2.07.2007

The 'Virtually' Unbeatable Clinton

Carrie Sheffield and Jim VandeHei of The Politico today claim that the GOP is beginning to accept the inevitability of a President Hillary Clinton.

I'm not aware of any such acceptance--and I, indeed, wonder if these writers aren't being subjected to more than a little spin.

That's not to say that they don't have a point or two. For example, It's true that Clinton has the most formidable political organization of any candidate. Actually, hers may be the most formidable political organization ever fielded in America--with it's deep reach into media, advocacy groups, unions and aligned political campaigns.

It's also true that after GWB, Americans are looking for a fresh start. The GOP coalition is fraying with libertarians and social conservatives pulling in different directions. And voters want a president more focused on improving things at home--which has never been the GOP's strong suit.

The problem with the GOP is not that Clinton has a big organization and can win--and she can win. No, their problem is that they can't beat her with what they currently have to offer. More war, more ant-immigrants and more inattention to domestic needs is not a winning program no matter who the GOP or Democrats ultimately make their respective nominees.

Instead coming up with a new and more promising agenda, the GOP politicos seem obsessed with complaining about Clinton. Here's Tom Delay's warning to conservatives:

"If the conservative movement and Republicans don't understand how massive the Clinton coalition is, she will be the next president. If we don't use everything available to us and motivate our base, the people that believe in us."

Of course, some don't believe that the GOP is really all that scared of Clinton, and it's rumored that party honchos prefer their chances against Clinton. They figure that Clinton and her husband have so much baggage that she won't be able to get much more than 40% of the vote.

Even Democrats are also wondering why so much attention is being given to Clinton by the GOP so early in the campaign season. They're concerned that the GOP's public "fears" of Clinton is a ploy to get more democrats to rally to her support.

Here's what one Democrat has to say about this possible GOP tactic:

The gop dreams of Clinton getting the nomination because they know it will get all the voters of republicans out and keep half the democrats home. They know the loathing most left of total center despise this woman. I know of so many democrats who would stay home rather than vote for Hillary. And it is her machine that is trying to put out the word that she is inevitable and no one can defeat her. BS. She is peaking now due to name but, once the campaigns get going and voters are more familiar with Edwards and Obama I see them both overtaking her. One thing most dems feel if not outright dislike is a cool neutral to her. Hold your nose. They are excited about Obama and Edwards. So, while the pundit class buys into the Hillary machine spin of inevitability and the gop spin of fear in hopes that we would be dumb enough to vote for her, we, the real democrats will go about supporting our candidate of choice. vwcat