Monday, February 13, 2006

It's Much Too Early To Count Hillary Clinton Out

"At the Lectern, Critics and Admirers Agree, Hillary Clinton Is No Bill Clinton," is a headline today on the New York Report page of the New York Times. And the article goes on to denigrate Hillary's speaking style versus that of her husband. It's the latest Hillary-bashing to appear, ranging from former presidential aide Dick Morris to a whole host of critics of a presidential campaign that remains more than two years away.

To put it mildly, I think it's too early to write Hillary Clinton off.

When she ran for U.S. Senator from New York, Mrs. Clinton turned out to be a persuasive campaigner. She did better than expected in traditionally Republican upstate, she worked hard in her campaign, and she has established herself as a prominent, hardworking member of the Senate.

So why is it that she draws so much negative ink? I suspect it's because her political opponents fear her more than dislike her.

Some political families, the Bushes, the Kennedys, the Roosevelts, the Tafts in Ohio seem to draw as much invective as Abraham Lincoln, and yet, in the end, he fared fairly well in public opinion.

At this moment, we have little knowledge under what conditions the 2008 Presidential campaign may unfold, and it is only speculation who will be among the most potent candidates.

Yes, Hillary Clinton, is working to become such a candidate, but in the end, like Mario Cuomo several times, she may decide not even to run.

The New York Times today, in the article by Raymond Hernandez, says she is not as inspiring a public speaker as Bill Clinton.

So what? Jimmy Carter was not a very good public speaker when I followed his 1976 Presidential campaign, yet it does not seem to have kept him from the Presidency.

As a Republican, I do not find Hillary one of my favorite politicians. But I like her better than Bill. I like her open mindedness on the War on Terror and her support of the U.S. military. She has traveled to Iraq, she has become a friend of Sen. John McCain. In short, she is preparing herself far better on foreign affairs than her husband ever did.

We'll see something in the mid-term elections this year, but I suspect the American people will feel, after eight years of George W. Bush, that it will be time for a change. In that case, as I say, it is far too early to count Hillary Clinton out.


Anonymous john stodder said...

I agree. I'd never been a fan of Hillary's, but among the current crop of Democrats she strikes me as the most prepared to serve as President. If she can get nominated (i.e. if she can walk through the minefield the left has created for the Democratic primary campaign), her clear qualifications for the presidency will make her a strong contender against any of the possible Republicans. The other Democrats all look like near-certain general election losers to me.

If her husband ran against her, she would lose in a landslide. But luckily, she won't have to face that.

2/15/2006 4:09 AM  

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