By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jul 16, 2005
She thinks she's right, but wishes she were wrong. I think she's wrong, but wish she were right. Lefty Democrat Amy Sullivan argues that Hillary Clinton is probably unelectable:
In the face of this momentum, someone has to say it, so here goes: Please don't run, Senator.
Don't get me wrong. I'm a longtime Hillary Clinton fan. As in a "back when she was still wearing headbands" fan. I have found her warm and utterly charming in person; more than that, she understands the challenges facing Democrats in a way that few others in the party do, and her ability to absorb policy nuances rivals her husband's. ... But -- at the risk of getting myself permanently blackballed by her loyal and protective staff -- while Clinton can win nearly any debate that is about issues, she cannot avoid becoming the issue in a national campaign. And when that happens, she will very likely lose.
The thrust of Sullivan's argument is that the ideological reaction to Clinton is so intense that too many votes are already locked-in. The polls say that 40% of the electorate would never vote for Hillary in any circumstances and that 40% would vote for her over any conceivable Republican opponent. To win the presidency, Hillary has to pocket the greater part of the mushy 20% that's still undecided. Sullivan believes this is improbable, contending that "Hillary Clinton still has far more skeptics than fans in the press corps" and that her unfairly imputed Nurse Ratched persona is a voter turn-off.
Would that it were so. To my mind, Mark Steyn is right -- alas! -- that Clinton has the ability to make the rhetorical "moves to the middle" necessary for Democratic victory in a presidential campaign. The core constituencies -- gays, teachers, and pro-abort absolutists in particular -- instinctively trust her cynicism; that is, they trust her to adopt any pose tactically attractive to The Enemy without selling them out. Hillary could join the National Rifle Association and not lose a vote. Remember too that, unlike John Kerry, she won't be presenting herself for Holy Communion in Catholic churches, which means the USCCB can breathe a sigh of relief in 2008 and refocus our civic duty on gun safety measures and wetlands reclamation. What she wins back of the Catholic vote might just make the difference.
I hope I'm wrong. I hope Sullivan's not.
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