Following Hillary over a cliff

overcliff.gifZogby’s recent poll asking “Whom would you NEVER vote for president?” was kind of mischievous, wasn’t it? But if I were a member of the Democratic National Committee, not to mention a congressional Democrat, I’d be sweating bullets over it.

A neat 50% claim they would never, even under pain of waterboarding (kidding), cast their presidential vote for Hillary Clinton.

“Never say never,” Howard Dean or the Democratic Leadership Council’s Harold Ford might say. That may have been right seven months ago when 46, not 50%, claimed they would never vote for Hillary. But now, at a time, when other polls show her pulling ahead of Senator Obama in the Democratic race, it’s looking more like “Always say never.”

Worse, her campaign is beginning to emit the stench of Bob Dole’s 1996 Republican presidential run. You know — hand her the nomination because it’s owed her. In his case, likely payback for key votes he swung the way of congressional colleagues. In hers, out of appreciation to the Clintons for their magic touch raking in money.

Dole never had a chance because of poor funding, his caustic personality and, of course, because he was running against a popular president, Hillary’s husband. Meanwhile, she’s been polling well against leading Republican candidate Giuliani. But, as one commentator explained, it just may be because voters are becoming resigned to her.

The cynicism of such a strategy notwithstanding, Democratic leadership forgets there’s little margin of error because of the likelihood that Republicans will engineeer widespread voter fraud again.

Hillary’s campaign seems to have developed a mind of its own. Is there any way to stop it before it leads the Democratic party over a cliff only to be dashed to pieces on the rocks below?

30 replies »

  1. To be fair to Hillary, Obama hasn’t done himself any favors of late, what with only supporting the “no amnesty for telecoms push” after being badgered by we pesky bloggers and MoveOn.org, or by enlisting a homophobic preacher to help snare the black vote, only to completely alienate the LGBA constituency.

    And where is Edwards? I follow his campaign regularly and he hasn’t been out front on anything of late. Hell, the most leadership I’ve been seeing from the Dem candidates is coming from Chris Dodd.

    But I agree with you overall–there’s definitely a sense of resigned inevitability to a Hillary candidacy and presidency, if only because the common wisdom has it that she can’t possibly be as bad as Ghouliani or any of his ilk.

    I sincerely hope that’s true, but I have my doubts.

  2. Clinton will run towards the center and, in doing so, will change those “never” votes. She WILL bring out the opposition votes, though, energizing the Republican base. I think she’ll win, but I think some other Democrats will lose because her candidacy will overcome Republican ennui.

    In other words, she’ll have negative coattails.

  3. “some other Democrats will lose because her candidacy will overcome Republican ennui.”

    Hadn’t thought of that, JS.

    I’ll have another post on Hillary very shortly — about something I actually give her credit for (or I’ll be trying to, anyway).

  4. The dem base is just as dumb or dumber than the gop base. As if hillary is the new kid on the block, the candidate for change, the oh so open and available candidate! Give me a break!!

    Like George w. Bush, she is manipulative,(exactly what she is doing right now), very secretive,(just like george,she only is interviewed when she wants to be, which is near never,not to mention she almost never answers a question with an actual answer), and she is already voted yes for the kyl/lieberman amendment,(opening up the way for war with Iran. (What will she say if george actually attacks Iran before he leaves office? I can’t wait to hear what her excuse will be). Counting zombie’s is a never-ending practice for.

    I am 1 of the 50% who will never, under any, and I mean any circumstance will never vote for hillary.

  5. Let me mention something else.

    In front of a women’s group the other day did she not say something to the effect that If she reaches the white house that as a women she will make history, being the first US women as President? I have no problem with a women being elected President, but only if self-glorification is not the reason for wanting to be President like hillary and george.

    In an interview before george w. bush became prez he said the best way to become a great prez was to be a war prez! Well he got half of it right. Next in line,hillary

  6. hillary just voted to authorize bush to attack Iran, the only dem to do so. As a lifelong dem I would not vote for her under any circumstance.
    bush number one hands off to bill, bill hands off to dumbya dumbya hands off to hillary.
    No thank you, I thought I was brought up in a democracy.

  7. Let me start by saying I am not a Hillary lover but as it stand now she WILL win the demo race. I’m not sure how she managed to pull so far ahead of everyone else but I suspect it has something to do with some heavy duty influence with the mysterious power brokers(Murdock?!)etc. It certainly wasn’t her massage. I also believe she WILL be our next president because of these same power brokers(if she doesn’t do anything outrageous). Look at who’s throwing money in her direction, it’s a vertual who’s who of unexspected scorces and it’s a lot. They wouldn’t be backrolling her if they thought she couldn’t pull it off and she will pull it off because people are gut sick of GWB his war and his policies. I’m going to support Hillary because I’m betting when she’s president we are going to see policies based on common sence and I’ll be able to unclench my teeth and breath a deep breath.

  8. Dennis Kucinich is looking more and more like the only real strong democrat on principles and issues. The only one who would make truly profound changes to our healthcare, international trade, and our foreign policy (Iraq).

