Hillary Clinton made the case at the latest Democratic debate that she was the best candidate because the Republicans hate her. I got to thinking about the rationale behind this logic and whether it holds up to scrutiny. True enough the candidate the Republicans talk about the most is Hillary, at their last debate her name came up more than even the war in Iraq. Is that because she is the frontrunner or because she is the most formidable candidate or something else entirely? If the Republicans attack you the most does that mean they fear you the most, as Hillary depicts or is it as Obama and Edwards stated, it is because they believe she is the most unelectable candidate? In my opinion it is a little of all of these.
Mr. Edwards and Mr. Obama almost stumbled over each other in offering a different interpretation of the Republican attacks on Mrs. Clinton than the one she offered.
“Part of the reason that Republicans, I think, are obsessed with you, Hillary, is because that’s a fight they’re very comfortable having,” Mr. Obama said. “It is the fight that we’ve been through since the ’90s. And part of the job of the next president is to break the gridlock and to get Democrats and independents and Republicans to start working together to solve these big problems.”
Mr. Edwards offered a similar line of attack. “I mean, another perspective on why the Republicans keep talking about Senator Clinton is, Senator, she – they may actually want to run against you, and that’s the reason they keep bringing you up,” he said, adding, “I think that if people want the status quo – Senator Clinton’s your candidate. ” NY Times
Despite her baggage, Hillary Clinton will be a formidable candidate. According to the latest poll numbers she has the majority of democratic women and independent voters. While her unfavorable numbers are still high, she continues to consolidate her lead with democratic voters. The real unknown I think will be whether women will continue to support her in her efforts to write history and become the first woman commander in chief. So far according to the numbers, they are solidly in her camp. The other question is will Republican and independent women crossover to support her bid?
I think part of the reason that the Republicans are attacking Senator Clinton is because she is the frontrunner and appears to be her party’s nominee. They are laying the groundwork of what will be the most contentious general election ever. It’s funny how every general election is becoming the most contentious and negative campaigns on record. I wonder if we will ever return to civil elections or even if we ever had any? Plus, attacking Hillary is a cash cow for Republicans, just the mention of her name gets the wing-nuts blood boiling. Much of the venom and hatred from the far-right appears to be irrational, but could be damaging during a close general election.
I think another reason for the attacks is the far-right believes that Hillary’s negatives will be too much for her to overcome and they sense a real weakness. I think that the wing-nuts are overplaying their hand on this issue and that Senator Clinton’s negative numbers will shrink significantly enough by November to do less damage than they presume. I also believe that a lot of the negative ads will backfire against Senator Clinton with women voters, many of whom will view them differently when aimed at a woman versus a man. I think that the Senator is savvy enough to use this to her advantage during the campaign. Many of the wing-nuts do view her as their best chance candidate to keep the White House and I think a lot of the pundits and talking heads have been trying to either plant positive Hillary stories or demonize her to ensure she gets the nomination.
The real issue for the Party and the progressive net-roots community will be is Senator Clinton our best chance to win? There are two months before the first voting starts and we begin to find out. I am curious, if Senator Clinton is the nominee, will the Party and net-roots rally around her and support her candidacy or will there be a voter backlash? Even though she is not my first choice, I would support the senator over any Republican candidate. I believe the majority of Americans will do likewise. I don’t believe there is anything in Hillary’s negatives that remotely compares to the negatives currently held by the Republicans and their continued support for the bankrupt policies of Bush.
While I believe that a Hillary Clinton presidency won’t be as unifying as maybe some other candidates, I do believe she will be a step down the road that will lead to a real progressive candidate. Until enough people get tired of the same old crap, the same old crap will stay on the menu. So, is Hillary Clinton the best candidate? Probably no, but she could be a lot worse.
As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand. – Josh Billings