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A USA-Today / Gallup poll published a couple of days back sees Hillary Clinton rapidly increasing her lead among Democrats.

The poll shows her at 48% compared to Obama’s 26%. This is a huge disparity, and questions are beginning to be asked about whether Barack can really win the Democratic nomination.

The trouble is – he has to.

Looking further into the poll results we see that Giuliani is ahead of any Republican contender by 12%.

Big deal for the Democrats – well, yes.

Asked to express a favorable/unfavorable opinion of Clinton, 48% of respondents were favorable, 49% unfavorable. Only 3% had no opinion. This is a staggering statistic, if only because it shows just how little wiggle room she has with the undecided voter. She has often been talked about as a polarizing candidate, and this clearly and unequivocally demonstrates that this is so.

Compare this to Giuliani – 55% of the population have a positive opinion, just 32% unfavorable. In addition, 6% had no opinion and another 7% had never heard of him. (The number of people who hadn’t heard of Clinton seems to have been small enough to be statistically irrelevant.) That leaves him with the possibility of a 13% boost to his campaign.

Obama has just tanked somewhat after his controversial foreign policy speech, but he had previously been trending at a positive rating in the low fifties, and a negative opinion in the mid twenties. Potential swing votes were at 25% before his speech, giving him by far the most opportunity to woo new voters.

The conclusions I draw from this poll are reflective of the general feeling among Democrats of my acquaintance. Hillary can’t go any further – she’s peaked already. With hardly any additional votes to win, and the depth of dislike among voters of both parties, the only way for her to go is down.

Obama, on the other hand, has the least baggage of any Democrat. And that’s why we need him. A Washington insider isn’t going to win this race. (Despite my admiration for John Edwards, he doesn’t currently seem to have a snowball’s chance in hell.)

That’s going to be the defining characteristic of this campaign: fresh blood. Giuliani comes in on the back of some careful leadership and few outspoken views. He’s outside the beltway in more ways than one – he doesn’t seem too tangled in party affairs and has little contact with the scandals that have beset the Republicans.

Obama has the same going for him (assuming he keeps quiet on politically sensitive topics such as amiable chats with Iran). Clinton does not. If we don’t nominate Edwards or Obama, we can consider the race for the White House to be won at a trot by a Republican.

Posted by Jon Rice at August 8, 2007 1:36 PM
Comments
Comment #228762

Jon,

I take the favorable/unfavorable business with a very large grain of salt, for the simple fact that it doesn’t seem to be relevant to how people say they will actually vote. In general election trial heats, Clinton almost always beats Giuliani. So whatever warm feelings people have about Giuliani don’t necessarily turn into votes, and vice versa.

I don’t know if Hillary is the best choice, but she certainly isn’t a pushover. She is a sharp politician with a respected name (among most people). That’s why the Republicans have been trying to stop her for years.

Giuliani would be a strong contender, but he has plenty of scandals of his own.

Posted by: Woody Mena at August 8, 2007 2:01 PM
Comment #228768

Interesting post. Who could help Hillary the most by being her VP pick? Who would help Rudy most by being his VP pick?

Posted by: Jim at August 8, 2007 2:42 PM
Comment #228770

He has no baggage because he has not been anyplace to get much experience.

Posted by: Jack at August 8, 2007 2:45 PM
Comment #228771

Jack - and Giuliani has?

Jim - boy, tough one. Is American ready for a female president AND a black VP? That seems remote. I think it would be someone way down the field right now - possibly Bill Richardson, well thought of throughout the ranks and of course representing a different area of the country.

For Giuliani - I’d think it would have to be the Washington insider, and a serious conservative. Ron Paul?

Posted by: Jon Rice at August 8, 2007 3:11 PM
Comment #228772

A politician with no baggage? What a novel idea. I guess baggage must be a good thing by some standards. When one looks at a resume it must be important to find that the applicant has a reasonable amount of baggage. After all baggage is more an indication of experience than character. (yeah, right) Of course what we need is more of the same old baggage that has turned our government into the embarrassment it is.

