Can Senator Clinton Get Elected?

Senator Hillary ClintonSenator Hillary Clinton has been widely viewed as a front-runner for the 2008 Democratic nomination for President of the United States. But I have long held the view that however much she is loved among Democrats, she lacks the appeal necessary to win the general election.

A new report in the Associated Press agrees with this analysis, saying that many Democrats are now acknowledging that Senator Clinton may not be able to win a general election.

While Hillary Rodham Clinton tops every national poll of likely 2008 Democratic presidential contenders, the New York senator is dogged by questions of “electability” — political code for whether she can win enough swing states to prevail in a general election. . . And for activists eager to recapture the White House after eight years of George W. Bush, electability remains a crucial yardstick by which Clinton, especially, seems to be measured.

We’ll have to wait and see whether she can improve her prospects by 2008. I am doubtful. I have a hunch that she’ll be standing in the shadow of another senator, one from Illinois.


  • Martin Downes

    He says that their education and influences followed similar trajectories (Yale, Methodist activism, followers of Saul Alinsky). Oden gives a list of common friends and mentors. He ends with this comment:

    “When I look now at Hillary’s persistent situational ethics, political messianism, statist social idealism, and pragmatic toughness, I see mirrored the self I was a few decades ago. Methodist social liberalism taught me how to advocate liberalized abortion and early feminism…”

    His comments are on p. 84-5

  • Paul

    The problem with Hillary is that most democrats and left-leaning independants would stay home. Jerry Falwell is absolutely right. Not only would she (obviously) not get a single vote on the right, but most independants wouldn’t vote for her based on the fact that she’s (however inaccurately) been tagged the face of liberalism, and most lefties wouldn’t vote for her because she’s simply the McCain of the Democratic Party.

    As for Obama, as much as I like him, and as much as I am glad that I voted for him, I hope he doesn’t get the nod either. One look at how Tennessee treated Harold Ford tells me that no matter how great of a candidate Barack Obama might be, he won’t win a single state in the south. Not because he’s a democrat, but because he’s black. Don’t even try to tell me any differently.

    I think Evan Bayh might be the dems best shot. He’s got the midwestern charm and sensibilities, while still being a centrist democrat who could unite the country on lots of issues.

    Here’s to hoping that the democrats have any sense of real world politics come the primaries in 2008.

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