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Doubting Hillary

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Turk, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. Turk

    Turk Rookie

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    Jun 15th 2006
    From The Economist print edition

    Democrats have growing worries about the front-runner for the presidential nomination. But can they stop her?

    LAST autumn, “Commander-in-Chiefâ€, a prime-time drama about America's first female president, opened to 16m viewers and a media love-fest. Surely now that Hollywood had anointed the first female president, in the lissom form of Geena Davis, the real thing could not be far behind? Alas, last month ABC unceremoniously pulled the plug on the series.

    A growing number of Democrats wish that their party would do the same with Hillary Clinton's (still undeclared) bid for the presidency. Mrs Clinton is the front-runner for the Democratic nomination by a large margin—with $20m in her war chest, 36% of Democrats favouring her candidacy compared with just 16% for Al Gore, her nearest rival, a well-oiled national machine inherited from her husband, and a chance to pivot neatly from her Senate re-election campaign in November to a national race. Yet hardly a day passes without signs of doubt in her party. In a recent poll of likely voters in the 2008 Iowa caucuses, which kick off the presidential season, Mrs Clinton came second to John Edwards, John Kerry's running mate. A straw poll among the so-called Kossacks who frequent the Daily Kos, a liberal website, gave her 2% of the vote. The anti-war left might even field a candidate against her in the New York Senate primary.

    Some of these doubts were on display this week at a Washington, DC, conference organised by the Campaign for America's Future. The 2,000 or so activists were the sort of people who happily stand up and cheer whenever you mention “taking back our country†or “the misleaders in the White Houseâ€. A roster of leading Democrats, including Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry, did just that. But the response to Mrs Clinton, decked out in an orange trouser-suit, was much more nuanced. The audience delivered dutiful applause whenever she urged more money for education or health care. But a few booed even before she took the stage. And a vocal minority erupted in protest when she talked about “keeping faith with the troopsâ€. She left the room to cries of “Bring them home, Hillary.â€

    Mrs Clinton's biggest problem goes deeper than the angry left. One poll (by Gallup) shows that 51% of registered voters would not consider voting for her. Another poll (ABC News/Washington Post) showed that 42% of Americans have either a “strongly unfavourable†or “unfavourable†view. Many Democrats are drawing the obvious conclusions from these extraordinary negative ratings: in a survey of Democratic voters in New York state, 57% said that it was either “not very likely†or “not likely at all†that she could win a presidential election.

    Mrs Clinton is not only an enormously polarising figure. She also has more than her fair share of skeletons in the cupboard. Remember Marc and Denise Rich? Remember Giftgate (when the Clintons left the White House with more than $100,000 in loot)? Remember cattle futures? Many Democrats worry that a Clinton candidacy will galvanise the Republican right at a time when it is depressed and divided; that it will make it harder to attract Republican moderates who are increasingly alienated from their party; and that it will allow the Republicans to change the subject from the Bush scandals to the Clinton scandals.

    These doubts are reinforced by worries about her political persona. Look at her decision to co-sponsor an anti-flag-burning amendment, or her discovery, despite her continued support for partial-birth abortion, that abortion is a “tragic choiceâ€, or her fulminations against the laziness of the young. All these seem to be crude attempts to mollify “values votersâ€. It is true that Bill Clinton did much the same thing. But he managed to dress his move to the centre in the language of “New Democracyâ€. Mrs Clinton clearly hoped that she could move to the centre without alienating the Democratic base; the danger is that she is annoying the base without persuading the centre that she is electable.

    The Hillary trough is coinciding with a Gore boom. Mr Gore is currently the darling of the Democratic left—a prophet, hero and elder statesman rolled into one. Mr Gore was one of the first senior Democrats to denounce the Iraq war, and a relentless critic of King George's centralisation of power. His decision to build his environmentalism into a global-warming crusade was a political masterstroke, humanising him and providing him with a platform that most of the Democratic base likes.

    Towards the glass ceiling
    But doubting Hillary is one thing. Derailing her is quite another. The woman in the trouser-suit still has enough in-built advantages to survive a storm of doubts—from star power to a national political network to a fearsome reputation for taking revenge on people who cross her. The studio-dwelling Kossacks may dislike her, but she has solid support from more established interest groups, from minorities to the trade unions.

