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One of several arguments I've seen that argues against nominating Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee is that she is perceived as unelectable. This is the same kind of argument that was used against Howard Dean, except for different reasons: whereas Dean was perceived as too 'liberal' (despite his relatively moderate record as governor) and likely to run his mouth at the wrong time, Clinton is seen as too unlikeable and burdened (however unfairly) with the baggage from the right-wing attacks during Bill Clinton's two terms in the White House.

That being said, recent polling has shown that these concerns - which I always thought were unfounded - are overblown. In fact, one could argue based on the recent numbers that Clinton is now seen as more electable, if not the most 'electable' Democrat.

Nationally

The most recent ABC News/Washington Post poll headlines with the fact that Clinton has a statistically significant 8-point lead over the top Republican in national polling, Rudy Giuliani, 51%-43%. Perhaps the more relevant point, though, is the fact that her unlikeable rating isn't all that bad relative to other Democrats anymore:

Forty-one percent of those surveyed said they definitely would not vote for Clinton in the general election if she were the Democratic nominee, one of the lowest "reject rates" among the leading candidates in either of the two major parties. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) registers the lowest definite opposition, at 39 percent.

Former senator John Edwards of North Carolina often contends that he is the most electable Democrat and one who can campaign successfully in regions where Clinton cannot, but the poll found that, over the past five months, more Americans have turned away from him as a general-election option. In April, 35 percent said they definitely would not vote for him; in the latest poll, 43 percent ruled him out. And in the South, Edwards's home turf, the three leading Democrats have all been ruled out by nearly identical percentages: Edwards by 47 percent, Clinton by 46 percent and Obama by 45 percent.

In essence, all of the top three Democrats (Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards) are ruled out by the same percentage of voters. It also dispels the notion put forth by Karl Rove that Clinton's negatives were too high. It does seem perplexing that after 15 years in the public spotlight, Clinton has been able to drive her negatives down, but she's managed to accomplish just that. More than a year ago, 47% of voters said they would not vote for Clinton as president. Now it's down at 41%, and it's quite possible that she may be able to even go further down. It's also worth noting that in the same time period until now, negatives for the Republican candidates have soared. Last year, Giuliani only had 30% of people who would not vote for him. Now, it's up at 44%, and it goes even higher for other top-tier candidates on the GOP side (John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Fred Thompson). It's hard to discern whether or not the downward trends in Clinton's unlikeability are due to the lack of quality on the GOP side that has made voters reconsider. In addition, the 'ruled-out' number for both Edwards and Obama have risen. Looking at the detailed polling data, Obama has risen slightly in the past 5 months (from 36% to 39%), while Edwards has jumped significantly (35% to 43%). From a national perspective, it's harder to make the case that Clinton will suffer in a substantive fashion from any negative perceptions. Indeed, she's the only candidate who has been going down as time has gone on. And looking at all national polling on the general election, you can see that Clinton has continued to trend up steadily.

State by State

Recently, Markos has been posting the only comprehensive head-to-head polling results (done by Survey USA). You can see the links listed below:

CA, OR, WA, NY: Link
OK, FL, OR, WI, MO, OH, IA, NM, VA: Link

What pops out for me is how well Clinton is doing in these head-to-head matchups. She clearly outperforms Edwards and Obama in the big states (CA, NY, FL), while showing surprising strength in VA. The only states where her performance seems to suffer is in the Pacific Northwest (Obama is tops there) and some of the swing states (Wisconsin, Missouri). In Ohio and New Mexico, she has a decisive advantage over Obama. In the other states, Edwards has an advantage, but these are states where the lead is already fairly big (combined with a lack of name ID for GOP candidates Thompson and Romney). It's a mixed bag - in some swing states, Clinton outperforms, while in others, she clearly is a detriment. Over at Open Left, Chris Bowers compiled a general election map, and it seems to confirm that Clinton performs the strongest on a state-by-state basis of counting electoral votes (she similarly earns the most votes against Romney). While her advantage of Giuliani is less pronounced in this analysis, it is clearly better than how Obama and Edwards fare (both lose a majority of the electoral votes at this time).

