Thursday, August 04, 2005
Reasoning And Wishful Thinking
This is not an unusual view. Clinton is in an odd electoral position: widely considered the leading Democratic hope for 2008, and just as widely dismissed as having no hope of winning.The only two solid reasons given in the article for why Hillary can't win are that she isn't "likeable" and that she's a senator. I don't think either stand up to inspection. What if the other candidate is less "likeable" than she is? And what if the other candidate is a senator also? Both scenarios are more than possible. As for not being "likeable", Hillary is the only potential candidate with whom the American electorate is on a first-name basis.
But for Senator Hillary Clinton, the White House trouble isn't the "Hillary" part or the "Clinton" part; it's the "Senator" part. The United States Senate isn't just the world's greatest deliberative body and car wash; it's also one of the most prominent and reliable roads to nowhere in American politics.
A better indication of Hillary's strength is this Gallup poll comparing Kerry and Hillary against McCain and Giuliani. Hillary polls at 45% to 50% against both. Kerry polls at 41 to 54 against both. That should make all the pundits on both sides discounting Hillary's chances stop and think hard. Hillary's negatives are known. Her story is known. Indications that she is severely ethically challenged are well known. The press really hasn't had a chance to take their whacks at either Giuliani or McCain, so their negatives will rise. The five percent gap is really nothing, IMO.
Furthermore, Bill is looking more and more like a very decent all-American guy these days. We have had a virtual parade of appallingly un-American or incredibly wishy-washy prominent Democratic leaders exposed to the public view in the last few years. Every time Carter or Dean opens his mouth, for example, Clinton's aura shines more brightly. And Hillary is taking major, major whacks from the left wing of the Democratic party for trying to craft a centrist platform under the auspices of the DLC. The American people will like her for that. In a sea of American-hating insanity she is looking more and more sane and middle-American. The conflict going on in the Democratic party is greatly to her benefit.
I can absolutely imagine a 2008 scenario in which the American electorate would return a strongly Republican Senate and House to guard the hens while electing Hillary as president. Americans thought Nixon was more than a bit sleazy when they elected him - but they also thought he was their best chance on the issues. It all depends now on who becomes the Republican presidential candidate in 2008.
The next election is the GOP's to lose.
That said, if the voters aren't happy, they will put up with a lot of sin and sinners.
Can you say 'Chicago' or 'Illinois' or 'Boston'?
Howard, it's almost as if most of the leadership of the GOP and the Dems is on autopilot.
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