Skip to comments.The betting is on another Clinton presidency
Posted on 12/28/2007 2:51:07 PM PST by Forgiven_Sinner
THIS much is sure. Americans will elect a new president to replace George Bush on November 4th. The election process will be a weird mixture of the old and the new: of flesh-pressing in Iowa and guerrilla warfare on YouTube. The presidential election will dominate the nationsand the worldsattention, though the way the new president governs will also depend greatly on the outcome of the House and Senate elections which take place on the same day.
The primary season will be unusually front-loaded. The citizens of Iowa and New Hampshire will vote earlier than ever, probably in the first half of January. Other states have been tripping over each other to move their primaries forward. The season will also feature a new do-or-die date, February 5th, when a score of states, including giant California, will hold elections. The primaries will then give way to the longest general-election campaign in the history of presidential politicsand the most expensive, too.
It is a golden rule of American politics that every election season brings at least one big surprise. Nevertheless it looks highly likely that this will be the Democrats year. The Republican Party is in serious disarrayunpopular with the electorate, plagued by scandals, tarnished by incompetence and unsure which way it is heading. Five years ago America was evenly divided by party identification: 43% for each party. By 2007 the arithmetic had evolved to give the Democrats an advantage of 50% to 35%. By October 2007 Democratic presidential candidates had raised about 70% more money than their Republican rivals. Ohio, Virginia and Colorado are all leaning DemocraticOhio, which tipped the election for George Bush in 2004, decidedly so. Whoever wins the Democratic primary will most likely end up in the White House.
The betting is that that person will be Hillary Clinton. Mrs Clinton enjoyed a sustained lead in the opinion polls of 20 points or more over her nearest Democratic rival, Barack Obama, for most of 2007. She proved to be an impressive performer in debates and, to a lesser extent, on the stump, always in perfect command of policy details. She was also supported by the best political machine in the country.
This is not to say that she will be a shoo-in. Mr Obama or John Edwards could make a breakthrough in Iowa (where they are running neck and neck with Mrs Clinton). The Republicans may be able to rally around a Hillary slayer. Yet both Mr Obama and Mr Edwards come across as too lightweight (America tried lightweight in 2000 and came to regret it). Al Gore, should he change his mind and enter the race, is a proven loser (except when it comes to Nobel prizes and Oscars). The potential Hillary slayers on the right all have significant weaknesses. Rudy Giuliani, who tops Republican polls, has plenty of skeletons in his closet, including two previous wives and a pack of problematic cronies.
The possibility of Mrs Clintons return to the White House will dominate the political debate more than anything. If she wins, she will break all sorts of records. She will be Americas first female president. She will be the first president married to a former president (who will in turn be Americas first male first lady). She will be the second Clinton in a row to take the keys to the White House from a Bush. If Mrs Clinton is the candidate elected in November, members of the Bush and Clinton families will have been president for 24 years on the trot.
The battle for control of Capitol Hill will be even more one-sided than the battle for the White House. The Democrats will comfortably maintain a working majority in the House of Representatives: polls show the public prefer Democratic candidates for the House by 7-12 percentage points. The Democrats will also expand their majority in the Senate from what has been a measly margin (provided by two independents who normally vote with them). The defence will not hold
The Republicans will be defending 21 seats in the Senate compared with the Democrats 12. Several of these will be open seats thanks to a rash of retirements, including Pete Domenici of New Mexico and, belatedly, scandal-soiled Larry Craig of Idaho. They will have much less money than the Democrats. And they will be defending a tarnished brand, thanks to out-of-control public spending, presidential incompetence and a rash of sex-and-money scandals.
Even so, the Democrats will be lucky if they hit the 60 seats needed to give them a filibuster-proof majority. But they will win a majority of six or seven seats (including picking up seats in once-Republican states such as Virginia and Colorado). This will make it much easier for the Democratic president to enact their agenda.
