The Power of Hillary

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, Jul 3, 2006.

  1. The Power of Hillary

    By James Carville and Mark J. Penn
    Sunday, July 2, 2006; B07

    "Hillary Clinton really is one of the weakest . . . nominees with whom the Democrats could be saddled."

    "Democrats are worried sick about her chances."

    "Just give someone else a chance, so we in the Democratic Party can elect a Democrat."

    "She cannot possibly, possibly win."

    Yada, yada, yada.

    We've heard all this "Hillary can't win stuff" before. In fact, the quotes above aren't from recent weeks but from six years ago, when many pundits -- and Democrats -- said there was no way that Hillary could get elected to the Senate. She won by 12 percentage points.

    We don't know if Hillary is going to run for president, but as advisers who have worked on the only two successful Democratic presidential campaigns in the past couple of decades, we know that if she does run, she can win that race, too.

    Why? First, because strength matters. Our problems as a party are less ideological than anatomical: Our candidates have been made to look like they have no backbone. But the latest Post-ABC News poll shows that 68 percent of Americans describe Hillary Clinton as a strong leader. That comes after years of her being in the national crossfire. People know that Hillary has strong convictions, even if they don't always agree with her. They also know that she's tough enough to handle the viciousness of a national campaign and the challenges of the presidency itself.

    One thing we know about Clinton campaigns: Nobody gets Swift Boated.

    The woman who gave the War Room its name knows how tough politics at the presidential level can be. Adversaries spent $60 million against her in 2000, and she endured press scrutiny that would have wilted most candidates. She gave as good as she got, and she triumphed.

    For those who think that the politics of personal destruction might be rekindled against Hillary or her husband, we can only remind people how consistently that approach has backfired in the past. Bill Clinton would certainly be a huge asset if Hillary decided to run.

    In fact, Hillary is the only nationally known Democrat (other than her husband) who has weathered the Republican assaults and emerged with a favorable rating above 50 percent (54 percent positive in the latest Post-ABC poll).

    Yes, she has a 42 percent negative rating, as do other nationally known Democrats. All the nationally un known Democrats would likely wind up with high negative ratings, too, once they'd been through the Republican attack machine.

    The difference with Hillary is the intensity of her support.

    Pundits and fundraisers and activists may be unsure of whether Hillary can get elected president, but Democratic voters, particularly Democratic women and even independent women, are thrilled with the idea.

    The X factor for 2008 -- and we do mean X -- is the power of women in the electorate. Fifty-four percent of voters are female. George Bush increased his vote with only two groups between 2000 and 2004: women and Hispanics. Bush got 49 percent of white female voters in 2000 and 55 percent in 2004. Of his 3.5-percentage-point margin over John Kerry, Bush's increase with women accounted for 2.5 percentage points. The rest came from a nine-point increase among Hispanic voters: from 35 percent in 2000 to 44 percent in 2004. We believe that Hillary is uniquely capable of getting those swing voters back to the Democratic column.

    Hillary's candidacy has the potential to reshape the electoral map for Democrats. Others argue they can add to John Kerry's 20 states and 252 electoral votes by adding Southern states, or Western or Midwestern, depending on their background. Hillary has the potential to mobilize people in every region of the country.

    Certainly she could win the states John Kerry did. But with the pathbreaking possibility of this country's first female president, we could see an explosion of women voting -- and voting Democratic. States that were close in the past, from Arkansas to Colorado to Florida to Ohio, could well move to the Democratic column. It takes only one more state to win.

    Finally, for those who believe that Hillary's electoral chances are tied to ideology, not leadership qualities, we believe that she is squarely in the mainstream of America. Some people say she is too liberal, some that she is too conservative. We think her 35 years of advocacy for children and families and her tenacious work in the Senate to help ensure our security after Sept. 11 and to help middle-class families will serve her well. We think she represents the kind of change the country is yearning for: a smart, strong leader. She would take the country in a fundamentally different direction: closing deficits, not widening them; expanding health care coverage, not shrinking it. Fighting terrorism without isolating us from the rest of the world.

