Thursday, August 7, 2008

Would Hillary Clinton Been the Better Fall Candidate?

Posted by Teresa at 10:43 AM
With Sen. Barack Obama leveling off on the polls, I think it's a good question
to ask: Would Hillary Clinton been the better choice to lead the Democrats
to a win in November? Victor Davis Hanson thinks she would have been the
winning candidate:

Barack Obama and John McCain are running neck and neck.


Impossible?


It would seem so. Republican President Bush still has less
than a 30 percent approval rating. Headlines blare that
unemployment and inflation are up -- even if we aren't,
technically, in a recession. Gas is around $4 a gallon. Housing
prices have nosedived. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, has been
indicted -- another in a line of congressional Republicans
caught in financial or sexual scandal.


Meanwhile, the GOP's presumptive candidate, John McCain,
is 71 years old. The Republican base thinks he's lackluster
and too liberal.


So, everyone is puzzled why the Democratic candidate isn't
at least 10 points ahead. It seems the more Americans get
used to Barack Obama, the less they want him as president --
and the more Democrats will soon regret not nominating
Hillary Clinton.


After such a tightly contested primary the question was likely to present itself. I
think it's very possible she would have been the stronger candidate. During the
primaries polls showed that she beat Sen. Obama on the Commander in Chief question.
I also think the American people associate good economic times (perhaps unjustly or
justly) with the Clintons. So that might issue might have given her a commanding lead
on that issue. I also think she would have been much better talking off-the-cuff than
Sen. Obama.


Of course, the Clintons have their setbacks as Ed Morrissey points out:

Well, maybe. After a season of Barack Obama as the nominee
and his serial gaffes and contortionist flip-flops, it’s easy to forget
that Hillary could have been even worse for the Democrats. Early
on, Republicans salivated at the thought of having Hillary as a
fundraiser, tapping into the palpable hatred of the Clintons to
fire up the base regardless of who the GOP nominated to run
against her. Thanks to the long track record of the Clintons,
they had plenty of ammunition to remind people just how
tawdry their first occupancy of the White House turned out to
be.

Yes, the Clintons have a long history of scandals. The one that immediately comes
to mind is the Monica Lewinsky scandal. However, Hillary is not at fault for that;
that was Bill Clinton's affair. Also, I'm curious how much that issue will resonate
today. We've just spent the past seven years fighting terrorism, we're engaging in
two wars and other important issues. I wonder how many people look back to the
whole impeachment trials with such triviality. In fact, it might even remind people
the vicious way the GOP can go after someone.

I think the main issue Hillary Clinton would have had to fight against is the whole
family dynasty conundrum. And, yes, that would have been a big problem to overcome.
Also, let's face it she ran a poor campaign in the beginning. After a couple of staff
changes her campaign went into full gear but it was too late by then.

If Sen. Obama loses (although I think his chances of winning are good), the Democratic
Party might have second thoughts about how their primary played out. I also believe
if the Democrats suffer another lose they will tell the MoveOn.org's of their Party to
take a hike and that would be a good thing for them and America. I say this because
I think one reason why Hillary Clinton is not the nominee right now is because
MoveOn.org did not want her to win.

I think at the end end of the day both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton proved not
be the strong candidates we once thought they were. Perhaps, the question shouldn't
be 'Who would've been the stronger candidate in the fall?' but 'Why after being kept
out of the White House for years they still couldn't come up with a home run candidate?'
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