by Jeff Dinelli
I signed on to TLC following Steve's request for writers to follow a presidential candidate and figured why not pick the most interesting one by far, Hillary Clinton? I don't work for her campaign, am not an apologist, and have found this a very interesting endeavor, especially viewing Steve's well-reasoned endorsement in contrast to many well-reasoned writings found within the comments threads expressing dislike for the senator and/or her candidacy. This combined with the never-ending news generated by her campaign makes this pretty fun. Hopefully it provides fodder for discussion or at least thought.
As a progressive/liberal voter more sympathetic to the unelectable Dennis Kucinich, however, and the more I delve into this thing, the more concerned I get for '08. It all came to a boiling point Monday with Karl Rove's sayonara and his cryptic comment, noted by T2, describing Hillary as "a tough, tenacious, fatally flawed candidate." To me this hinted that perhaps the troll would be for hire during the general election to help run one of his patented slime machines against Hillary, just as he's masterfully done against Democratic candidates since he was a young college Republican. There is no doubt Hillary will be "swift boat"-ed to the extreme, just as there is no doubt Hillary will fight back against all the dirt hurled her way, and nobody is going to beat this woman in a debate, with her unparalled knowledge of policy issues and details. But the parade of skeletons coming from her closet, valid or not, will be relentless, and cheering maniacally on the sidelines will be Fox Noise, Rush, O'Reilly, Hannity, et al, so that the accusations and innuendos will roll off the tounges of red and purple staters across the fruited plain, disturbingly highlighting her already 49% disapproval ratings. Those conservatives tired of Bush and possibly thinking of sitting this one out will surely get fired up enough to go to the polls to keep the hated Hillary out of office.
This isn't to say she can't win. No candidate is as well-versed on the issues or is as intelligent. Her staff is top-notch, she always surrounds herself with very capable people. And there's always the inevitable campaign appearances of the most popular Democrat in the world, husband Bill. Hillary is striking a rather hawkish pose, with her experience on the Senate Armed Services Committee a plus with Americans at large extremely concerned with the idiocy of our bloody involvement in Iraq. The big question is who she will run against, will it be Rudy, who's bragging he's the one candidate who can beat Hillary? I don't believe Mitt Romney, despite his net worth of a quarter of a billion dollars, can last, but what about Newt? Can anyone imagine a more stark contrast in candidates (or a purely entertaining contest) between Hillary and Newt? Or does Fred Thompson ride in on his white horse to somehow rally conservatives?
What do you think? Is she electable? And if so, what can we on the left do to help her cause? I don't need to explain how important this election is to the history of our republic. The Republicans are very vulnerable, and I guess my question is, is Hillary the most formidable candidate to win what potentially could be a slam dunk for Democrats, or are we setting ourselves up for a disaster?