Conclusion

What does it all mean? The first thing I should point out is that I am not making an 'inevitability' argument here. The general election is still more than a year away; anything could happen between now and then. In addition, these numbers could change entirely based on voters' perceptions depending on the outcome of the first few states that hold primaries and caucuses. That's the reason why making an argument for a candidate being the most 'electable' or most 'unelectable', particularly at the primary level, is plain-out stupid. While it may be a valid (if not based on a bad premise) claim for Republicans to state that nominating Mitt Romney would be a bad idea, it simply doesn't work on the Democratic side. There's no significant difference in the percentage of voters who would not consider the 'Big Three', and when looking at the matchups, Clinton - perhaps surprisingly - fares the best.

This doesn't mean that I still have heavy reservations about Clinton. In particular (not withstanding Joe Biden's push poll), I do worry about Clinton's effect on Democratic candidates down-ticket. However, this is only something is likely to be observed empirically at this point in time. As I've previously chronicled, I also worry about her cautious policy stances, her hawkish tone on foreign policy, and that a second Clinton administration will be the death of the current grassroots resurgence within the Democratic Party. Nevertheless, it's time that Clinton detractors stop using the 'electability' argument against her. It's not valid. That doesn't mean Clinton supporters, as they seem wont to do, use poll numbers as the be-all, end-all. But it's not a legitimate point to argue as to who is the best candidate to be our nominee.

Originally posted to PsiFighter37 on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 12:52 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (48+ / 0-)

    Again, this diary is not to make a case for or against one candidate. In this instance, it's to end the notion that Hillary Clinton is unelectable. Far from that; I have never doubted that she could get elected as president. It's about the rest of the Democrats that may be affected that would worry me.

    Anyways, feel free to post your thoughts...and please don't turn this into a pissing contest about your favored candidate.

    "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." -Robert F. Kennedy

    by PsiFighter37 on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 12:53:33 PM PDT

    •  I would never say she's unelectable (5+ / 0-)

      I think she's totally capable of winning.  In fact, she might be our most electable candidate.

      My problem is that she would make a terrible president.

    •  I don't know (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaleA, Wary

      I honestly don't. There's this LAT piece that came out a week ago, saying

      Despite recent gains by Democrats in the Rocky Mountain West, party officials across the region are increasingly anxious that their congressional candidates may get dragged under by Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign.

      The New York senator and Democratic front-runner was by a wide margin the most unpopular of 13 potential presidential candidates in Montana, according to a June survey by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research for the Billings Gazette; 61% said they would not consider voting for her, compared with 49% who would not vote for former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and 45% who would not vote for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. The most unpopular Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, was rejected by 51%.

      *Recent polls in Colorado, Nevada and Arizona have found similar distaste for Clinton.

      "She's carrying huge negatives out here," said Floyd Ciruli, an independent Colorado pollster* who said Democratic congressional candidates would have to highlight their differences with the national party to be successful next year. "It's that liberal East Coast image that is so hard to sell in the West."

      One key advisor to a prominent Democratic congressional candidate, who asked not be to identified discussing tensions within the party, went even further. "It's a disaster for Western Democrats," he said. "It keeps me up at night."

      The Clinton campaign said the alarm was unwarranted and expressed confidence that as voters in the West got to know Clinton, they would back her and the party's congressional candidates. "We expect to head a very strong ticket in the West," spokesman Mo Elleithee said.

      Is the LAT concern-trolling against Hillary? I think that's very, very possible. And I haven't seen those polls they're citing. Still, somebody had better take a look.

      Damn George Bush! Damn everyone that won't damn George Bush! Damn every one that won't put lights in his window and sit up all night damning George Bush!

      by brainwave on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 01:40:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then we need a western gov as VP (0+ / 0-)

        like Richardson, who is widely respected in the West. Plus he offers an opportunity to bring in many Hispanics to the Democratic party. Choosing him would pay off for decades in the West, where Hispanics are numerous.

      •  What? The media play concern troll ...? (8+ / 0-)

        Who'd imagine such a thing?

        A poll of Dem insiders a few weeks ago found that a little more than half think that Hillary runs best next fall, about one in five thinks Obama does, and one in ten thinks Edwards. So naturally you'll find some who worry about Hillary's prospects - but a lot more feel good about her.

