Skip to comments.Winning over the Hillary haters
Posted on 12/06/2004 9:29:20 AM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection
In a race for the US presidency, Hillary Rodham Clinton faces a problem that has dogged her since her days as first lady: an entrenched bloc of voters who simply do not like her. And her experience as a senator in New York shows that despite vigorous campaigning around the state since taking office, she remains an extremely polarising figure who is unable to sway these voters to her side.
One poll after another shows that roughly one in three New Yorkers has an unfavourable opinion of her, a statistic that has not changed since she took office in 2001.
Nationally, her standing is worse, even as her aides prepare for what is emerging as a possible bid for president in 2008. Roughly four out of 10 Americans disapprove of her, according to a recent poll by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
The voters who disapprove of the former first lady are numerous and unshakable, and they have been around so long that they even have a name in political circles - Hillary haters.
She offered a revealing answer when asked recently whether Republicans might be hoping that she becomes the Democratic presidential nominee in 2008, since it would give the Republicans a divisive figure to run against.
Clinton, who studiously avoids answering questions about her presidential ambitions, quickly responded. "We have a president who is quite polarising, and very successful, I might add," she said during an appearance on NBC's Today.
Her high unfavourability ratings may help explain why a discussion has begun among her advisers over whether she should skip a Senate re-election campaign in 2006 and instead focus all her energies on a race for the White House.
The most obvious challenge that Clinton faces in running for both jobs is a compressed political calendar that leaves her very little room to manoeuvre: the Iowa presidential caucuses are held just 14 months after election day in 2006.
If she sticks to the schedule that John Kerry followed during this presidential election cycle, she would have to give a clear indication of her desire to run for the presidency a mere month after her Senate race is over.
But that seems unlikely, some political analysts say, because the timing would be awkward.
Yet some people close to Clinton maintain that the tight calendar should not be a problem because she is such a big celebrity, and any presidential campaign she embarks on would instantly attract a huge amount of attention.
But other Democrats and independent political strategists say that her celebrity is a double-edged sword: while she does enjoy a level of name recognition other politicians crave, she has earned a reputation that, fairly or not, makes her a polarising figure among moderate swing voters, an important bloc nationally.
"There's work for her to do nationally," Marist Institute director Lee Miringoff says. "Beyond her appeal to the Democratic base, there is a need for her to build bridges to reach out to moderate Republicans and independent voters if she hopes to succeed."
The so-called Hillary haters became a harsh reality of political life for her when she ran for the Senate. Republicans built much of their campaign on trying to tap anti-Clinton sentiments in New York state.
No one factor accounts for the deep misgivings many voters express for Clinton, but to some degree it stems from a view that has taken hold, fairly or not, that she is a hugely ambitious woman with a liberal agenda that was most significantly illustrated in her efforts to overhaul the nation's health-care system during her husband's presidency.
She sought to counteract the damage posed by the anti-Clinton feeling by spending nearly two years travelling around the state in a calculated effort to force voters to re-examine what, if anything, is so objectionable about her.
Many Democrats and independent political strategists contend that she may have to do much the same nationally.
"To be successful nationally, she will have to defuse some of the negative feelings," Miringoff says. "One way to attempt that is to replicate what she did in New York with her listening tour."
A Democratic political strategist on Capitol Hill agrees. "She may have 100per cent name recognition," the strategist says. "But it comes with a certain amount of baggage."
Even after her victory in New York, Clinton has taken nothing for granted, continuing to travel around the state constantly, as if running a perpetual campaign.
The strategy has yielded dividends: her popularity rating among New Yorkers reached a notable 61per cent in September, compared with 38per cent in February 2001, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll.
Her approach has been particularly effective with undecided voters. The number of people who told Quinnipiac pollsters that they had no opinion of her has been dropping - to 7per cent in September from 33per cent in February 2001.
But tellingly enough, her tireless efforts around the state have done little to assuage the misgivings of many. The number of New Yorkers expressing an unfavourable opinion of her has been about the same - roughly one in three - in the 22 polls Quinnipiac University has conducted since 2001.
But her advisers contend that the poll findings have, in fact, been very good news for her, saying that many undecided voters became supporters once they got to know her.
"Show me a poll where she has lost ground," said one Democrat who is close to Clinton. "You can't. They don't exist. She has been gaining supporters both in New York and nationally since she took office by virtue of her hard work."
I have disliked her since day one. Hillary is the absolute, perfect personification of evil and the antithesis of everything that defines our precious country.
IMHO, she and her husband may well be the Anti-Christ.
Those who wish her to be POTUS are mentally weak and easily lead.
Well, yes, no kidding. Here we had an unelected, self-proclaimed "co-president" and these folks wonder why people regard her as ambitious? Meeting in secret with a hundred or so equally unelected "experts" to take effective control over the entire healthcare industry nationwide, top to bottom? This doesn't bother people? Good grief!
My beef with Hillary is that she doesn't seem to have discarded the socialistic leanings of her college years, and that placing her in a position to attempt wide-scale social engineering and put catastrophic redistributive economic policies in place would be a political disaster. Nor is it simply a matter of differing economic and social opinion - I do not think that a woman capable of torturing and crushing Billy Dale and of expropriating a thousand highly confidential FBI files for political blackmail (which was subsequently done ruthlessly in at least the cases of Hyde and Gingrich) is someone respectful enough of the powers of the office or responsible enough for their proper restraint. She isn't up to it, and "I want it" simply isn't sufficient reason for giving it to her.
