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Is Hillary Clinton The New Richard Nixon?

Hillary Clinton continues to hold a virtually unmovable lead in all national polls, including important ones conducted by Rasmussen and CNN. On Monday she will get another chance to cement her strength with voters with a CNN debate with YouTube questions from viewers. Only in fund-raising has her main opponent, Senator Barack Obama proven any real strength. In every debate, she continues to blow the Democratic pack, including Obama and Edwards aside, easily proving herself to be the best candidate, even if she is sometimes accused of a little bluster in her answers by later analysis.

All of this puts her in a similiar position to former Vice President Richard Nixon in 1968, as someone who is certainly not embraced by everyone in her own party, and like those many who had ethical questions about "Tricky Dicky" in 1968, whom some like former President Harry Truman once referred to as a "Shifty eyed liar". Hillary Clinton seems like a lightning rod for the ethics problems during the Clinton years. Yet for all of these shortcomings, like the 1968 Nixon, Clinton may just be seen by the American public as competant enough to be elected president despite all of this.

For the most part, Hillary Clinton became so engaged in issues during her husband's eight years, that she is also like a former Vice President. And as NY Senator, Clinton has compiled an impressive record of achievement. Despite whatever boat-achor like drags on her character or nagging ethics questions, like the 1968 Nixon, Clinton just may be experienced enough to be elected in 2008. All the Republicans need to do is to nominate someone like a Fred Thompson, who if he doesn't lack the work ethic to win the Republican nomination, will surely lack the work ethic to work hard enough to be elected president.

An Iraq War weary public suffering from George Bush and Republican Party fatigue will be less likely to vote for another four Republican years, putting the Republicans in the same difficult position as Vice President Humbert Humphrey trying to crawl from under the shadow of the Vietnam War and Lyndon Johnson in 1968. All of this leaves Hillary Clinton as the odds on favorite in my view to win both the Democratic nomination election and the presidency itself. She certainly is not the favorite of many. But like the 1968 Richard Nixon, is competant enough to do the job. For the 2008 voters, that just may be all that counts.

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Comments (4)


Hoi polloi recoils from the pair.

Hillary Clinton may have Nixon's political competence. However, she may also carry Nixonian ethical lapses of judgement. The record of her husband, Bill Clinton, does not persuade otherwise.

Paul Hamilton:

Nixon only won in '68 because the Dems crucified themselves at the Chicago Convention when the party bosses totally ignored the will of the people. I was a little too young to vote then, but there is no way on earth I would have voted for Humphrey. But despite all their troubles, the Dems still almost won.

And if the Pubs tear themselves apart in the primary season, which doesn't seem too likely since they're known for their party discipline, then Hillary might sneak in if she wins the nomination. But under normal circumstances with a united Republican party, she would be destroyed.


I had been thinking the same thing and was looking for articles making the Nixon-Hillary analogy. Like Nixon, Hillary is mounting a comeback after 8 years out of the White House and no one really questions her competence / experience.

The real question is whether Hillary would be able to check her political baggage at the White House door. Like Nixon, Hillary has been hardened by a life in politics (investigations over Whitewater, Paula Jones / Monica, Vince Foster, etc.). The result would be a President who is cynical, paranoid, and controlling (sound familiar?).

I don't think Hillary would be able to bring about the change we need. She would continue to fight the wars of the past and would remain an easy target for those who seek to divide us (like Fox News). Now, more than ever, we need a leader who can bring our fractured country together.


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