        I saw another Dem-worry-about-Hillary article, and it ended up quoting Bill friggin Bradley. Talk about concern trolls!

        The best fortress is to be found in the love of the people - Niccolo Machiavelli

        by al Fubar on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 02:14:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  her negatives will continue to go down (5+ / 0-)

      because she started with many people having a cartoon image of her that is so easily dispelled when people see her in person or encounter her during the debates.

      Meanwhile, Giuliani has yet to have the kind of exposure of his flaws that would become a cacaphony were he apparently headed to the nomination.  even absent abandonment by Dobson and Bauer and crew, Giuliani has not got a snowball's chance in hell of getting elected.

      Forget current polling information, which is far too much based on name recognition, and free media coverage.  There is one Republican who should scare you, and that is the man from Hope Arkansas, Mike Huckabee.  Were he to get the Republican nomination, he will create the greatest difficulties in winning an electoral majority.  None of the others is realistically a threat to any of the top three democrats.

      Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH! If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy

      by teacherken on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 02:41:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Let's hope the next argument we bury (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Caldonia

      is the one about down-ticket concerns.  There's absolutely no evidence Hillary would hurt down-ticket.  

      I'm voting for the Hill woman

      by masslib on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 05:15:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  some would not vote for a woman (0+ / 0-)

      the Fond du lac Reporter asked the question, "Is this country ready for a woman president?"  To date, only one letter has rolled in and, it's well...
      Here's the link, read for yourself.be sure to leave a comment

      I mistrust those who say they know what God wants, because I notice it most often coincides with their own desires - Susan B. Anthony

      by Pan Zareta on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 07:33:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Many of us... (5+ / 0-)

    ...don't dispute that Hillary is electable, or that she wouldn't make a good President.

    HOwever, we have some very serious issues with her stances on many things, the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment being the most jarring one of late. And we're not talking political ancient history like the 2002 AUMF, we're talking right here, right now.

    I will vote for her if she's nominated, though, make no mistake.

    (1) D.I.E.B.O.L.D.: Decisive In Elections By Ousting Liberal Democrats.
    (2) R.A.T.S.: Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Scalia.
    (3) -8.75, -8.10

    by Archangel on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 12:59:08 PM PDT

  •  Thanks (12+ / 0-)

    Thank you for a good post. Unfortunately, it seems that opposition against Clinton on dKos often does not seem to be based on concerns that can be backed up with data.

    There are, of course, reasons to oppose her, and you list some points that concern you. But the electability argument is not a good one. I think all candidates have a good chance against the Republican nominee.

    Help! Mitt Romney's hair is hypnotizing me!

    by Frank on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 01:00:43 PM PDT

    •  I agree! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cookiecutter

      I am very proud of ALL the Democrats running and electing anyone of them, except Gravel, would be more than OK with me!

      In that WaPo poll in the diary the most interesting aspect I learned was that the unfavorables of the Republic candidates was far higher than her--Rudy at 44%, McCain at 46%, Thompson was 56% and Romney at 57%

      Electability? She's far more electible then any of the Republics so far.

  •  Electable (9+ / 0-)

    I think at this point that it is true that citing too many polls as evidence that Clinton is more or less electible is silly, since the polls are close and each candidate has regional strengths of their own.

    However, I can still make the argument that Clinton is the most "electable" in that she best understands and has the capability to beat back the smears that will come her way.

    I guess that's what "electable" means to me - does the candidate possess those skills, or not.

    •  That will be crucial (9+ / 0-)

      Her rapid-response team is top-notch. I don't think that will be 'the' deciding factor in the race (although the lack of John Kerry's response to the Swift Boaters certainly had an effect last time around).

      "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." -Robert F. Kennedy

      by PsiFighter37 on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 01:02:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  agreed (5+ / 0-)

      Polls this far out are of limited value not because the polling itself is flawed (as many candidate partisans argue), but because they don't reflect the campaign that has yet to be run.  As we've seen too often recently, the numbers can really move when the right-wing unleashes their fury on our candidates.  No candidate is immune from having their strengths and weaknesses alike turned into fatal flaws (i.e., Kerry's war record) -- so the key may very well be which one can hit back the fastest and hardest.

