Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Anyone But Clinton. Six weeks ago I had resigned myself to the idea of Hillary Clinton becoming President. I wasn't thrilled, but I was actually thinking that it wouldn't be all that bad. I have flip-flopped on that one. And I don't think I'm the only one. In fact, I think a fair number of Democrats are coming around to that view too.

I'm not saying that Clinton won't win the nomination, but I now believe that she's the only hope the Republicans have of winning the White House in November and avoiding a complete drubbing in the Congressional elections. And to my surprise, Bill is her biggest problem.

A lot of people had developed a sort of rose-tinted view of Clinton's years in office thanks to the failures of the Bush Administration. All along I assumed that Hillary would do the hard slogging of the campaign and Bill would stake out the high moral ground, stay above the fray and just allow himself to be the feel-good guy. I thought he'd be her biggest asset.

But, no. He's been bad-tempered, angry and almost self-destructive. Almost every day he manages to remind the American people of all those negative aspects of his character that they'd half forgotten. In fact, I can't help wondering if his ugly public performances are due to his desire to see Hillary lose. He must know he's harming her campaign. And, if she can't reign him in now on the campaign trail, what awaits us when she's President?

I assumed Bill would provide Hillary with the charm she lacks. She has the grasp of policy, etc., but unfortunately for her the differences between her and Obama on the issues are fairly negligible. She has a little more experience, but not enough to get excited about, but at this stage I can't see what else she has other than asking people to vote for her because she's a woman. Obama excites people in a way Hillary Clinton can only dream about. Even Republicans find Obama an attractive candidate.

What's funny is that large numbers of Republicans are pretty down-hearted about the campaign this year. They don't like their candidates or their chances in the fall. They're expecting to lose. Yet, Bill and Hillary can change all that.

If she wins the nomination, the Republicans will be energized no matter who their candidate is. And, thanks to the manner of her primary campaign, I actually think she'll have managed to have simultaneously de-energized a large chunk of the Democratic Party. She might still win, but it will be close. It sure isn't the safe bet it looked in December.

On the other hand, if Obama wins the nomination it now seems certain that he'll emerge from the primary campaign looking like he just escaped a pack of wild dogs. His clothes will be in shreds and he'll have scrapes and bite marks all over him. He'll be wounded, which might be just enough to let the Republicans escape the pasting that looked certain in December.

Anyone But Clinton - I wonder if the Democrats will get the message on time.