  9. Hillary will win the nomination. That was a given the day she announced, because she is a bought and paid for corporate whore. The neocons don’t care if she becomes President because she is one of them. Their agenda won’t miss a step.
    A lot of progressives are going to have to swallow their principles to vote for her. This is downright painful.
    Kucinich is the ONLY candidate deserving of my vote. What you see is what you’ll get.

  10. With all of the problems facing the nation, I’m saddened to note that there is no one I would trust with the White House. While I respect Dennis Kucinich, he has yet to show that he’s more than an antiwar candidate. In this, he’s identical to Mike Gravel and Ron Paul, both of whom I respect even though they both have also demonstrated no reason to vote for them beyond their antiwar positions.

    As for a Dark Horse, no one on the sidelines piques my interest either – not even Gore. So am I to settle for Hillary as the default! Not on YOUR life!

    Hillary Clinton, as cited above, is only thinking about her personal gratification in her bid to gain the White House. What does she propose to improve the sorry condition of the Commonweal? Nothing substantial, for she is completely oblivious to the welfare of the nation she aspires to lead.

    As long as the American people fall for the same old same old in their media-manipulated selection of leadership, nothing can change. They are going to have to care enough to rouse themselves from their mental somnolence, something that is less likely daily. It may well take the coming collapse of the American economy for this to happen – by which time it will be far too late. It will be long before any election can take place, and the Bush administration may well have their emergency-induced dictatorship – and permanent unitary rule – as a result.

    Sleep well, America, You hardly knew what you let slip from your grasp.

  11. It’s sad that the prospect of her nomination and presidency invokes despair in those of us who are just looking for an excuse to vote Democratic. Give us something, anything.

    Kucinich may be the candidate for idealists. But Hillary is not the candidate for realists. She’s the candidate for utter, complete cynics.

    I have a post on another aspect of her in a day or two. (S&R may look quite different by then.)

  12. The only Dem I WANT to vote for so far is Chris Dodd. I would settle for ANY of them versus the Rethuglican candidate, but Hillary will NOT give up the powers bush has taken from a compliant Congress and will continue leading us down the road to fascism.

  13. But Hillary is not the candidate for realists.

    If you want to discuss reality, how but this . In this day and age nobodys gonna get elected unless they play the game. Hillary’s playing the game so far like a master. Does anyone actually believe the Hillary adminasration will be run much different then big dog ran his? Who could not like 8 years of peace and prosparity and world wide respect. I wouldn’t be suprized if every democrat running against her right now will see cabinet level posts and almost certainly one of them VP. OK maybe not Kucinich. Let’s face it (reality) Kanas is not ready for a guy who gets messages from UFO’s.How about Al Gore incharge of energy and Wes Clark sec of defense? Pretty exciting stuff for progressives Huh? All you Hillary haters have swallowed Limbaugh and Fox’s bate hook line and sinker. (Reality) Wining the presidency in 2008 isn’t gonna be pretty and Hillary is gonna say what ever she has to say to get where she wants to be.

  14. Hillary’s negatives will continue to drop and remember – all she needs is fifty percent plus one. Actually, not even that as we have something called an electoral college. So it really only matters WHERE those “nevers” reside.

  15. I don’t believe the polls anyway. MSM has decided she’s the front runner and keep telling us over and over it’s inevitable. Wrong. History shows us it’s way too early for a shoe-in for any candidate. A week in politics can be very long. Voting is very private and we make that final call then. Will we vote for a woman? a black man? an elf? an awe shucks from Arkansas? Like it or not, Iowa and New Hampshire will speak first. Hopefully the other early states will have their say as well and not just follow the inevitable.

  16. I live in NY. When Hillary first decided she wanted to run for Senate in 2000. Giuliani was way ahead in the polls. She traveled every corner of the state and had face to face conversations with every constituency group including those that didn’t like her. As the race went on she gained an enormous lead over Giuliani. This is before his affair and divorce went public. He was facing a crushing defeat when he dropped out of tha race because of cancer. Clinton went against Rick Lazio who all pulled no punches and really went after her. She won by a solid 55% of the vote to Lazio’s 45%.

    She still took nothing for granted and still continued to travel to every cormer of NY. I have worked with her office and they do amazing constituency work. For 6 years she did not focus on the Presidency but on the needs of all NYers and on being the best Senator she could. In 2006 she won reelection with a whopping 67% of the vote, the largest margin of victory in any 2006 Senate race. This time she won Staten Island which she lost in 2000. Even more remarkable, she won districts in upstate NY that have NEVER elected a Democrat.

    Frankly I think it’s sexist when people write her current lead off as the air of divinely proclaimed inevitibility, ruthlessness, her inside power brokers,her husbands coat tails or a single minded obession with her own personal glory.

    Look at what she has done in NY during two Senate races. Look at what she is actually doing on the ground in the Primaries. She is a warm eloquent candidate who is very skilled at face to face retail politics. She turned around the haters on Staten Island and upstate because she is very very good at being a Senator and running a campaign. Supporters of other candidates who write her off for any other reason are in for a rude awakening on election day.