      Breaking: Your acerbically witty cooption of Republican talking points has convinced me to vote for your candidate.

      by cardinal on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 01:11:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  it's a signal (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA, Caldonia, Wary, cpresley, phoenixdreamz

    that she's been running a smart campaign.  That's all that can be 'slung' at her, and it's not a personal attack.  They can't say she's not experienced, hasn't won an election under her own name, doesn't have a 'professional' attitude, disagrees with most of us on the important issues. The worst, and that's mainly for us, is that she voted for Bush's war authorization and never mentioned that she ought to have known he'd use this authorization to start war. But most Americans thought it was a good idea at the time, so that won't stick with most voters, most voters 'trusted' Bush after 9/11.  So, I think it just means that there isn't anything else that might 'stick.'  If she makes some mistake, then they'll switch to whatever it might be.  

    •  Well... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, anna shane, phoenixdreamz

      There are plenty of things on which Clinton could be targeted in a legitimate fashion for - her foreign policy, for example. Out of all the Democratic candidates, I am most worried that she will keep far more troops in Iraq after 'ending' the war than anyone else.

      But yes, she's run a smart campaign, even though it's largely been one devoid of any real substance IMO.

      "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." -Robert F. Kennedy

      by PsiFighter37 on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 01:05:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  but that's for us (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DaleA, cpresley, phoenixdreamz

        and I'm certain we'll go out in droves to vote for whoever runs against the Bush succession.  All our guys are too cautious, because of independents and being vulnerable to the anti-terrorist-Rovian machine.  It's a real mess there, lots of imponderables, not to mention the possibility that Bush will bomb Iran and that most Americans will see it as a good idea (until it comes home to haunt us), just like most Americans were all for going into Iraq.  The point for us is to keep Rudy or one of the other weird-o's from getting a shot at wrecking our country even more.  Even Wall Street wants a democrat.  But voters can be hard to figure.  

      •  Why do you think (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        masslib, phoenixdreamz

        she will leave more troops than the others?

      •  Well, you're most worried about that perhaps. (0+ / 0-)

        But correct me if I'm wrong, I believe polls show most Democrats believe she is most apt to end the war, so I'm not convinced targeting her foreign policy would work.

        I'm voting for the Hill woman

        by masslib on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 05:46:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  First of all I don't necessarily see how (8+ / 0-)

    a Hillary presidency would mean the "death of the current grassroots resurgence in the Democratic Party". As much as many in the "netroots" hate "the establishment", all too many for the just the sake of "hating the establishment", the grassroots is going to have to work with Hillary or whatever Democrat is the nominee. Secondly I think that many here have a self-inflated sense of importance.

    While I am also concerned about Hillary's "polarizing numbers", when I thought about it further, would that 37% of voters in a poll in Arizona who stated that they would never support her not support any Democrat at all? My instinct is that they wouldn't for any Democrat anyway.

    Also, if Hillary is the nominee, I think that many people here will defend her against the VRC. She's not my first choice, but I will vote for her if she is the nominee.

    •  Republics are far more Polarizing (0+ / 0-)

      if the negatives are taken into effect. From the article cited in the Diary I found this one most interesting:

      if she were the Democratic nominee, one of the lowest "reject rates" among the leading candidates in either of the two major parties.

      Americans currently view the top four Republican candidates in equally or even more negative terms. Forty-four percent said they definitely would not vote for Giuliani, while 45 percent said the same of Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).

      More than half of all Americans said they definitely would not vote for former senator Fred D. Thompson of Tennessee (54 percent) or former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (57 percent).

      Now the Repubs have branded her with her 'high negatives' as 'polarizing' then if that is their criteria the other top teir Repubs are more 'polarizing' than she is!

      After all, what is more polarizing than the religious right calling for a third party candidate IF Rudy is the nominee? I mean that is POLARIZING!!!

      •  Good point (0+ / 0-)

        But all of us also need to realize that that "45%" that won't vote for Giulanni probably wouldn't vote for any Republican for that matter. To be honest, if we really want to be realistic, 40-45% of the country is within one party. The fight is for that 10-20% who shifts between elections.