    We don't know whether Hillary will run. But we do know that if she runs, she can win.
  2. Hillary is on the wrong side of the illegal alien question. I've seen Carvel with a garbage can over his head before and it looks like he's headed that way again.
  3. Who can say what her position would be come election time...

  4. Pabst


    She delicately uses the prefix illegal when she speaks of problematic immigration. She also uses vagueness such as "Clearly, we have to make some tough decisions as a country, and one of them ought to be coming up with a much better entry-and-exit system so that if we're going to let people in for the work that otherwise would not be done, let's have a system that keeps track of them."

    So it's the same ambiguous bullshit as everyone else. I LOVE polspeaks talking points on the issue.

    1. I'm (insert ANY politician) against illegal immigration.
    2. I favor making America's borders and ports strong.
    2. America needs immigrants to keep our economy strong.
    3. We're a nation of immigrants.
    4. But since we have no intention of giving these "guests" citizenship we must "keep track" of them.

    Maybe a national tattoo will work. Something like "INS Approved".
  5. July 03, 2006
    Why Hillary Ought To Be Watching Joe

    From my ""Capital Games" column at

    Here's something that Hillary Clinton should care about: Senator Joe Lieberman today announced that if he is defeated in the August 8 Democratic Party primary he will run as an independent to seek his Senate seat.

    Why should HRC care? Lieberman is being challenged in Connecticut by Ned Lamont, an antiwar multimillionaire Democrat whose campaign is based almost entirely on his complaint that Lieberman has been a cheerleader for George W. Bush's war in Iraq. While Lieberman is ahead in the polls, Lamont has narrowed the gap to the point that it is conceivable that Lamont could topple the incumbent. But, as Lieberman said on Monday, that will not keep him out of the race, for he will start to collect the 7500 signatures he needs to run as an independent. Lieberman had to make that decision now; the filing deadline for independent candidates is the day after the Democratic primary. Lieberman could not wait to see what happened in the primary before preparing to run as an independent.

    Is this a sign that Lieberman fears he will lose? Maybe not. But is a sign that Lieberman is not willing to risk losing. And he will have to bear a political cost for crafting this two-track strategy. Lieberman's announcement will probably not help him among Democratic primary voters. He is essentially saying that if the party choses someone else to be its senatorial nominee, he will work to defeat that candidate. That's not showing much party loyalty--and it's possible some Democrats in the Nutmeg State will take exception to his threat.

    But back to Hillary. This primary race is--or should be--important to her and other Democrats because it shows how the war can split the party. And that could become the dominant theme of the 2008 race for the Democratic presidential nomination. If the war in Iraq remains a mess a year-and-a-half from now, the Democratic presidential primary will be all about what to do in Iraq. Many Democratic primary voters will be looking for an antiwar, pro-withdrawal candidate (Senator Russ Feingold?) and reluctant to vote for any candidate who has supported the war and stood by it (as has Hillary Clinton). Clinton will certainly have the deepest pockets of any of the candidates--and money usually beats all else (though that didn't work for Howard Dean in 2004). But if Hillary Clinton is on the wrong side of the war (as far as most Democratic primary voters are concerned), the race will be a bitter and divisive one.

    Clinton has not cozied up to Bush the way Lieberman has on the war. She has tried to have it both ways by criticizing the execution of the war but not the mission. Such nuance--or hedging--may get her through the nomination process. But, then again, it might not--if there are enough Democrats PO'ed about the war and her support for it. So the junior senator from New York will be paying close attention to what happens next door in Connecticut. The outcome of this contest may be as important for the future of the Democratic Party as any race in November.
  6. Lieberman Misses Point of Opponents

    By: Joe Conason
    Date: 7/17/2006
    Page: 5

    Whenever Senator Joseph Lieberman complains that he is the target of a “single-issue” challenge by upstart millionaire Ned Lamont, the three-term incumbent proves he doesn’t quite get what is happening to him. It is true that the Lamont campaign began as a protest against his slavish support of the war in Iraq. It is untrue that growing anti-war sentiment is the sole reason for his peril in next month’s Democratic primary.

