Hillary Clinton is Toast

Wednesday, January 25, 2006
I’ve been saying for awhile that Hillary Clinton is unelectable as leader of our country. She may not even run in the primaries. A CNNGALLUP poll now reports that only 16% of American voters are committed to Senator Clinton.

Why have I been so confident in my prediction? There are two main reasons. The most important factor is the rapid decline of the MSM’s influence. Hillary Clinton cannot campaign as herself. Her media allies must be able to help her con the American public. It is already early 2006. There is little chance that the legacy media will retain sufficient influence to be of major assistance in two and a half years from today. Secondly, Mrs. Clinton must have the activists within the Democratic Party unhesitatingly behind her. The hard core leftists, alas, will refuse to do so unless she capitulates to their extremist demands. That, of course, will destroy any opportunity she might have of attracting middle of the road voters. Senator Clinton is caught in a hopeless Catch 22 predicament.

There are also concerns that Hillary Clinton simply rubs people the wrong way. Her liberal friends often have to bite their tongue when she irritates them. The rest of the nation is not likely to endure these personality flaws. This is not a warm woman and presidential campaigns last a long time. New York is a solidly blue state. There are not enough of them to get to 270 electoral votes. Yes, the United States will eventually elect a woman president---but it won’t be Hillary Clinton.


Fresh Air said...


You are correct. Hillary is, far from being a political savant, in fact a political idiot. Horsrerace Blogger Jay Cost wrote trenchantly on this very subject last year.

RogerA said...

David--concur with your assessment--Bill was the politician in the family; Hillary was baggage and not much more than a prop to Bill.

And she has left a record of political pronouncements thats all over the map and sure to irritate ANY constituency from the moonbats on the left to the moonbats on the right. She makes John Kerry look focused.

David Thomson said...

“Bill was the politician in the family”

Bill is definitely a better candidate. He also had the backing of the legacy media which allowed James Carville to con the American people with the “It’s the economy, Stupid!” nonsense. The American economy is 1992 was in pretty good shape. And yet, President Bush 41 was severely hurt by the false fears of economic trouble. This is very unlikely to occur in 2008. Two and a half years is an eternity in our modern world. Major newspapers like the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times are already rapidly losing subscribers. Help Hillary Clinton get into the White House? They may very well be unable to help someone get elected dog catcher!

David Thomson said...

Hillary Clinton got herself into hot water saying how she "could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas.” I strongly suspect that in her heart of hearts---she holds the typical American woman in contempt. At the very best, Senator Clinton perceives these adult females as victims. A short political contest allows one to hide some of their flaws. The grueling ordeal of a presidential campaign, however, is an entirely different kettle of fish. One is bound to slip up and reveal their true feelings.

Rick Ballard said...

When McAuliffe/Clinton rejiggered the Dem primaries to front load (an "early choice" would "save the party's money for the general") the result was the opportunistic John Kerry who put out maximum effort to gain the nomination and then proved to be a real dud as a candidate. Hillary can get the nomination by doing the same thing. Consider that Howard Dean even had the delusion that he could do the same thing.

Could she then take the general? I agree that it is unlikely. It would take every bellhop, porter and skycap in the universe to haul her luggage around and the rise of importance in the internet (vide Swiftvets) makes it a certainty that her dirty laundry will be dug out of every single bag and hung out for public display.

There are some Reps that she can beat though. John McCain springs to mind (yes, I know about the polling). McCain isn't wrapped quite as tightly as one would wish for a candidate for the presidency, nor is he even one quarter as intelligent as he perceives himself to be. Additionally, the Swiftboat vets success in opposing Kerry could have very serious repercussions to a McCain candidacy. Toss in a cracking economy, which could well be the case given that the interval between recessions rarely exceeds seven years, a lessening in the perception of terrorism as a problem and Hillary becomes a viable candidate.