  •  The SUSA head-to-heads (9+ / 0-)

    convince me that the unelectable argument is, indeed, a load of crap. Hillary, by those standards, actually seems to be the MOST electable.

  •  The Right Wing Propaganda Machine (9+ / 0-)

    They will pound the candidate who emerges as the front runner no matter who that person is. Its a fact of life that the eventual Democratic nominee is going to have high negatives. Still, we've got a great chance of winning an open seat election for the first time since 1960.

  •  The meme was created Karl Rove (5+ / 0-)

    That alone should be enough to abandon it.

  •  Tied up in Nots (5+ / 0-)

    I think we are spending too much time tied up in Nots! Any candidate that can make it thru the primary process and convention to get the nomination deserves our support.

    Not everyone is going to get their first choice, that's a mathematical impossibility. No candidate is perfect in all respects. The same is true of the other side, and they have issues to deal with that are worse than ours.

    A year from now we will have actual candidates and then we can concentrate on winning the election and not playing "What if's" ad naseum.

    "Vice President Cheney is expanding the administration's policy on torture to include tortured logic" Sen. Dick Durbin D-IL

    by Tuba Les on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 01:13:45 PM PDT

    •  True (5+ / 0-)

      But the primary process is for determining who best represents the ideals and beliefs of the Democratic Party. Once it's general election time, it's time to SYFP about what could've been, but right now is the perfect time to be hashing out the best candidate - and it shouldn't be focused on who has the best (or worst) polling numbers if it's not significant.

      "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." -Robert F. Kennedy

      by PsiFighter37 on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 01:15:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Her down ticket effect may be "good" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA, cpresley, phoenixdreamz

    if a number of the "Bush dogs" in the house lose then it will have a good "effect". Dems are in line to pick up about 10 house seats. I would be gald to pick up these ten and lose 4-6 "Bush dogs" This would still mean a gain for Democrats. But it would more importantly cut out a few DINO's who undermine our agenda. I can think of only 2-3 Democrats who may lose their seats because of her that I would regret losing.  Some of my family think I am being over confident when I say this, but I really think it would be a plus.  

    BTW her negative coat-tails are highly over rated. Coat-tails are much weeker now then they were 20-30 years ago. There are times when they still pop up, but usually it's when one side is very energized and th eother is dispondant. I don't see 2008 being a GOP gain from "negative" coat-tails year.

    The most anti-Hillary areas are already represented by Rebuplicans so I don't see her causing any lasting harm.

    I am not a HRC supporter I'm just calling it like I see it.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power"

    by dopper0189 on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 01:14:05 PM PDT

  •  She is awful on the stump. (0+ / 0-)

    Just awful.

  •  She can win (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, andgarden

    Given the demographics and her political team - they'll find a way to win.

    My question has always been - what do we win?  As a movement (progressives) and as a party?

    Will a Clinton victory be something for the party to build upon.  Does it demonstrate a vision, a clear representation of the party that is wholly antithetical to the Republican alternative?

    Will Clinton = the Democratic party as a whole?  And if so, will that be a good thing?

    •  Hard to say (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, BWasikIUgrad

      When Bill Clinton was running things in the 1990s, he was the Democratic Party - and that was bad. While we won the White House, we had great trouble making real gains elsewhere. I have a feeling it would be similar if Hillary Clinton wins, given that they share a lot of the same advisors.

      "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." -Robert F. Kennedy

      by PsiFighter37 on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 01:28:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think she understands how to be partisan (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DaleA, masslib, cookiecutter

        and actually, what I think we need in 2009 is a very partisan Democratic President.

        I haven't endorsed her of course--I lean Dodd.

      •  Hillary is a different animal from Bill in many (8+ / 0-)

        ways.  While his Democratic credentials were state-based in Arkansas, she's in the Senate, working with a wide range of Democrats from across the country.  She has also stumped for Democrats around the country in prior years.  She has broader experience and exposure than he had.  And, she's aware of the shortcomings and weaknesses of his generally good presidency and would want to avoid them.

