June 11, 2006


Hillary Clinton's character gap: She could learn a few things from Al Gore (Jonathan Chait, May 28, 2006, LA Times)

FIVE YEARS AGO, Al Gore was on his way to near-pariah status within the Democratic Party, scorned for losing the 2000 presidential election and then avoiding the public stage. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton was the toast of the party. She won raves from both parties for her deft and humble Senate debut, and the only question surrounding her future was whether she would scoop up the presidential nomination in 2008 or jump in four years sooner.

Today, it's all been turned on its head. Gore has never been more popular. I haven't seen "An Inconvenient Truth," but every liberal who has seems to walk out of the theater thinking — even before they think "global warming is scary" — that they wish Gore were president.

Meanwhile, New York magazine has published not one but two articles fretting about the prospect of Clinton winning the 2008 nomination. A recent straw poll in the liberal blog Daily Kos gave Gore an astonishing 68% of the vote, beating his closest challenger by more than 50 points. Clinton's result? Zero percent. (Actually, she pulled down 77 votes, or 1/100th of Gore's total, but it rounded down to zero.)

Mr. Chait is generally wrong but seldom this silly. The notion that Ms Clinton is in trouble because the most extreme segments of the Democratic party think she's too conservative is risible.

In America, where the election will take place, she's succeeding brilliantly, Poll majority say they'd be likely to vote for Clinton (Susan Page, 5/26/05, USA TODAY)

For the first time, a majority of Americans say they are likely to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton if she runs for president in 2008, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday. Fifty-three percent of poll respondents say they'd probably support Clinton in a run for president.

The survey shows that the New York senator and former first lady has broadened her support nationwide over the past two years, though she still provokes powerful feelings from those who oppose her.

Clinton commands as much strong support — but more strong opposition — as George W. Bush did in a Newsweek poll in November 1998, two years before the 2000 election. She is in slightly stronger position than then-vice president Al Gore, the eventual 2000 Democratic nominee, was in 1998.

"Over time, Clinton fatigue has dissipated ... and people are looking back on the Clinton years more favorably," says Andrew Kohut, director of the non-partisan Pew Research Center. In a Pew poll released this month, Kohut called former president Bill Clinton and the senator "comeback kids" because of their rising ratings.

"This may also reflect that she has been recasting her image as a more moderate person," he says.

What the phenomenon he writes about truly reflects is the complete disconnect of the Left from the country.

Hillary, Giuliani Top Gallup Poll (NewsMax, 6/09/06)

More than one-third of Democrats - 36 percent - named Clinton as their first choice with former Vice President Al Gore at 16 percent, former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., at 12 percent, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., at 11 percent. Gore ran unsuccessfully for president in 2000, while Kerry-Edwards formed the losing 2004 ticket for the Democrats.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 11, 2006 9:00 AM


You mar probably right, but wouldn't it be in our interests for Gore and Hillary to savage each other - and for Gore to win?

Posted by: Bruno at June 11, 2006 10:28 AM

Bruno, now your're thinking like a democrat. It's in our best interests for the better one(Hillary) to beat the would be dictator(Gore). Think of the country before your party.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at June 11, 2006 11:27 AM

Robert, Gore couldn't dictate a club sandwich for lunch. He's a stooge. Hillary is the real thing. A monomaniacal rhymes with witch who can and would rearrange us all to suit her world view.

Posted by: erp at June 11, 2006 11:38 AM

Thank you for your thoughts Mrs. Erp. Florida showed that Gore is not up to the task. He has compounded his crimes by pushing the idea that Bush stole the election. He is a cheat and a sore loser.
I think if he had been President, he would have tried diplomacy after 9-11, and used nukes in a fury when they continued to attack. An amoral, cowardly, weak man with bad judgement.
Hillary, while a solid Leftist, has shown she follows the rules in public.
The country can survive a bad President. It can't survive the destruction of it's traditions.
It's not contest between the two.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at June 11, 2006 12:05 PM

Gore can't run and wouldn't win.

Posted by: oj at June 11, 2006 12:23 PM

Rbt. You're right, but the lefties gave it their best shot during their finest hour -- our late unlamented cultural revolution. They failed largely because of Rush Limbaugh, Ronald Reagan and the internet, in that order.

oj. is right that Gore can't run and wouldn't win. The senatorial election probably won't be much of a bellwether either (unless she loses which is unlikely as she's running virtually unopposed).

I'm afraid we can't read too much into New York state voting patterns.

Posted by: erp at June 11, 2006 1:00 PM

And would HRC really be worse than John "we don't need no stinking First Amendment" McCain, especially with a Republican Congress?

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at June 11, 2006 1:43 PM

Sure, she'd be awful and he'd be quite good, but neither can do much damage.

Posted by: oj at June 11, 2006 1:54 PM

Hillary would be worse because nobody would have the nerve to tell her no. McCain would face plenty of opposition if he got too cute.

I sincerely hope it won't come down to one or the other of them.

Posted by: erp at June 11, 2006 4:39 PM

I'm not. But with the size majorities he'll have in Congress they can pass things like SS Reform and he'll get to sign them. He'll be a more willing Bill Clinton. She'd be a less.

Posted by: oj at June 11, 2006 9:05 PM

The Democratic primaries (and the months before them) are going to be a hoot. If Gore runs, which I think he will, there will be blood on the floor this time. Kerry will be throwing bombs at everyone, Edwards will be tossing his hair around and trying to play the senior stateman role, and Evan Bayh/Mark Warner will be finding out that the Joe Lieberman trail is a dead end. And Hillary? She will try to smile for 5 or 6 months without saying a thing, because every word will cost her votes (either in a specific primary or in the general).

How are they going to go from terror apologia in February to saying they would kill every terrorist in the world by August?

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 11, 2006 9:55 PM

How are they going to go from terror apologia in February to saying they would kill every terrorist in the world by August?

The same way they did the last time. The real question is how do they turn their sure 45% into 49+% by the first week of November, especially since it seems that most people are onto the October Surprise tactic.

The smart thing for St.Hillary to do is to hope/work for Keating-McCain to get elected with an implied understanding that he won't be running again. Twelve years of GOP control, and four years of President Ego and even she can run on "It's Time for Change", especially if Jeb is on the ticket then.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 11, 2006 10:14 PM