Sunday, March 13, 2005

Candidate Profile Thirteen: Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has been running for President for close to a decade. If you had to choose one moment that solidified her determination, it must have been that cold winter day when Drudge leaked the Newsweek Lewinsky story. You can never say with certainty what goes on in another's head, but it seemed that from then on, the dynamic changed between her and her philandering husband - 'alright,' you can imagine her thinking, 'you've humiliated me in public for the last I get my payback'. It doesn't take a genius to see that theirs is now a marriage of convenience, but it has definite advantages, as we'll discuss shortly.

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton - official Senate bio

Unofficial 2008 pages here and here

Resume - graduate of Yale Law School with honors; former member of the Impeachment Inquiry staff of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee; faculty, University of Arkansas law school; former First Lady of Arkansas for 12 years; Arkansas Woman of the Year, 1983; Arkansas Mother of the Year, 1984; chair of the Task Force on National Health Care Reform, 1993; best-selling author; Grammy Award Winner (no joke - see here); former First Lady of the United States, 1993 - 2000; currently junior Senator from New York, 2000 - present

It's difficult to maintain objectivity about a Hillary candidacy; she's a hero to millions, and millions detest her. In the words of Kris Kristofferson, she's '...a walkin' contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction.' Her accomplishments are undeniable; so is her ambition, but it takes more than desire to win the White House (see Kerry, John Forbes). Let's get to the meat of the matter:

The Pros:
  • Hillary would walk away hands down with the vast majority of the feminist vote;
  • Ditto the pro-choice vote;
  • She's got access to huge amounts of fundraising sources due to her ties to her husband and Hollywood;
  • Her name recognition is through the roof;
The Cons:
  • See The Pros, above.
Of course, I'm being a bit facetious. Hillary has impressed me with two things: she's proven to be a quite capable Senator (and that's a big rebound from her disastrous Health Care Reform leadership), and she's been much more moderate than her reputation would suggest, declining, in most cases, to kowtow to the Radical Left. The lady's no Howard Dean, and that's to her credit.

It's indisputable that Hillary plans to run; it's also undeniable that it will be ugly. All the old rumours and innuendo (Is she a lesbian? Was she having an affair with Vince Foster? What about that incredible options market performance? And there's a little thing called Whitewater...) would surface and the attack dogs would have a field day. Of course, there's a real possibility that going too negative would backfire (ask Newt Gingrinch).

Because of the nice, big target she presents, there is a sizable crowd on the Left that would prefer that she stay out of the race. In the absence of a dramatic change, though, she will run; and as of now, given her fundraising and establishment contacts, her ambition, her genuine accomplishments, and the almost palpable feeling that 2008 is 'her year', she's the one to beat.


UPDATE 04/25/05 6:58 p.m. central: See here...


UPDATE 06/12/06 5:37 p.m. central:
The conventional wisdom still has Hillary as the favorite; in deference, I'm improving her odds.


UPDATE 07/04/05 10:54 p.m. central:
Hillary may win this nomination by default is some other heavy hitters don't start making a move soon...


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