        "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember the professionals use water."

        by Happy Days on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 01:34:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And deregulation, NAFTA, welfare reform... (0+ / 0-)

        etc., etc.

        I agree that Senator Clinton can win.  With a half a billion dollars and a few friends in high places, you or I could probably win.

        The country is crying out for a second party that will end the war and unequivocally speak to the interests of the majority - healthcare, education, the environment, corporate anarchy, a predatory and unproductive wealth elite... Why can't we have a candidate who boldly represents us, who trumpets our cause without shame or fear?  I can't escape the suspicion that our beltway leadership fears the nonvoting half of the electorate as much as do the rethugs...

        Whether it is cowardice or calculation, Democrats such as Clinton are playing into the Rove narrative.  If the war and Bush's other crimes are not addressed now, they will belong to us.  Either a Democratic president will be in Iraq/Iran/Syria (?) forever, at a cost of trillions and our kids' birthright, or he/she will "lose" Iraq...

        This is not what we worked for in 2006.

        www.bushwatch.net - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

        by chuckvw on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 01:58:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We worked hard in 2006 to work hard in 2008 (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cpresley, cookiecutter

          And we will work hard in 2008 to work hard in 2010.

          This is a long slog- and 2006 was just the FIRST STEP!

          Another way to look at it is that we did NOT work hard enough in 2006 because the Neo-cons still have a voice, the GOP can still obstruct with impunity.

          We are not miracle workers.  

          One election is good, but it ain't the full run.

          •  Tell me about long slogs (0+ / 0-)

            I've been an voter/activist/contributor since 1968.

            The rethugs are obstructing with impunity because the beltway dems have given them impunity. Just because we may lose some battles doesn't mean we shouldn't fight them.  Civil rights, women's rights and labor rights weren't won because they polled well, or because victory was assured.  Quite the contrary. People of principle and persistence fought for them.  That's what the Democratic Party used to stand for.

            www.bushwatch.net - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

            by chuckvw on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 02:41:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No Doubt (0+ / 0-)

              And we are in this hole for a variety of reasons.

              But in a hole we are.

              The GOP used to believe in somethings that were honorable themselves.  

              Now- and in the recent past, they simply want to turn back the clock  .  .  .  way back.

              So now we have to pull America out of this hole and the Dems, for now, are the best vehicle.

              But an imperfect vehicle.  Like a lemon-car, the Party is going to try our patience and burden our pocket book.

              But it is the only car we got.

              Did I mix enough metaphors?

      •  Something that has been forgotten ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        daria g, Caldonia, cpresley

        About the Dem washout in 1994 was that Dems had voted for Bill Clinton's huge tax increase in 1993. Both Bill and the Dems made a lot of bad fuckups in 1994, but the tax increase is what basically mobilized the Republicans.

        I bring it up because no one loves the tax man, but Bill Clinton did the most basic thing to even make progressive government possible: Get the budget back in order. (He also made the government work.) Progressives wine and bitch about basically penny ante compromises that Clinton made, like NAFTA, and miss how he fundamentally undermined Reaganism.

        The best fortress is to be found in the love of the people - Niccolo Machiavelli

        by al Fubar on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 02:31:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Good Questions (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      al Fubar, DaleA, cpresley, cookiecutter

      If we assume that her Presidency would be something like a WJC Redux, then I would say that we would gain some.

      I know, a LOT of liberals and Progressives were not happy with WJC, especially regarding Welfare Reform & NAFTA.

      But they forget that WJC brought many of our issues to the fore, such as Gay Rights and Health Care.  He may have not won these issues, but he certainly progressed them, and expended much mojo doing so.

      Would her victory be as good as, say, Kucinich for Progressives- probably not, but, on the other hand, we would have a victory  .  .  .  at least a greater precieved probability of one.

      It's a balancing act, for sure.

  •  Pointless argument (0+ / 0-)

    The Powers That Be have decided that it's going to be Clinton vs. Giuliani, and Giuliani will be handed the reigns of power from Bushco.

    Somebody once told me "if voting could change anything, it would be illegal".

