots of women. Negatives can come down if the electorate warms up to a candidate over the course of a campaign. There is something else, hinted at in that "1984" video, that some people find off-putting.

The hesitation, I think, is along the lines of this LAT piece:

"Frederick Cole wants the Democratic Party to take back the White House in 2008. 'Look what a mess we're in,' said Cole, a nurse in Louisville, Ky. 'It's time for some fresh, new-thinker ideas.'

"Yet if his party nominates Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York for president, the 52-year-old Democrat plans to vote for her Republican opponent.

" 'It's a personal thing,' Cole said. 'I don't like her. I think she's condescending and arrogant, even worse than Al Gore, who has no personality.'It is a paradox of the 2008 presidential race. By a wide margin, several polls show, voters want a Democrat to win -- yet when offered head-to-head contests of leading announced candidates, many switch allegiance to the Republican."

I don't think Hillary is inevitable at all. The main thing she has going for her is tons of cash, but she has alienated a lot of people with her weathervane attitude toward important political issues that reminds folks like me way too much of the way her husband behaved after he was elected. Now I wouldn't vote for a Republican under any circumstances until the party stops being under the control of imperialists and religious maniacs, but until and unless Clinton takes some stands on key issues that I agree with and then sticks with it, she may lose my vote for her if she does win the nomination.

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Rating: 4.3/5 (6 votes cast)

Comments (8)

Lee Ward:

In additon to my own reservations about some of Hillary's qualifications, I don't think she's as electable as some make her out to be.

Bloomberg entering the race is a new dynamic that I need some time to fully digest. It'll be amazing if we end up with Giuliani, Clinton, and Bloomberg - all New Yorkers.


I guess you guys just do not want to post about the Democrats because you really do not like any of them.

Paul Hamilton:

That would be funny. But it would also send a message to the Bible Belt Republicans that they no longer hold all the cards within the party they way they did in the bad ol' days of DeLay and Lott and Dick Armey.

BTW, make sure you visit Wizbang Politics -- they have a posting up about Bloomberg which claims he might get more than Nader's vote in 2000 but won't get the 7% that Perot got in 1996. I wouldn't write off anybody with a billion bucks to spend who got himself elected mayor of NYC as a Pub. And Hagel's no slouch either, if things turn out the way people are predicting. With all the current major Dems hemming and hawing about Iraq, these are two folks who could get the anti-war vote pretty solidly.

Paul Hamilton:

SD, I'm for Bill Richardson.

Lee Ward:

Hillary has definitely been climbing in the polls, but is that a function of people liking her more, or liking Obama and Edwards less?


i vote liking edwads and obama less. edwards has just about proved he doesn't have the chops to run a real and effective campaign outside of his home area. and the more people look at obama the less they see.

personally, i don't trust hillary. i think she is shady and opportunistic. but she's the best overall candidate the democrats have. which says bad things about the democrats.

paul, richardson would be an okay candidate except for he is advocating total withdrawl now. (he's a supporter of the 2nd amendment, which wins him points in my book). while some on the left perceive this to be a good idea. i *believe* that as people really start to think about what that would mean, the less they'll really want it.

http://opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110010228 has some pretty grim ideas about what that future might look like. i don't know if i agree, but it's definitely not something to ignore.

Steve Crickmore:

"The American military has succeeded. It is the Iraqi government which has failed to make the tough decisions that are important for their own people," ...Hillary said this today..She sounds exactly like Bush at times.

Lee Ward:

Here's the full quote, which puts Hillary's remark about military success into a context the right wing media is choosing to leave out.

"The American military has done its job. Look at what they accomplished: they got rid of Saddam Hussein, they gave the Iraqis a chance for free and fair elections.... The American military has succeeded. It is the Iraqi government which has failed to make the tough decisions," she declared."

I don't have a problem with that remark at all, it gives credit the military for what they have accomplished. It does not suggest that we've achieved an overall military success in Iraq, nor does it suggest that the surge has been successful.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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