Hillary’s Not Dead Yet

At the beginning of this election campaign back in early 2007 the general consensus was that since there was no V.P. running on the GOP ticket, the natural incumbent candidate would naturally be Hillary Clinton.  As a result, it was thought that she would have an easy time through the Democratic primary; easily casting aside a young, inexperienced, one-term senator and a washed-up, old hat (John Edwards).  While it would be the Republicans in an all out brawl taking their race to the convention.

Well, it turns out that conventional wisdom was off, way off.    The GOP resolved itself fairly quickly and bloodless (despite whatever ridiculous reason Huck has for staying in), a result I largely attribute to Rudy Giuliani’s worst run campaign in the history of Earth.    

Whereas the Democrats are embroiled in a big mess of a fight that to many appears to be clearing up with Barack Obama the apparent front runner.   There are many pundits and bloggers out there today, following another big Obama win in Wisconsin, who are saying that Obama has it all but locked up and the Clinton’s are done.  Those statements may be a bit premature.

We now have two weeks before the next set of primaries occur when Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont vote.  There is a lot than can happen between now and then.  First off, if there is one thing we all have learned is to never say the Clinton’s are dead, until they are dead.  Second, three of the states appear to favor Hillary over Barack, one of them is a push.

The RCP averages for Texas and Ohio, the two big prizes, have Hillary with a fairly comfortable lead in Ohio and a small lead in Texas.   Considering the momentum Barack has had for the last month and the near god-like following he has, it is amazing Hillary continues to do as well as she has.  These next two weeks are huge for her and if she manages them right and keeps Bill on a leash she may come out March 4th alive and well. 

Certainly the two smaller states, Vermont and Rhode Island, would logically be Hillary states.  While this is far from guaranteed (Barack won Connecticut), those would be two nice wins, but Hillary desperately needs at least a split in the big two.  Both Texas and Ohio seem like a more natural Hillary fit.   My impression of Ohio is that it is a good cross-section of America with people of all backgrounds and a pretty educated populace.  My guess is that Ohio voters are more apt to vote on issues and pragmatism than on emotion.  If this is the case, Hillary would be the choice due to her (seemingly) more moderate positions and her somewhat (though questionable) better qualifications, not to mention the Clinton machine behind her. 

Texas is harder to judge.   I could see this being a very friendly Obama state, especially in east Texas where there are more black voters.  However, it seems that hispanics are breaking for Hillary and if they break in a large section towards her, it could give her the election.  Ultimately, east Texas will go for Barack, west Texas for Hillary (including San Antonio) with Houston and Dallas largely split, but I thing (as of now) Houston will go for Barack and Dallas too close to call. 

The wildcard is this two week break.  The Clinton’s will be ruthless.  They will throw everything at Barack to try to bring him down.  If Barack bites and tries to get into a mud war with Hillary, it could be to his demise.   Barack has created this scary and troubling god-like following by appearing to rise above the traditional rancor and backbiting common in campaigns.  No person in the history of American politics (I’m exaggerating) has gone further while saying nothing than Barack Obama.  His support is almost purely an emotional support and emotions are fickle and change with the wind.  If he gets himself muddy and stoops to the Clinton’s level, he could lose that fire and his bubble may burst.  

The things that undecided voters need to consider as they decide between the two are electability, who will be the best for the country, and can you imagine what their Presidency will amount to. 

I am not a Democrat and will not vote for either in the general election, so allow me as a Republican to answer these questions from my perspective.  First, Hillary is going to have the toughest time being elected.  Not only is she despised by half of the population from the get-go, if she ends up pulling out the nomination, she will have done it in some manner that will deeply alienate many true Obama supporters.  I would not be the least bit surprised if many of those voters, just to spite Hillary, voted for McCain; many democrats view him as a strong moderate Republican that they can live with.

The question of who will best for the country is difficult, but I would argue that Hillary would be.  She is more moderate on the War than Obama, understands economics better, and is generally more qualified.  I also think that both Obama and Hillary would do decent jobs representing the U.S. to the world.