    Sorry, it's just become pretty clear to me that Democracy is a sham in this country.  Theater.  We can take it back, but it ain't gonna be when we think we're "electing" Hillary Clinton.  

    •  Having a bad day? (6+ / 0-)

      Your comment is quite cynical.  Why are you here?

      If we are not "electing" anyone, much less Hillary, what exactly are we doing?

    •  The base won't support Rudy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaleA, cpresley, phoenixdreamz

      They've already said they'd look for a third candidate of their own.  Bush can't hand the base over to any of the nominees.  They follow their religious leaders.

      Winning without Delay.

      by ljm on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 01:41:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It depends on how desperate they are (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theyrereal, cpresley, cookiecutter

        They'll get behind him if they buy the "lesser of two evils" argument, which tends to convince most people. But they might just stay home on election day, if the only issues they care about are hating gays and opposing abortion.

        •  exactly. Low turn out (0+ / 0-)

          They'll figure this out ahead of time.  Hill won't exactly inspire much of a turnout on the common-sense side, and Giuliani won't inspire much of a turnout on the whack-job-facist-wingnut side.  

          Then they'll just tweak the numbers like they did the last two prez elections, and Bingo, Giuliani amazingly beats Hillary.  Exit polls be damned.  

      •  The smart Republicans ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cpresley

        Know that they are probably going to boot 2008 to Hillary. They'll fight like cornered rats of course, but the smart ones are looking past it and hoping to come back against her in 2010 and 2012.

        That's why you see some of the neocon intellectuals making nice to her - they're going to smile till they can put the knife in, or so they hope. They assume that the shitstorm Bush leaves will roll over her, but she may be tougher than they realize.

        The best fortress is to be found in the love of the people - Niccolo Machiavelli

        by al Fubar on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 02:37:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Defeat yourself before you start, why don't you! (7+ / 0-)

      The "powers-that-be" is one of those urban myth terms. The power that is, is the American voter. Are you a mindless minion of some invisible power-that-be? No? Then why do you suppose that veryone else is? Any candidate has to win a majority of delegates to become the nominee. This process is controlled by people like you, not some army of zombies. Just because they aren't supporting who you support doesn't make the process particularly corrupt. Sure it's imperfect, nutty at times. But it sure isn't controlled by the Man-behind-the-curtain.

      I would love Guliani to be the nominee! He is one of the most beatable candidates in a feild of candidates. The main reason is that the man is scary. He looks scary. He acts scary. He has a barely contained contempt for people. He looks like he's on the verge of screaming, "get away from me, you mindless fuckwits"! He is crash and burn if ever I've seen it.

      So pick up your face from the floor, and be proud and confident. You are a Democrat and it's going to be a huge Democratic blowout in November 2008!

      Ambition is when you follow your dreams. Insanity is when they follow you.

      by Batfish on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 01:50:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No Democrat is unelectable (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tryptamine, Batfish, phoenixdreamz

    Well, maybe Gravel, but apart from him, we can win with anyone we run. My arguments against HRC are that a) she's too hawkish, b) she's too corporate, c) she's too triangulating, d) she's taken positions that will make her vulnerable to the "for it before she was against it" slam. That said, I do think she can win, but she's not our best choice.

  •  my prediction (7+ / 0-)

    As the primaries get closer, Clinton will start making conversions among the Kossacks for a couple of reasons:
    1.) Kossacks know how important it is to win on 2008.  
    2.) Edwards will not be making any additional progress and Kossacks will start to understand how his money problem is going to going to get us into trouble.
    3.) Kossacks will see that Obama is a movement candidate but that movements do not sit in the Oval Office.  People do.  As much as we like him, he is somewhat insubstantial right now and only time can give him the proper gravitas.  
    4.) The others will just not be able to crack the top tier enough.  
    That leaves the best prepared, most appealing candidate to the general public- Hillary.  
    Now, she will probably have to make a token (or real) gesture to get the Kossacks to crack but when she does, it will all be over and suddenly she will be the most attractive politician they've ever seen and why didn't they recognize it before?!!
    In the meantime, cognitive dissonance sucks.  