That's why it would be very helpful if Giuliani delivered an early knockout by running for the Senate this year. That race would also tend to suck all the energy out of the MSM regarding other races and could give Reps a 2%-3% edge accross the board.

Never say never in politics. Nixon might have said it in December of '63 but he proved himself wrong in '68.

Knucklehead said...


You make good points.

Jay Cost's piece was very interesting.

I remain unconvinced that Hillary will not get the Dem nomination in '08. I am marginally comfortable that she can't win but I would not bet the farm on it.

Cost's article is a very good one about style and how important it is to politicians. Style can, at least to some extent, be learned and improved. It can also be turned on its head under the right conditions and with a little help from one's friends.

The basic premise Cost lays out is that that Hillary's style is terrible and his evidence of that is the widespread (nearly universal) perception of her, but friends and enemies alike, as 100% politically calculating. I think his case is slightly overstated but essentially accurate.

The question becomes can do one or both of two things to a sufficient degree. They may or may not be mutually exclusive - Idunno. Can she successfully alter the general perception of her as wholly driven by political calculation. I think she can accomplish this to at least some degree through careful coaching and management of her TV persona as well as carefully positioning herself as having "grown" and "learned" and "become so much more aware of what people need" rather than being "a woman constantly trying to help and protect her husband".

The second thing that she can potentially accomplish is to convince enough people that a defect as a valuable feature. Yes, I have a cold and calculating streak a mile wild but you know what, that's precisely what the nation needs right now and here's why! I was a bit young to remember his style well but I seriously doubt Nixon gave anybody the warm fuzzies.

Last, but perhaps not least, regarding Cost's position is the matter of the importance of "opponent". Hillary paraded her way to her NY Senate victory exactly as Cost says - terrible opponent, good ideological fit for the constituency (he's RIGHT ON that the notion that upstate NY is "red" is nonsense - NY is a blue state with some purplish pockets, but blue overall even outside of the metro corridors), and whatever the third thing is. There's no guarantee that the Republicans will put up a good candidate. If she can get through the primary she may face as terrible a candidate as Lazio was. Dole and Bush 41 were competent and qualified but they both pretty awful candidates.

Now, to your specific points DT. The MSM is certainly in decline. Expecting the MSM to crash and burn and be out for the count by '08 is wishful thinking. The decline is slow and sure, but surely slow. The MSM can still make "the Apprentice" and "American Idol" standard topics of conversation. They can still sell a sow's ear as a silk purse to a huge portion of the American public. They can put lipstick on the Hillary pig, just you watch.

Getting past the loons who seem to be in control of the Democrat party at the moment is probably more problematic. But when all is said and done I would not count on the Dems to fail to nominate whatever candidate on the basis of "this one can win" rather than activist ideology. If Hillary convinces enough people she has a better chance to win than whoever else seeks the nomination they will forget their gripes and nominate her.

I'd like to be convinced otherwise but I'm not. I would find it very refreshing if the Dems nominated someone who I didn't feel was an outright danger to the nation. I really would like to face election night free from actual fear that the Dem might win. That won't be the case for me if Hillary gets the nomination.

RogerA said...

And I know I suggested Bill was the better politician in the family, lest we forget Bush pere would probably have been elected if it wasn't for Ross Perot.

Knucklehead said...


I almost get the same sickening feeling that I get thinking about McCain as a candidate as I do when I think of Hillary as one.

McCain deserves my respect for his service to my nation and he deserves my sympathy and admiration for his endurance through the Hanoi Hilton years. But I'm pretty convinced he left there without some important piece of himself and, therefore, I'd rather not have to vote for him for POTUS. He'd get my vote over Hillary 'cause I think we'd survive him.

BTW, isn't McCain too old for a serious run at POTUS these days? I don't think the country is in the market for septuagenarians POTUSes these days.

Duffy Nichols said...

Great post. I have linked to it and made part of my "It Takes A Potemkin Village" series, dedicated specifically to Mrs. Clinton. I think you may be underestimating the residual influence of the MSM, however.