As for imagining them as President and analyzing what kind of President they would be, I strongly give Obama the edge here (this may seem contradictory with the previous paragraph).  Hillary is a bad person, her husband is a bad person.  She treats people poorly and is enamored with power; she has no moral compass whatsoever.  Despite her more acceptable policy stances and experience, a Hillary presidency would be one term and mediocre.  She would ultimately compare with Bush-41 in the Presidential rankings.   Obama on the otherhand seems to be an honorable and honest person.  I think he respects the office of the Presidency and would not do anything to shame it.  He has a lot of potential.  His presidency will either be a big success, putting him in the top 15 all time or a huge disaster.  If I were a Democrat I would take the risk with Obama.

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10 Comments

Filed under Barack Obama, Candidates, Democrats, Election 2008, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Politics

10 responses to “Hillary’s Not Dead Yet

  1. William Jackson

    I’m an Independent.

    A big question I have, is whether it’s really wise to take a risk with Obama at this time in our nation’s history? H. Clinton may be smeared in the media, but then she’s been in the spot light for years. Obama has not. We cannot be so sure whether he is a “bad person” or not.

    With H.Clinton, the Voters know what they are getting. With Obama, they do not. To my mind, this is a huge risk and once elected, there is no turning back.

    I do agree with you that the Obamamania is purely built on emotion and not intellect. So it goes for the vast majority of American Voters.

    Further, I’m not so sure Obama would be equally adept at dealing with foreign affairs. As you said, “The question of who will best for the country is difficult, but I would argue that Hillary would be.” I agree.

    You also said, “…if she ends up pulling out the nomination, she will have done it in some manner that will deeply alienate many true Obama supporters. I would not be the least bit surprised if many of those voters, just to spite Hillary, voted for McCain”.

    I agree, but I also believe the reverse would be true.

    Many reports these days from bloggers are that the media bias has shifted from Clinton to McCain – and the belief is that there has been some mysterious concerted effort to Divide the Democratic Party. This, apparently, is why many Clinton supporters have blogged that they would de-camp to McCaine, rather than Vote for Obama.

    My vote is with McCain anyway, so it’s a mute point…

  2. @ Swint

    Interesting.

    1) Regarding your Ohio assessment. Columbus fancies itself as the San Francisco of the mid-west. I’m not sure that would qualify itself as pragmatic or intellectual. Although, it’s a low likelihood that those professing such homosexual love for Columbus will actually get out there and vote anyway.

    2) I think that Hillary understands personal economics, meaning she understands what it takes for her to come out on top. I don’t believe she has the ability to do that for the country, as that would require her to compromise some of her own personal character that we’ve seen from her and Bill over the last 16 years. That won’t happen.

    3) Hillary is not more qualified, I would argue that she is less qualified to be the president that will best represent the American people. Contrary to popular belief, a lengthy political resume shouldn’t make one more qualified to be president, it makes one more apt to be poisoned by the self serving likes of federal politics.

    What would be best for our country is that we start to move away from some of the staples of American society that are ultimately stifling progress on many fronts. Social Security, Medicare, Special Interest politics, legislating according to the union lobby, etc. Hillary has enveloped herself in that world for nearly two decades, she knows no other way of political life hence will remain status quo (as you said, a mediocre president).

    Hillary is not that person, neither is McCain. The only option left that could bring the winds of change needed in DC is Obama. I’ll sacrifice a more socially liberal supreme court justice or two if it meant technological advances to remove our dependence on foreign oil, medicare and tort reform (even if that means universal health coverage).

    We need someone that is inexperienced enough to have original ideas, and someone that is bold enough to undertake those big ideas. Barack has Oprah on his side, perhaps she’ll be able to influence him to thumb his nose at the status quo and gut Washington. Gutting Washington were the sweetest words I heard on the campaign trail from any one candidate. Unfortunately, that candidate is no longer in the race and has endorsed McCain. Too bad.