    -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

    by goldberry on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 01:48:42 PM PDT

    •  Good Thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw

      you got in on the ground floor. But seriously, I will not pretend to speak for others, but this is one she will not "win over". I will hold my nose if she is the nominee, but she will not win me over, sorry. Also let me tell you I have family members who have expressed they will vote Dem. this cycle, that are definite repugs. With a caveat, and I have no reason to lie about this, unless Hillary is the nominee. Hell one is my sister, and I can't even convince her to fully back my man. So just thought I would throw that out.

      •  Hill is either the Establishment Candidate or not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cpresley

        You can't have it both ways.

        "They" will tweak the numbers to make sure Hillary wins because she's their "gal" or they are afraid of her and make sure Giuliani wins.

        Please choose one side.

    •  goldberry: you didn't mean it did you? (0+ / 0-)

      When you said that Hillary would make a token gesture to the Kossacks and then we would CRACK.  Did you?

      Is this how Hillary wins?  The voters will CRACK and vote for her.

      Please tell me you don't mean this -- the ultimate insult.

      •  No, I think she's been real all along (0+ / 0-)

        Her vote on MoveOn was not just a token gesture.  She knows who her friends are.  But she's been proving herself to us all along.  We just have blinders on.  We get all incensed over a decoy resolution on Iran.  We dismiss her claims about campaign contributions and lobbyists.  She's been on our side for years now.  Her votes have been solidly progressive.  She represents us but the crazy thing is that she appeals to the general electorate as well.  She knows Americans approve of the progressive ideals but they have been sidetracked by propaganda.  Her message is what they want.  It might not be a liberal paradise but it moves us forward again.  Isn't that what we want?  To move forward?  
        The thing is, I think most Kossacks are resisting her because 1.) they don't like to think they don't have a choice in the matter and 2.) they don't want to give up their fantasies of a more aggressively liberal agenda.  So, the cling to Edwards even though he is directing his message at US and not the general public.  After the primaries, his message will necessarily have to change to be more like Clinton's.  Secretely, we know this but we don't want to acknowledge it.  And now that he has accepted public financing, he will be walking against a hurricane like gust.  
        So, the question that will come up before the primaries will be, do we go with a crack campaign that is well financed or do we go with the crippled campaign that is going to have to adopt the Clinton message anyway?  
        I think that before they start, Clinton will make a direct appeal to us.  I only call it a token because she's already on our side.

        -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

        by goldberry on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 08:51:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  goldberry, you have convined me (0+ / 0-)

          You know what "crack" is.

          "We" just have blinders on, you say.

          No, goldberry, my eyes are wide open.

          If you think Hillary will reign in an executive power, you are drowning in someone's kool-aid.  The Clintons will correct one mistake they made way back in their last century rule: They won't make us all feel warm and fuzzy -- and there will be no Janet Reno type attorney general.

  •  HRC has a major point in her favor (0+ / 0-)

    Not being a Republican.

    While I don't think she's fit to be President, I'll vote for any Democrat who survives the nomination process.

    I think we need to settle once and for all the question of whether the Democratic Party is a vehicle for progressive change or an obstacle to it in the mind of the low-information voter, and we need Democrats in visible control of the government to do this.

    Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

    by alizard on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 02:07:42 PM PDT

  •  The thing that convinced me (5+ / 0-)

    that she is not unelectable is an event that I described last night.

    Class & Labor - Tues. nights, Feminisms Wed. nights

    by tryptamine on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 02:07:45 PM PDT

  •  There will be a campaign (0+ / 0-)

    One purpose of a campaign is to drive UP your opponents negatives.  Remember Michael in 1988, Al in 2000, and John in 2004.

    All this talk about Hillary's negatives going down once the campaign starts flies in the face of what happened to these three once the campaign started.  

    Bill won in 1992 because he was able to portray (negative) George 41 as out of touch with Mr. and Mrs. Average American, ergo drive his favorabilities down.  And in 1996, the Republicans annointed the soon to be Viagra spokesman.

    Believing that Hillary's negatives aren't that bad proves one thing: He who cannot remember history   is condemed to repeat it.

  •  I used to worry about Clinton (0+ / 0-)

    being unelectable, but I don't think I see an electable Republican any place anyway.

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