Is Bush Making A Hillary 2008 Candidacy More Acceptable?
Here’s a “Watching Freeper Heads Explode” entry for you. According to the CNN/USAT/Gallup poll we referenced earlier in the week, taken over last weekend, guess who now claims over a majority of the nation’s possible support for president in 2008?
Sure, it’s over three years out still, and we can all list the problems with a Clinton candidacy and the torrent of political death and Swift-boating destruction that will be leveled upon a Hillary 2008 race. And no, I am not endorsing her at this point.
But we also know that she will have a better campaign strategist working for her than John Kerry ever did, and that guy will be out for payback and will never let what happened to Kerry happen to her.
Note in this poll the high number of conservatives who say they may vote for her. Whether they do when they get into the polling booth is another matter. But a Clinton/Clark, Clinton/Warner, or even a Clinton/Edwards ticket does have some nice electoral math behind it.
It is Bush’s own mangling of his GOP support that makes a Clinton presidency in 2009 even plausible. Sure, the American Taliban loves Bush, but at 43% approval Bush has managed to move the party so far right that neither John McCain nor Rudy Giuliani will get the GOP nomination in 2008, and that only leaves a fringe candidate opposing someone like Hillary with all her advantages. And no matter what Wall Street and Main Street may think of Hillary in any conventional race, in a choice between the American Taliban and Hillary, even some red staters may opt for a return to the 1990’s. In fact, you'll notice from a piece in the Nation that I reference below that Hillary has framed her attacks against Bush lately as a referendum on Bill's record in the 1990's.
When you read these poll results, understand several things:
•This poll had a sample with a Democratic bias.
•This poll actually reflected 29% definite support, and 24% of somewhat likely support to get to this 53% figure, which is not as strong as the media reports make her support out to be. And the media will emphasize rightly so that 39% said that there is no way they would vote for her, although it is still over three years out and represents 5 points less than the 44% who said this back in 2003.
•Having said that, Hillary claims 60% of the women’s vote and nearly half of the men’s vote, two-thirds of the younger voters, almost two-thirds of the lower income and half of the upper income supporters.
•But she claims fewer than half of the 50-and-over voters, leaving her vulnerable to the GOP smear campaigns with those voters that will only be overcome with a direct reminder of what the GOP is now trying to do with Social Security and Medicare.
•Perhaps the most startling finding is that 58% of moderates and 33% of self-described conservatives said that they would likely support her, reflecting either how well Clinton has repositioned herself in the last several years, or a positive reevaluation of the Clinton record in the 1990’s as compared to the mess we are in now after almost five years of the Bush disaster. And we know for a fact that the base will come out for her in numbers they never did for Kerry.
You can read a great analysis of a Clinton ’08 candidacy and possible presidency, including the extremely deft steps she has taken to follow in her husband’s footsteps in positioning herself, from the Nation here, and another good summary of what political insiders think about her chances to get the nomination in the Atlantic here.