    That he would dismiss the disastrous occupation as merely “one issue” suggests how remote he is from his constituents—the great majority of whom now view the war as a costly strategic and moral error that should be concluded as soon as possible. He sounds equally detached from that failed policy’s awful reality when he proclaims that “the situation in Iraq is a lot better” than a year ago.

    Connecticut’s voters are not obliged to prove their “moderation” by ratifying his bad judgment.

    Yet the war issue alone probably would not have threatened him, as anyone who listened carefully to his critics might learn. After 18 years in the Senate, his fervent insistence that he is a lifelong devotee of “progressive causes” and his endorsement by major liberal organizations only seem to mask his accommodation with Washington’s conservative status quo.

    Mr. Lieberman dutifully recites his opposition to “tax cuts for the rich” and “privatizing Social Security,” and his support of “universal health insurance” and “affordable health care.” When he utters those phrases, unfortunately, they ring hollow to many rank-and-file Democrats.

    Actually, the syndrome afflicting him is found among entrenched veterans of both parties, especially those who appear more concerned with connections and contributions than values or ideals.

    Now Mr. Lieberman has long been known to cultivate the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, which provide jobs in his home state and contributions to his campaign fund. But he has literally been sleeping with one of their Washington representatives ever since his wife Hadassah joined Hill & Knowlton last year. The legendary lobbying and P.R. firm hired her as a “senior counselor” in its “health and pharmaceuticals practice.”

    This news marked Mrs. Lieberman’s return to consulting after more than a decade of retirement. “I have had a life-long commitment to helping people gain better health care,” she said in the press release announcing her new job. “I am excited about the opportunity to work with the talented team at Hill & Knowlton to counsel a terrific stable of clients toward that same goal.”

    It would be uplifting to imagine that Hill & Knowlton—after spending the past decade as a defendant in tobacco class-action lawsuits because of its role in propaganda disputing the deadly effects of smoking—is now devoted to improving everybody’s health. More likely, the firm remains devoted to improving the profits of its clientele, which has historically included Enron, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, the Saudis, the Kuwaitis, American International Group and Boeing.

    When a Senator’s wife works for one of the capital’s largest lobby shops—and others have—appearances tend to matter. In this case, something happened immediately that didn’t look very good.

    Mrs. Lieberman signed up with Hill & Knowlton in March 2005. The firm’s clients included GlaxoSmithKline, the British pharmaceutical giant that manufactures flu vaccines along with many other drugs. In April 2005, Mr. Lieberman introduced a bill that would award an array of new government “incentives” to companies like GSK to produce more vaccines—notably patent extensions on other products, at a cost of billions to governments and consumers.

    That legislation provoked irritated comment by his hometown newspaper, the New Haven Register. In an editorial headlined “Lieberman Crafts Drug Company Perk,” the Register noted that his bill was even more generous to the pharmaceutical industry than a similar proposal by the Senate Republican leadership. “The government can offer incentives and guarantees for needed public health measures,” said the editorial. “But it should not write a blank check, as these bills do, to the pharmaceutical industry that has such a large cost to the public with what may be an uncertain or dubious return.”

    No doubt Mr. Lieberman would do the bidding of the pharmaceutical lobby whether his wife was on their payroll or not, but this kind of coincidence is best avoided by a man who lectures the world about morality and ethics.

    The Senator has demanded that Mr. Lamont release his income-tax returns, which must mean that he plans to do likewise. His latest financial disclosure lists Mrs. Lieberman’s compensation from Hill Knowlton only as “more than $1000.” Presumably his tax returns will show how much more—and measure his distance from the people he represents.
  7. pattersb

    pattersb Guest

    Hillary has no leadership abilities, has ZERO likability factor to the vast majority, and sounds kind of funny when she attempts to talk with any passion.

    ==> No chance.

    This will become very evident the moment she takes her campaign nationwide.

    She couldn't lead a boy scout troop out of the woods. (Just Bill around by the d*ck)