  17. The “nevers” on the left may not be as numerous as the “nevers” on the right, but they may be more significant. We need to make clear now that a third party candidate isn’t out of the question before primary voters go to the poles.

    It seems to me that the reason this race started so early was so that money and media could make the choice long before any citizen had a chance to cast a ballot. I’m not very hopeful that this democracy can be mended. We can’t afford another “lesser of two evils”.

  18. Thanks, Jon, for your perspective from up close.

    I think, with her, we’re mostly afraid of that Golda Meir-Margaret Thatcher factor. You know, overcompensate on issues of national defense to prove she’s as tough asa man.

    Justin Raimondo doesn’t call her the War Goddess for nothing.

  19. I didn’t get to read Jon’s comment before I put up my post. I live in New York as well. I think Hillary is a very nice person and certainly a skilled politician. But this election has got to be about what we want to happen in this country. Either you think that basically things are good and we can just go back and forth between Republicans and Democrats or you think things are really screwed up in this country and things have to seriously start changing.

    If Hillary is elected we get health care reform that is largely crafted by the insurance industry. We get a continuation of an imperialist foreign policy where bombs will just be dropped in different places. We get concessions made to average Americans but the power still stays with the corporations. And I predict that the executive power that Bush has coralled for himself will not be surrendered so quickly in a Clinton

  20. If Hillary is elected we get health care reform that is largely crafted by the insurance industry. We get a continuation of an imperialist foreign policy where bombs will just be dropped in different places. We get concessions made to average Americans but the power still stays with the corporations. And I predict that the executive power that Bush has coralled for himself will not be surrendered so quickly in a Clinton [presidency].”

    Ex-effing-zactly, Doug.

  21. So what we want is an intelligent, courageous altruist with an unwavering commitment to sanity in world relations, humanity in domestic issues, clear-headed long-range vision in economic matters, and transparency in government.

    This would be the same person who has just won an election by being a clever, careful egotist committed to winning by mounting any soapbox necessary, including but not limited to: chest-pounding jingoism, personal attacks on the “values” of an opponent, selective compassion for carefully researched populations, lower taxes for that night’s dinner attendees, more benefits for that day’s rally attendees, better security with more/less/no privacy protections…

    This is why I have a panic attack every time I vote.

  22. No matter which Democrat is elected, the thousands of people who will inhabit the departments of government will mostly be the same.

    So…I will never give an inch to the 15 years of vilification and character assassination and malicious harassment fomented and executed by rightwing scumbags toward Hillary Clinton.

    When Democrats wring their hands over nominating Hillary because rightwing scumbuckets don’t like her, it is manifestly frustrating to me and makes me feel contempt for the Dems who are, in effect, bowing to the 15 years of ugly demonization leveled by the science-fiction rightwing in America.

    “Gosh, we better not nominate Hillary, Jasper, after all, the GOP REALLY doesn’t like her!”

    She is not my favorite candidate. But to join the gargoyle right in stoning her is just plain wrong.

    And if any Dem thinks that ANY of the other candidates, if nominated, will be spared the FULL TREATMENT….well, I’ve got a bridge to sell ’em in lower Manhattan.

    If any other Democrat is nominated, I can guarantee you that he will become, in one instant, THE NEW HILLARY…..just as “evil”, just as “Sneaky”, just as “Socialistic”, just as “America Hating”,, just as “Treasonous”, just as “Lesbian”, just as “Atheistic”, just as “French”, just as “Hates our beloved Military”, etc, etc, etc, as Hillary.

    For the above reasons I am pro Hillary.

    Let the Republicans drown in her presidency.

    And let ’em drown screaming, too.

  23. CNN’s Jack Cafferty Calls On Viewers to Overthrow Bush

    “. . . . In the follow-up segment, Cafferty read a selection of emails from clearly outraged — and outspoken — viewers.

    “Remember the 60’s?” wrote one Baby Boomer. “Well, they’re back. Only this time it’s not a decade. It’s the age on our driver’s licenses. Let’s start another revolution. … It’s time to overthrow the government.”

    Another viewer stated more cynically, “King Bush. Queen Hillary. America is now a democratic dictatorship, nobody is going to change that. Power is everything; get used to it.”

    And a third suggested. “George Bush is the next president. He and Darth Cheney will be surrendering none of their bounty. Forty years of planning to hand it all to Hillary Clinton? Not a chance. If you think there’ll be a November 8 election, give my regards to the Easter Bunny.” . . . .

  24. Hillary will be “swiftboated” mercilessly in the 11th hour. There is much fodder there to work with and between conservative talk radio and the blogosphere, it will have a serious effect.

    The Hsu campaign contribution scandal, the Ron Paul bombshell video, the “timing” of the Larry Craig story breaking the same day as the Hsu story, the Whitewater papers, mystically appearing to a house maid in the White House. The list goes on.

    Hillary is vulnerable on her credibility and believability and this will “play in Peoria.”

  25. The polls are slanted and not based in reality. That is not saying that Barak is ahead or behind. I’m just saying you can not trust the polls. With that said can you please tell me what cliff they will go over so I can take pictures.