Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Hillary in the News

Yesterday I read two pieces where speculation for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential bid was the focus. An article by Jay Cost and found at admonishes: "Don't Overestimate Hillary." Cost argues that Hillary is not as smart as her supporters think she is, that Hillary is obvious and ham-handed in her maneuverings, and everyone knows (even her supporters) that all her moves are calculated and artificial. In other words, she lacks sincerity. I think Cost is correct with these assessments, and the fact that the only election she's won was in the bluest of states against a very weak opponent.

The second piece I read was actually speculating about Newt Gingrich's presidential aspirations, however, Gingrich himself has made the prediction that Hillary will be the Democratic nominee in 2008.

And today we see that Hillary has raised more money than any Senator (so far) for next year's senatorial races. This is not really news, as the Clintons have always been excellent fundraisers. But pragmatically speaking, money drives politics, and having a lot of money always helps. So that's something we shouldn't underestimate. And (for reasons beyond me) Hillary has a lot of passionate supporters, a luxury that John Kerry never really enjoyed. Yet Kerry garnered a huge number of votes, over 59 million total. So could a candidate with a very passionate core of supporters, aided by a huge war chest, win the presidency in 2008? Perhaps.

I'm waiting on my copy of The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy. But from the excerpts I've already read, the Democrats were highly organized last election. The various 527s are passionate, extremely well-financed, and highly motivated (sometimes by the wrong emotions, but motivated nonetheless). We know the MSM will be effusive with their praise for her. Time will tell if Hillary can put together a disciplined coalition. Despite her failings, I don't think we should underestimate her chances of becoming president. It will take a seriousness of purpose and a lot of hard work, but she can be defeated.

UPDATE: I originally intended to publish this piece yesterday (Tuesday), but I had problems with the Blogger mothership and it literally ate portions of this post. It's been reconstructed for the most part, but I just wanted to get it out rather than change all the dates and times, etc.
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