Rick Ballard said...


I believe that you are correct about McCain's age but he is the current Rep placeholder of the moment - as is Hillary for the Dems.

Others have aspirations for the office but none of them are really pushing for publicity. The fallacy of McAuliffe's early primary strategy is simply too stark to ignore.

Duffy - I'll steal that Potemkin Village line gladly - it makes her the Potemkin Village Commissar which fits her to a T.

Fresh Air said...

I think the thing that Cost really nails is the notion that Hillary just isn't likeable. You have to go back to Dick Nixon to find an election where the less-likeable candidate won, at least in terms of public perceptions (Bob Dole, IMO, would be much better company on a desert island than the Willster. Though most people have no idea what a humorous guy he is.)

Likeability could also doom McCain; Guiliani just seems to me a sunnier, more optimistic person. McCain always seems to have a trace of bitterness about him. Perhaps its well-earned bitterness, but nonetheless.

I don't know much about Mark Warner, but he would be a good dark-horse choice. There are probably a few others from the West as well. Can't really see another East Coast liberal getting the nod.

Then again, I couldn't imagine half the stuff the Democrats have been doing over the past five years.

vnjagvet said...

I tend to agree with the analysis here. But I wonder whether the Clinton machine will smash all other Democratic contenders with the "politics of personal destruction" of which they routinely accuse others, but are so practiced in themselves.

Who on the Democratic horizen has the muscle to withstand that organization?

Knucklehead said...


Went over to your site. Thanks for the pointer to the Alito discussion at Althouse. Very interesting.

In the future, however, please don't give DT any encouragement or credit. It just isn't done, bad form ;)

Rick Ballard said...


The likeability factor is one of my weaknesses. The first time I saw Bill Clinton my absolute first though was "Now there's a cheap hustler." Lots of people appear to disagree with that assessment, correct though it may be. Once the Clinton's Hollywood groupies got a hold of them and taught them how to dress, stand use makeup their image improved greatly. Now when I see Bill, my thoughts run to "There's a well dressed cheap hustler." I never got his "appeal" at all.

If Hillary keeps her mouth shut she's no longer terribly offensive. That's why we'll be seeing lots of pictures of her from '90-'93 on opponents sites if she runs.


I don't think there is a real "Clinton machine". If there were, Dean wouldn't be running the DNC off a cliff. I actually think that the Dem '08 primaries will be a free for all. Kerry, Gore, Clinton and others to be named later will all be flinging mud with abandon. In that sense, a short primary season makes sense but it also means that the contenders will be throwing mud as soon as the starter's pistol fires - and probably well ahead of time. It ain't gonna be pretty.

Knucklehead said...


You're correct about the likeability factor. There's no accounting for what people see when they look at other people.

Like you (but not as charitable) I took one look at Bill Clinton and thought, "Now there's a greasy scumbag!" Nothing ever changed my opinion of the guy other than some very mild softening (he can't be as harmful as he once was now that he's aging fairly rapidly). Clearly there were many people who saw a worthwhile human being.

In contrast I see a basically decent man when I look at GWB. The sight of him makes other people's skin crawl.

I don't get it.

I will say, however, that I seem to have inherited a fairly good sense about people from Dear Old Dad. I don't often get proven wrong about people.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

The campaign has already started. I got a market research call yesterday from some Dem-funded polling organization (they were cagey about who was paying the bills). They asked something along the lines of "Don't you believe that American children have the right to healthcare regardless of income level?". They're doing the best they can to ask whether you favor motherhood, but this kind of target-marketed research done in Boulder, CO is obviously a first pass at testing the waters to see if nationalized health care can be pushed as an issue. First check to see whether the most left-wing Democratic areas of the country will support you, then move out from there.

Obviously Hillary is deeply associated with nationalized health care.