Look, Hillary is not going to be elected president. She is a senator, and only three people have ever been elected directly from the senate(or the congress as a whole) to the white house - and they all died in office.
Next, the conventional wisdom, at this point, is that "Hill" has a lock on the nomination. Baloney. First of all, conventional wisdom, this far ahead of a major political event is oftentimes incorrect; secondly, she is a highly unlikable person. Shouldn't we just admit it: Hillary is gifted in her ability to make people seethe; thirdly, the last time ANY Democrat from an eastern, northeast state won the White House, it was Jack Kennedy in 1960. It should absolutely clear to the Dems that eastern liberal Democrats no longer can win national office. We shall see.
Perhaps Hill should move back to Arkansas?
The end for Hillary is nearing. Honest.
"No one factor accounts for the deep misgivings many voters express for Clinton, but to some degree it stems from a view that has taken hold, fairly or not, that she is a hugely ambitious woman with a liberal agenda that was most significantly illustrated in her efforts to overhaul the nation's health-care system during her husband's presidency."
Giant hurl! There is one factor -- she's a lying, communist skank. How hard is that to understand?
"To quote her fully, she was walking by, stopped, pointed at me and said, "There is that asshole again!""
The mental picture I have is one of the scene in "Invastion of the Body Snatchers" (the one with Donald Southerland) when pod people spot someone who is still human.
I prefer the word malevolence.
Caution: societies under extreme duress do strange things--e.g., giving an Austrian paper hanger command of the Wehrmacht. Like a hurricane, Hillary can only derive strength from unstable conditions. Until then, she must wait and wait.
Hillary! has all of Bill's liabilities, but none of Kerry's warmth.
If she's getting 33% unfavorables in liberal New York, what do they think she will get in the red states?
I personally know two Democrats (both women) who held their nose and voted for Kerry (they would have preferred Howard Dean) because they did not want to see Hillary in '08. One woman believes Hillary is a phony who should have divorced the sexist, politically moderate Bubba and then come out of the closet to prove that she is a true liberal. The other Dem woman believes the Clinton minions like McAwful and Begala sabotaged Dean and Kerry's chances of being elected.
These women are die-hard lefties who mock Republicans every chance they get, (they don't do it around me anymore) but somehow they suspect what a lot of us conservatives have known all along about the Clintonistas.
I doubt Hillary can change their opinions of her without offending and losing the so-called moderate, independent voters out there who don't trust Her Heinous or her obnoxious, philandering hubby.
However, knowing the mindset of most left-wingers, I would bet that these two would hold their noses and vote for Hillary in 4 years if she were the Dem POTUS nominee.
***"One way to attempt that is to replicate what she did in New York with her listening tour." ***
Her "Listening tour" in NY State consisted of her NOT listening to anyone. No one could ask her a question unless it was submitted ahead of time, and nothing she did not want to answer was allowed.
Her opinion was never known on many issues.
Our local senior center asked for a volunteer to video tape her visit here, and my adult son volunteered. He went over to the center early and acquainted himself with their camera. Hitlery's SS men refused to let him do the videotape because her speech was only for seniors. What lies did she want to cover up?
I hope they grew careless covering their tracks, for I strongly suspect they are involved.
Really? She called you an asshole in person to your face? That is a major honor. I envy you. Please tell us more about it.
This is during the HillaryCare push and when the "HealthCare Express" was barnstorming through the country starting in the Northwest. When it hit Texas, it was already a disaster with more people showing up to protest against Hillary than those in favor.
A friend of mine owned a junkyard and body shop. He had an old bus that had been wrecked so we painted it up like the HealthCare express, but left the broken windows and dents.
We were parking it at every stop she was to make and those protesting Hillary were drawn to it. A glimpse of it even made CNN.
After a few stops as we folled her across Texas, Hillary became familiar with us and our faces. Mine more so because as the windiest of our group I was the spokesman by default.
At the last Texas stop, Hillary was walking to the podium and went by our bus. I was leaning against it. When she made eye contact with me she stopped dead in her tracks, pointed and said, "There is that asshole again."
A couple of her Secret Service detail then came over to me and asked me for ID and asked what I was doing. My answer was that I was exercising my Constitutionally protected right to peacefully assemble.
A quick side note. When I was busted a few years later my lawyer was astonished that I had a Secret Service file along with the DEA, Customs and FBI files he expected.
"Sorry, But I am part of the group of Hillary Haters."
So 'sorry' to hear that. Personally, I 'LOVE' Hitlary--(we are to love the sinner and hate the sins)....so as a good Christian and American citizen I HATE EVERYTHING SHE DOES AND EVERYTHING SHE STANDS FOR and I will do anything in my power to thwart her!
Details, please! We wanna see where you were wounded in the war!
Excellent! See my #54
"Hillary! has all of Bill's liabilities, but none of Kerry's warmth."
I regret having to disagree with you. That woman can turn on her fake compassion at a Mother Theresa level. The elitist useful idiots eat it up. The DUmbed-down masses at the other end of the DU voting spectrum fall for it....
Do you have any photos of your 'bus' you can post? ROTFLOL!
Way too low. We've got some educatin' to do before Nov 08.
That's just her, before she talks policy - that will push the numbers to 6 out of 10.