Personally in lieu of the state of integrity concerning many of our current old school politicians I will gladly take my chances with an untainted, baggage free intellect who is sincerely and genuinely motivated to move this country beyond the culture of present day governmental corruption.

George Bush who has had few personal successes in his life has been surrounded by many people of experience for his six years and look at the mess they have created. Experience is not necessarily an overly important factor. The character of people one surrounds themselves with will have more effect on their success as a leader than their personal experience.

Posted by: RickIL at August 8, 2007 3:13 PM
Comment #228774

I’ve said it here and many other places. Hillary is a polarizing figure. You love her or you hate her…and nothing in between.

But I do have to say this. With the Republican slate of hopefuls…start practicing saying:

“PRESIDENT Hillary Clinton”

Repeat until you throw up and then practice some more…’cause it’s gonna happen.

Posted by: Jim T at August 8, 2007 3:59 PM
Comment #228775

Jon, you are falling into the trap of advising voters to vote for the “electable” candidate instead of the candidate of their first choice. This practice defeats the very spirit of democracy, and in part elected and reelected GW Bush.

American voters must move away from the NFL team mentality regarding candidates, desiring bragging rights to being loyal to the winning team once it appears obvious which team that will be. Let, the people’s choice be made on what it was always supposed to be made upon, self-interest should that candidate win.

When voters vote for the ‘electable’ candidate, guess what? It is not the voters who select the candidate but, the PR and Marketing firms hired by the DNC and RNC, and the wealthy special interests who make front runners with their campaign donations, that select the candidates, leaving voters only to affirm THEIR selection.

The way to nullify these special interests choosing for us, is for more and more of us to vote for the candidate whose vision and policies best reflect our own self-interests, and vote out politicians whose actions clearly haven’t produced the results we hoped for.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 8, 2007 4:01 PM
Comment #228780
Jon, you are falling into the trap of advising voters to vote for the “electable” candidate instead of the candidate of their first choice.

I hear a lot of people doing that with Giuliani. It’s not that anybody really likes him or agrees with him on any of the issues, they just think he’s the only Republican who can beat Clinton.

Frankly, I hope Giuliani gets the nomination. There’s no way Americans will vote for a guy who’s filling pot holes in New York City with the remains of 9/11 victims. There’s a reason his kids and ex-wives won’t vote for him.

Posted by: American Pundit at August 8, 2007 5:06 PM
Comment #228781

The Democratic race is over. I think Richardson will be Hil’s VP pick. Former cabinet member, current candidate, and a very safe choice. Oh and that he’s Hispanic won’t hurt either.

Giuliani will have to survive the South Carolina primary to become nominated. His biggest negative here won’t be the marriages, NY scandals (those are expected), or even his position on abortion. How he answers the gun question will determine if he can get out of here alive.

Posted by: George in SC at August 8, 2007 5:18 PM
Comment #228787

ITA about Richardson for Hillary’s VP selection. We were just talking about that at work this morning. Pundits are saying that Dodd and Richardson were doing Hillary’s dirty work vis a vis Obama last night at Soldier Field. I don’t think Dodd would be interested in the VP position, and Hilllary wouldn’t need him to win CT. Richardson might help in more of those big square empty states besides NM.

On Obama, I already voted for him twice, in the primary and general election for senator. I think he needs to learn when not to say what’s on his mind, or we might end up with a government in Pakistan that we like even less.

It’s still a year before the convention, and 5 months before the primaries, so maybe Scaife hasn’t gotten his new version of the Arkansas project off the ground yet. I liked Hillary’s comment about the right wing. She was thinking Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, but she didn’t say it.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 8, 2007 6:16 PM
Comment #228800

DR
So we should vote Nader again? Pleeeeeze. Vote your heart in the primary and your head in the election.

