Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Hillary win is the Democrat's loss

By Libby

The latest polling in New Hampshire shows Hillary with the lead for the nomination. Unsurprising. I've never doubted she could win the primaries. She has the best machine and thanks to Bill, far superior political connections within the party. But if the party allows her to take the prize, they could well find they will lose the general for one very simple reason. Clinton Derangement Syndrome.

Her qualifications don't amount to squat when weighed in the general election. She will never take the south. Around these parts, the mere mention of her name causes spittle-flecked fits of apoplexy in otherwise sensible people, many of whom are thoroughly disgusted with the GOP. Trust me on this. The prospect of President Hillary will energize these folks into turning out in droves to vote against her.

The situation is similar to how Mitt Romney managed to eke a victory against Shannon O'Brien in the Massachusetts gubernatorial race. Shannon won the nomination through the party machine's machinations from the caucus level, all the way through to election day. The conventional wisdom suggested she was a good candidate. Well connected, both through her own career in state government and through her father, a jolly soul, who sat on the Governor's Council most of his life and was beloved by the electorate.

But the people didn't like her. She won the nomination in a bitterly contested primary battle that left in its wake many disgruntled voters who felt their will had been subverted by the party's power plays. And she came across as a brassy, bossy blond that didn't play well against Mitt's pseudo-suave glibness. She also made some mistakes in her political past that Mitt judiciously exploited. She lost the gullible voters to Mitt's slick PR campaign and lost many disillussioned progressives to the third parties. And the Democrats lost the governor's seat when they could have most probably have taken it with any of the other candidates, of which there were many.

The national Democrats should take a close look at what went wrong in that race before they anoint Hillary as the heir apparent to the White House. The party may have good, conventionally wise reasons to want to uphold the family dynasty but the people are ready for a change and they won't easily elect another Clinton.

Considering also that our electronic voting system is still firmly in the hands of GOP sympathizers, the Dems need a candidate with enough of a popular plurality to overcome any inexplicable software glitches. Hillary simply doesn't have it.

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