    Hopefully the voting populace realizes that allowing the south to hijack the conservative movement is counter-productive to conservative ideals.

  3. William Jackson

    Rational Zen – you were making some good points until you brought Oprah into the mix – after that I couldn’t take you seriously at all.

  4. Quite Simply Obama is not good for this country, The Clintons are not good for this country, and I think that either one of them would go to the UN first off and start making apologies to the world for the ‘behavior’ of the US….making us look bad, very bad.

    They have had to ‘explain’ what they have said when public pressure was put on them, how are they going to stand up to any foreign leader when they keep changing what they mean when the people don’t like it…..when the leader doesn’t like it they will back-track and change the meaning….

    Tryant Frowns

    Clinton or Obama: I didn’t mean it that way, let me explain.

    America will be looked at like fools.

    We can not elect either of these inexperienced people into office. Might as well vote in a Dallas Cheerleader. At least we can have someone nice to look at when we have our pep-rallies (Obama rallies) and while the world is falling apart.

  5. @William:
    Rational Zen – you were making some good points until you brought Oprah into the mix – after that I couldn’t take you seriously at all.

    Hopefully you can learn to not take yourself so seriously. Interestingly enough, it’s that mentality that will probably keep me from voting for John McCain, whom you support.

    Oprah jokes aside, as you said my points are very valid (and spot on might I add 😉 )

  6. @Christopher:

    ……..I think that either one of them would go to the UN first off and start making apologies to the world for the ‘behavior’ of the US….making us look bad, very bad.

    Do you not believe the US to be capable for doing things wrong, doing things that we might need to apologize for?

    I hate the UN as much as the next guy, but as a country it’s folly to pretend that we don’t do/haven’t done things that are quite heinous in the world.

    The next logical question would be is McCain good for the country? Will a stubborn McCain ignore the advisers around him and press on with military strategies that might be frowned upon by our allies? Have we not learned the danger in doing that over the last few years?

    This election will be about compromise, it will be about the lesser of three evils. The question will then become, what will you republicans be willing to compromise when making your selection? What will we libertarians be willing to compromise when making our selection?

  7. Swint

    Zen, wait until you read the post I am about to write about Obama. It should stop you in your tracks, it stopped me.

    By the way, Barack may have original ideas but:
    1. We haven’t heard them yet, he never gets specific
    2. They aren’t that original, they are likely ideas that have been around for a while but not in the mainstream
    3. Just because they are original doesn’t mean they should be implemented. If they are socialist ideas, he can keep them. If they strengthen capitalism and minimize government interference, I welcome them.

  8. RE 1:

    He has been very specific with his ideas on the science/technological front. Those just don’t get very much air time with the media, if it’s not about abortion, gay rights, religion or war it’s not worth reporting.

    RE 2:
    Original is a different kind of word I guess. You could substitute it with fresh, re-vitalized or whatever you’d like. Al Gore didn’t have the “original” idea of the Internet, he just claimed to be the inventor 😉

    RE 3:
    If they strengthen capitalism and minimize government interference, I welcome them.
    You know that I’m very much a small government advocate. However, there are some areas that will require government interference in order to progress.

    Example: The auto industry. Up until this point the government has effectively stifled progress in that arena. We are still utilizing a design conceived in the late 1800’s for our primary mode of transportation. This is due to the government’s pandering towards and industry that has no real competition.

    There is no free market for a viable replacement to the combustible engine because the government doesn’t allow there to be one. Even to the extreme that governments are suing their constituents for back taxes because they send vegetable oil through a diesel engine. Why do they sue them for that? Because of the tax revenue they are missing out on by that consumer not purchasing diesel from a fuel pump.

    Government shouldn’t interfere in a perfect world, but in a world where they have been interfering and hindering progress it’s going to take an original idea to allow capitalism to take over once again. The damage has been done.

  9. Swint

    I agree with you regarding government interference. I would not ever support full and complete independence from the government, however it needs to be less than it is now. The government seems to be dabbling in everything.
    Some people even quip that China has a free’er (??) market than us.

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