    Mrs Clinton's supporters point out that the “skeleton in the cupboard†argument works both ways; most Americans remember the Clinton years as an age of peace and prosperity. They also point out that she stands up well to any of her potential rivals. Mr Edwards is stuck in a “two Americas†rut. Mark Warner, Virginia's ex-governor, comes across as a lightweight, they say, vague on details and bereft of foreign policy experience. The new Al Gore contains the old Al Gore, made of best hardboard and just waiting to come out. Hillary, by contrast, is disciplined, focused and relentless, with a mastery of domestic policy and years on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    All this guarantees a wild ride for the Democrats in the coming political season. A large number of candidates will stay in the race, waiting for Mrs Clinton to trip on some mouldering bone or other. And even if she wins the nomination, the Democrats will remain nervous, thrilled by the possibility that their party might break America's ultimate glass ceiling, but terrified that Mrs Clinton is just too polarising to do it.
  2. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I used to tell Liberals that Hillary "Blows with the wind" she is a phony, her only interest is herself, power, legacy, fame, history and "being the boss".

    I wonder why Billy Blue Dress cheats on her?
  3. Turk

    Turk Rookie

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    That was a very eloquent editorial of the article.
    You are consistent, I will give you that.
    I kept looking for the knee-jerking, Uncle Teddy, Pelosi and traitor Murtha references, but you only blessed us with the Billy Blue Dress one, this time.
    Oh well, there is always a next opportunity.
  4. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Hillary's a big disappointment, but it is interesting to watch her. She has been very consistent as a Senator, and gets high marks in that area from both the people of New York and her Senate collegues. The right says she's a fraud, but the fact is her only track record shows that this is who she really is. There's no evidence she's liberal on anything other than civil rights. I'm now leaning towards Edwards or Feingold.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2005
  5. Harry Boy

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    Why would I mention them, were they all fooling around with "Our Hillary", I bet Uncle Teddy tried :singing:
  6. Mainefan

    Mainefan Rookie

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    "power, legacy, fame, history and "being the boss"." -- Harry Boy. I'm not particularly a Hillary fan, but all of these, of course, are qualities we would applaud in a man.
  7. IcyPatriot

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    #87 Jersey

    Hillary cannot win the election...but she has the American right to run. It will be interesting to see what rights she is denied by her party for their self serving interests.
  8. Mainefan

    Mainefan Rookie

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    I don't think she's going to be nominated, FBN. She's simply too divisive a figure.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2005
  9. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I tend to agree that Hillary can't win, but polarizing characters have a way of succeeding in elections. Look at Kennedy, Reagan, and Nixon. They were all as unelectable as Hillary by many measures.
  10. Mainefan

    Mainefan Rookie

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    That's a good point, Turk. But they were all against people who were also "unelectable." Maybe that's our fate: to have to choose the best of two bad alternatives.
  11. IcyPatriot

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    #87 Jersey


    Hillary gets most of her money from the Jewish Lobbys. When the mainstream media plays on that it will ruin her. She had a better chance of winning by staying more to the left. By moving towards the center she infuriates the left and right at the same time. It will be tough for her to prove sincerity when she moves around just to collect votes.
  12. Mainefan

    Mainefan Rookie

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    Care to back up that statement, FBN -- that Hillary gets most of her money from the "Jewish lobbys"? Can you give us a source?
  13. Harry Boy

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    I agree but not when you lie to one group to gain the support of another and it has been applauded in a man "Her Husband".
  14. Mainefan

    Mainefan Rookie

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    Ah, thank God they don't apply, each and every word, to George W. Bush.
  15. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    OK I'll go along with that I have always said that in order for a person to become a successful Politician they have to be a dishonest, lying, back-stabbing, crooked, ruthless Bastard, that includes ALL of Washington, and yes GW BUSH but it just so happens that when we vote we have to choose who we think are the best of this bad lot of rat bastards, when I voted I happened to think Bush was a better Rat then Gore/Kerry.

    I would rather have my daughter marry a pimp than a politician.

    If a politician isn't a Lying Back Stabbing Crook he will never make it out of City Hall.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2006
  16. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey


    Mainefan I already was well aware of this..so I found a link to show you...I did not have this link previous to the post referenced. There are many others. One of the reasons the Democrats in Congress and the Senate are accused of being wimps is because most of their donations come from or are the result of support from the Jewish lobbies. They don't always act like they should because they fear defeat.

    I say this factually and not derogatory in any way. Many voters, some here, keep wondering why the democrats don't speak up against the war more. For some I'm sure it's their belief...but the $$$ is huge. Go against the Jewish lobby and you will almost certainly will lose your next election...especially if you are running in New York like Hillary.

    So..here's a link to make you happy.

    http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0602,lombardi,71631,5.html

    I'd recommend you research the topic of AIPAC and how influential they are in determining policy and election winners and losers. Understanding this goes a long way in understanding why only a select few Democrats are doing the majority of the anti-war bashing publicly.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2005
  17. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Think I'll stay out of this now, I already got slapped around for saying the word "Jewish".

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