What will this agenda be? The centrepiece at home will be health-care reform. Abroad the focus will be on repairing Americas fraught relations with the rest of the world (Mrs Clinton has already pledged to make her husband a roving goodwill ambassador).
Anyone who expects a dramatic lurch to the left will be disappointed. At least, the Democrats will not march as far to the left as Mr Bush and the Republicans did to the right. Mrs Clintons health-care reforms, for example, are modest and market-based. And on foreign policy she has carefully refused either to pledge herself to removing American troops from Iraq or to tie Americas hands when it comes to the problem of Iran. The November election, for all its drama and passion, will usher in a period of pragmatic caution rather than tub-thumping ideology.
They get the some large items right and miss important things--Mrs. Clinton endorsing market based health care? George Bush a light weight?
If Hillary wins , I agree with Boortz. She’ll be President Hillary Rodham. The Clinton will be gone ... in more ways than one.
Reason enough to vote against Hillbilly, even if she wasn't a witch.
If Hillary wins, then who do we blame?
Yeah, her name will be President Hillary Rodham.
The Arkansas Clintoon will have nothing further to benefit her.
Won’t happen in the first term
And just what the tarnation is the Economist basing this on. Ooooo....scandals. Why is Hildebeest a sorta shoo-in with these people when she hasn’t even won a single primary. And I’m sorry - the Republicans may carry some baggage, as they say - but Hillary brings with her years and years of illegal campaign funds, an impeached spouse, and newer slides by the minute.
I still don’t think she’ll win the nomination. Even if she does, I think B.J.’s appeal is over-rated and once she’s in the debate with a Republican candidate, they’ll wipe up the floor with her. Why the MSM likes the Clintons completely escapes me - they’ve done as much to destroy the dinosaur media’s credibility (with its kid-glove handling of B.J. and spouse) as the TANG memos.
That right there shows you what a load this article is.
“If Hillary wins, then who do we blame?”
The stupid, illiterate, non-reading American public.
We will only have ourselves to blame for not educating the illiterate, non-reading American public on Hillary, and the Republican Party for not being more cohesive in their approach in the Republican Primary, and forgetting who the enemy is.
When will the Repub’s realise that the nominee has yet to enter the race? Oh, yes!
Sounds like time to make a wager against the Hildebeast.
I’m afraid the American people think they must follow each failed Bush with an arrogant Clinton who will be proclaimed in advance as a certain success. They don’t know any better.
You will have GWB to blame!
It might not be that easy to get rid of the Controller-in-chief even by the, sick though it be, Commander-in-chief.
We blame many Pub purists who would not vote for Mitt, Fred, John or Rudy because of one issue voting. Then we blame a dumbed down voter who wants socialism and pacifist appeasement to keep ourselves Fortress American without the Fort! The media will, of course, vote and push Hil or the Empty Suit from Ill. no matter who wins that nomination. That will encourage dumb voters to zombie-like vote for her even if it means that we slowly become a Third World nation.
Not me, because Pres Bush is not to blame for the Republican party letting a few idiots like Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee act like they are relevant, so that the main contenders in the Republican Party can not take the reigns for the Next Presidential Election. I will blame you, Theodore R. for letting Hillary win, by bad mouthing President Bush and supporting lame Conservative Candidates.
Republican will be coming from around the Globe to vote against Hillary Clinton. The world has never seen such Republicans. I will pay for Republicans from China to come vote. If Democrats can get dead people to vote then I have the right to get people from China to vote.
Alas, it always happens: the failures of HST led to Ike; the perceived failures of Ike led to JFK. The failures of LBJ led to Nixon. The failures of Ford led to Carter. Carter’s woes led to Reagan. GHWB led to his good friend Clinton, etc. So why would 2008 be different?
History shows that all voters know to do is vote out the “ins” and put in the “outs”, and nothing really changes. Some just “feel” better than others at all times. Mencken had a quote about that in the 1940s.