Hillary Can Run, but Can She Win?


Nope, don't think so. Not unless some drastic changes are made in her consultant's advice. Ms. Clinton believes the country is clamoring for another Rockefeller Republican D.I.N.O., but no matter how much she panders to the centrist Republicans, they'll never vote for her. Folks like D's cousin - an avowed Hillary hater Republican suburban mother of 2 - wouldn't vote for Hillary in any circumstance. Any. Since Ms. Clinton has also consistently, and inexorably pissed off the left at the same time, that leaves her with no political base. Except for Dick Morris and other toe sucking loser-crats.

So what does Bob Herbert think? Apparently, he's had a few conversations with Democratic party insiders; those same corrupt, ineffectual consultants who have lost every election since, well, since 1992, with the one exception of 1996 when the Republicans inexplicably let Bob Dole run.

Bob Herbert: Hillary Can Run, but Can She Win?

Hillary Rodham Clinton's perceived pluses as a presidential candidate are enormous. But I wouldn't crown her just yet.

If you talk to strategists in the two major parties, you will hear again and again that Hillary Rodham Clinton is all but certain to capture the Democratic presidential nomination. Many of these strategists and party bigwigs — not all, but many — speak as though there is something inevitable about Mrs. Clinton ascending to the nomination.

A prominent Democratic operative, who asked not to be identified, told me yesterday, “I do think she's inevitable as the nominee, or pretty close to it. Put it this way: she's as strong a front-runner as any non-incumbent presidential candidate has been in modern history.”

Mrs. Clinton has not said publicly that she is running for president. But those who think she has an iron grip on the nomination make a strong case. First (and for many of the strategists, most important), she has tremendous financial resources to go along with her Hollywood-like celebrity.

In addition, the Democratic primaries tend to be dominated by groups that are very favorably disposed toward Mrs. Clinton and her husband. (You've heard of him. His name is Bill.) Think labor, pro-choice advocates, environmental organizations and groups that look out for the interests of blacks and other minorities.

As these groups see the Clinton Express leaving the station, there is every reason to believe there will be a rush to hop onboard.

And then there are the qualities Mrs. Clinton would bring to a presidential run. She's smart, hard-working, disciplined and aggressive. Said one observer: “When they start campaigning, people will see that she's a better talent than a lot of the other people who will be running in this field. She'll be formidable. She should not be underestimated.”

The senator also has a very big advantage that nearly everyone points to — Bill Clinton is the most gifted and best-connected Democratic strategist in the country.

So Mrs. Clinton's perceived pluses are enormous. But I wouldn't crown the candidate yet.

There are ominous stirrings in the tea leaves.

more excerpts below. But Mr. Herbert: you offer only faint criticism of the Hillary Express, I'm less sanguine about her chances. And you forget to mention the Rethuglican special tool: electronic voter fraud.

For all of our sakes, I pray to the all mighty FSM that Hillary doesn't even run. If she does, and loses, some thug like Jeb Bush will be running our country, and Snitchens will drink himself to death live on some Sunday morning political blab fest.

A WNBC/Marist Poll released this week found that 60 percent of registered voters in Mrs. Clinton's home state of New York believe that she will make a run for the White House. But 66 percent of the voters do not think she will be elected president. Even Democratic voters seemed skeptical. Fifty-seven percent of the Democrats surveyed said it was “not very likely” or “not likely at all” that she would be elected.

Numbers like that coming out of New York, a heavily Democratic state in which Mrs. Clinton is extremely popular, are a recipe for anxiety. “It might give Democrats pause,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll. He said the numbers might indicate that she had some “repair work” to do on the all-important matter of electability.

She has other problems.

Democratic voters, fed up with the policies and the incompetence of the Bush administration, are looking for genuine leadership this time around. They are tired of Democrats who seem to have mortgaged their core principles and put their courage in cold storage.

So they worry when Mrs. Clinton, in an era when civil liberties are being eroded in the United States, goes out of her way to co-sponsor a bill that would criminalize the burning of the American flag. And they worry about her support for President Bush's war in Iraq. And they really worry when they hear that Rupert Murdoch, of all people, will be hosting a fund-raiser for her.

It's way early. The presidential primaries are more than a year and a half away. But whether it's fair or not, the candidate perceived to be in the lead gets the closest early scrutiny.

When the crunch comes, the toughest issue for Mrs. Clinton may be the one that so far has been talked about the least. If she runs, she'll be handicapped by her gender. Anyone who thinks it won't be difficult for a woman to get elected president of the United States should go home, take a nap, wake up refreshed and think again.

Being a woman will cost Mrs. Clinton. How much is anybody's guess. In a close race, it might be two percentage points, or four, or more.

The curtain has already gone up on this drama. And while the strategists may claim that this or that development is inevitable, the only thing we can really be sure of is that history is full of surprises.

Arianna Huffington has more in the same vein

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The right is already starting their Swift Boating campaign against her & it'll be in full swing before she even announces a run. They have a strong irrational dislike for her which I've never understood.

Yes, folks like D's cousin have this weird, rabid hatred of Hillary from back when she was the First Lady. That's a big reason why Hillary is deluded if she thinks she'll ever win a national election.

Salt-of-the-earth conservatives despise her--mostly because they believe she's an ultra-liberal (which is fantasy at best--she's a bit to the right of Nixon).

She can't win, no doubt. Feingold, the most palatable as far as I'm concerned, can't win either, because he actually IS a liberal--and he's twice divorced to boot. The other top-tier candidates (Richardson, Warner, Edwards, Biden) are DNC clones and Yellow-Dog Dems indistinguishable from HRC.

That leaves the guy whose campaign Hilary is mimicking--Al Gore, the reborn populist.

Ultra-liberal? She's taken mostly conservative or moderate positions in attempt to please the right. Some republicans are less liberal than she is.

There was the same misconception about Bill Clinton: that he was aan actual liberal. I suppose it was mostly national media types repeating it over and over, basing the characterization upon some imagined Clinton, and not the real one, but nonetheless, I heard it a gazillion times. Same with Hillary: a gazillion blathering reporters and commentators (on the right, and center) repeat over and over how 'ultra-liberal' Hillary is without a shred of evidence.

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on May 18, 2006 1:11 AM.

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