Obviously this is a real issue that resonates with lots of people and makes the Republicans vulnerable. I for example have a job I don't like all that much and if it weren't for the health care issue I would probably quit tomorrow. As it is, moving into my 50's, I can't see how I can pay for health care without being gainfully employed. I would like to start my own business but feel I can't take the risk. Below 50, you're generally too healthy to worry about it, after 65 you're covered by Medicare, but in between you're in serious trouble if anything goes wrong.

Peter UK said...

Wouldn't it be rather nice if Hillary had a proper day job or actually ran something before standing for President?
Why is it the jobs of Presidents and Prime Ministers,de facto CEOs of immense corporations, seem to be open to anyone regardless of qualifications?

Rick Ballard said...


I remember when Clinton bought the lab (Buddy, I think) as a prop and tried to walk him. The dog acted like an extraterrestrial was dragging him to the pound. Dogs aren't very smart but they know some things that many people can't figure out. Labs love everybody - except for...
Considering his end, he had his "owner" pegged.

CF said...

Really ken observations, Rick..McCain scares me BTW.

CF said...

keEn observations.

MeaninglessHotAir said...


It's a good question and one which I could not possibly begin to answer. Out of hundreds of millions of people, there must be countless millions who are better qualified than she, yet there she is. (And this doesn't apply to her uniquely--why GW Bush? Why Dole?) Everyone agrees that she's the obvioius choice. Why, praytell? Certainly it's a social process that makes no rational sense. Somehow it reminds me of the Emperor's New Clothes but I'm not sure how....

Peter UK said...

Perhaps you should start judging her by the way she behaved when she was in the Whitehouse,on the bright side she might bring the towels back.

vnjagvet said...


The "machine" I am referring to is the operative or propaganda gang like Begala, Carville, Blumenthal, et al.

Of course, the more I think about it, many have become somewhat tarnished like Berger, Ickes, etc.

But Hillary also has a very committed feminine mafia which is every bit as ruthless and unprincipled as Bill's gang.

I am pretty sure there is going to be some dirty fighting within the democratic ranks.

It won't be pretty.

RogerA said...

I, for one, am positively salivating at the prospect of the ax fight that is going to be the democratic presidential campaign in '07-08. I simply can't wait!!

On a TOTALLY separate note: Charlie: in you 4:15 post you do raise an issue that I think will be more salient in the next presidential campaign: health care. I have no idea what to do about it and I even studied it in my doctoral program. I learned enough NEVER ever take a job as a hospital administrator (and I have already had one offer). I am fortunate in that I have TRICARE--the military health care program--most folks, however are not as lucky as I and were I to have to get health care at my age (64) I simply couldnt keep my current lifestyle. And I do have to enroll in Medicare starting in July of this year. I think health care will be a BIG issue in the coming presidential primary because the leading edge of the baby boom is there now. Its no longer an abstract discussion.

RogerA said...

PeterUK--you raise such an interesting question, to wit: why indeed are the most important jobs in the world lacking really good job descriptions--and tend to be filled by folks so bereft of any skills!

RogerA said...

Oops--I guess there is a job description for President of sorts: to have attained the age of 35 and be a natural born citizen of the United States.

Peter UK said...

"to have attained the age of 35"
Ah! there you have her.Is this the reason you have never had a woman President?

Rick Ballard said...


If she brings back the spinners she brings memories to the fore that she would rather have everyone forget. The Clinton's are really very shoddy pols. They had eight years to get the party's act together and the disarray that we see today is a direct reflection of how miserably they failed. Ramming Terry McCauliff down the party's throat was a classical stupid move. McCauliff is a bagman, he wouldn't know a strategy if it bit him in the butt. He did rack up additional dough for the Thief in Chief, though. If it weren't for the feminists that you mention she would truly be just as dead politically as David asserted.

jedrury said...

Why Hillary will not be president?
1.) She is despised by a large number of Americans [51% according to this poll]. The media may love her but the people do not.
2.) She is a horrid campaigner.
3.) She has a horrid past.
4.) She is married to the ebola virus of a husband/past president.

flenser said...

