Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Unsinkable Hillary Clinton

Jim Geraghty takes apart the 'Hillary is unbeatable' claim:

I may be completely wrong. I don't doubt that Hillary Clinton is the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, and that Democrats start this cycle with an advantage. I don't doubt that come Election Day 2008, the country will be ready for a new direction, and they will be very tempted to see the Democratic nominee as the better choice for a new direction.

But I'm going to echo the thoughts of a smart Republican strategist-type who said not long ago that the country would have to be "dragged kicking and screaming into a Hillary Clinton presidency." The country has seen furious partisan passions raging since... impeachment? The 1992 campaign? I mean, think about it - the tooth-and-claw 2000 campaign, the Florida recount, the Jeffords switch, 9/11, the neck-and-neck 2002 campaign, the Florida recount, the long and angry 2004 campaign, and then last year's long, angry, mudslinging, expensive, noisy midterm elections. A Hillary Clinton presidency means, in all likelihood, that the Republican base will be as angry and loud and outraged as the Democratic base has been these past six years and change. Another four to eight years for this exhausting, disillusioning scream-a-thon.

Americans are tired of it. Politics are not supposed to take up so much of our attention and energy. Our political leaders are supposed to be competent and a little bit boring. Thus the boomlets of enthusiasm for Obama, and to a lesser extent, McCain and Giuliani - they all come across as guys you can respect, even if you don't always agree with them.

A President Hillary comes with a significant amount of baggage - not least of which is named Bill - and I think that when the campaign begins in earnest, a lot of voters are going to look at her and ask, "Am I ready for another four years of this?"

In speculating on the potential entry of Al Gore into the race, I noted that such an event might make the challenge easier for Obama or Edwards. It would allow them to more explicitly make the argument that it was unwise for Democrats to promise a return to the Clinton years. Hillary will inherit as much of her husband's baggage as she does his assets - perhaps more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I do not like her as a person. I do not trust her as a leader. Not like me to say negative things about other people, but if I don't like or trust then I would not vote for. Thanks for listening.