"Hillary Clinton is Toast"

She always falls buttered side down.

(Somebody has to fill in for buddy and doug around here.)

CF said...

She has a political tin ear. And has never even had to run a real campaign.(Rick, how do we get Giuliani to run for Senate?)

Rick Ballard said...

I can't read Giuliani at all. He doesn't appear to have the enormous ego that many pols of his stature carry around. He's super smart so I would think that he knows his chances of taking the Rep nomination at the top of the ticket are close to nil. Would he be satisfied with the VP slot? I don't know. He could have it if he wanted it but if he doesn't want it and wants back into politics, then it's going to be the governor slot, beat Hillary or take out Chuckie in a couple of years. Chuckie is the easiest mark because if he goes against Hillary she's going to draw all that feminist support (and money) that Vnjagvet mentioned.

I just don't know if he wants to run again.

vnjagvet said...

I heard the Begala/Carville team last night plugging their book on Fox. Their shtik was another assortment of what the Republican administration and Congress are doing wrong or not doing at all.

IOW, all looking backwards with no positive plans for the future. No affirmative agenda whatsoever.

If they are the braintrust for Hillary, it is another blackmark against her chances.

I believe what the country is looking for is a positive, forward looking personality of the Reagan, JFK, DDE, first term FDR type.

David and the gang:

Who fills that bill?

I think Rudy does, among all of the personalities being considered.

I can't think of anyone else now on the scene. Look to dark horses in the Governor ranks. Anyone available?

Or is there a sleeping Lincoln out there? He was virtually unknown nationally in January, 1858.

Knucklehead said...


There doesn't seem to be much doubt that Gulliani carries a major ego. It seems to be largely directed, however, toward proving himself by doing the right thing; developing of vision of what "better" and "good" look like and then setting off to relentlessly pursue that. He also has the knack for not letting the idea of "perfection" stand in the way of improvement. He also has another very important knack and that is, "start at the beginning". He knows that one has to get rid of obstacles before one can pursue a larger vision. Can't make big dents in big crime without making big dents in little crime (the "broken windows" theory of law enforcement). Can't fix a school system without going to war with boards of ed... that sorta thing.

I personally think he is one of the finer political leaders running around our landscape in the recent past. The question is whether or not he wants, at this stage of his life, to take on larger challenges or is content with different challenges and less pain.

Social conservatives will not like him due to his positions on issues such as abortion. Rudi is not one to go tilting at windmills - he will pick his fights. Abortion is not a fight the social conservatives can win and they just won't settle for small gains such as parental notification and the elimination of that portion of abortion that get's up and presses it's nose to the shop window of infanticide.

I think Rudi recognizes that the nation, taken as a whole, actually wants some of what social conservatives are against and doesn't want some of what the libertarian "conservatives" are for.

My take on Rudi's political "ideology" is that he believes government serves two basic purposes:

1. maintain law, order, and security so that the people can pursue happiness
2. give people what they want within the bounds of fiscal sanity and with #1 always in mind.

I'd vote for the guy. I'd really enjoy seeing a Rudi-Condi ticket. I don't know enough about the nooks and crannies of party politics to know if that is even remotely possible, but I'd love to see it.

markg8 said...

So Hillary "cannot campaign as herself and her media allies must be able to help her con the American public."

Sounds a lot like Sam Alito to me. Or George Bush himself in 2000. Unlike you David I don't doubt Hillary's sincerity. She's willing to suffer the slings and arrows from the grassroots at places like KOS when it'd be easier to throw red meat to the crowd. But in the end they will coalesce around the candidate in 2008 even if it's her.

The fact that the NY Republican party can't find a viable candidate to run against her in 2006 which would already be a major boon to national fundraising amongst the hate Hillary crowd speaks more loudly to me about her chances.

Peter UK said...

Molly Ivins won't support Hillary