Posted by: BillS at August 8, 2007 9:43 PM
Comment #228806

So if its Clinton the big picture looks like this
Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2, Clinton 2, …. if you fill in the blank its sorta scary to me.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 8, 2007 10:24 PM
Comment #228810

j2t2,

I agree. I like Hillary but I am tired of dynasties. A lot of people are tired of dynasties. I like Obama too and I am supporting him. I think that he has much more grass roots support among activists and I think those polls may change.

David Remer,

If memory serves, I know that agree that we need public financing of elections. I think that is the only way to take our political process back from big $$$. But I think that people need to vote their heart, their pocket book, and their head. If you want true democracy, and you want to give third party / independents a real chance, we need some form of rank order and / or instant run off voting. People should not have to throw their vote away on Nader, but like what Nader stands for should have away of expressing that at the polls. People who want any body but Bush, or anybody but Hillary also need away to express that at the polls. In other words, in a democracy people need a way to express what they really think at the polls, and rank order and / or instant run off voting does a better job of allowing the electorate express their will.

Posted by: Ray Guest at August 8, 2007 11:11 PM
Comment #228823

The race has not even started.Edwards will do well in Iowa and may well surprise many. I recall the last primary. Howard Dean had it locked up.

Posted by: BillS at August 9, 2007 12:50 AM
Comment #228832

Hillary. Will. Lose. The. General. Obama or Edwards will not. The only hope that Hillary has is if Giuliani wins the nomination, because the Far Right thinks he’s enough of a scuz that they will not come out to the polls to support him. Anyone else will beat her. Nuff Said.

L

PS, BillS, I hope you’re right.

Posted by: leatherankh at August 9, 2007 8:31 AM
Comment #228845

Chelsea will be eligible to run for POTUS by the time her mother completes 2 terms, and there are younger Bushes too. The fact is that the most significant dynamic leader in the Rpblcn party, the Ahnold, is inelligible to run because of his foreign birth. Obama irritates the more he talks, and makes more mistakes, but I’m glad that he wants to meet with the President of Canada soon after his inauguration.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 9, 2007 11:29 AM
Comment #228848
The race has not even started.Edwards will do well in Iowa and may well surprise many.

Everybody thought he had that AFL-CIO debate sewn up too. *shrug*

Hillary. Will. Lose. The. General.

No way. Most people are comfortable with Clinton as President — even if some don’t like her personally. The Republicans spent $50 million of our tax dollars vetting her. There’s no box of chocolates there. Everybody knows what they’re getting.

I’m actually excited about Prez Hillary.

Posted by: American Pundit at August 9, 2007 12:14 PM
Comment #228872

I have been extremely ambivalent about Hillary because her strengths are also her weaknesses. Still, among the major contenders, she seems the toughest and if I had to back someone in today’s politics that counts for a lot. I like Obama a lot but he and his campaign do seem naive.

I like the idea of Bill Richardson as VP candidate. He has boat-loads of experience, talks boldly of energy policy, is hispanic, New Mexico is a smaller but battleground state, and being VP will raise his profile.

It’s an amazing thought for America to have a great shot at electing an incredibly capable team of President and Vice-President who are also a woman and hispanic.

Posted by: chris2x at August 9, 2007 3:40 PM
Comment #228875

Hillary has been largely defined by the shrill Right Wing. But look who the right wing is pushing forward. Giuliani? Pleeeaze! If you think people are tired of W’s schtick just wait till the Republicans nominate Giuliani. Fred Thompson? Yeah, right! You know the right wing is grasping when they tout a guy who is not really a conservative and really doesn’t have the heart to run for President anyway. Romney? The biggest flip-flopper ever and no way the Christian conservatives will line up behind a Mormon. Meanwhile, a grown-up like McCain has as confused a campaign strategy as I’ve ever seen and is completely vulnerable in his support for the war.

Just about any democrat could beat this lot, Hillary included. Give her a real shot at countering the Right Wing smear machine (an expensive campaign) and we will see who will come out with a black eye.

Posted by: chris2x at August 9, 2007 3:54 PM
Comment #228877

Ray Guest, instant run-off has its downside too. But, since, I agree it would give voters more voice and choice in our elections, I have to agree with you.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 9, 2007 3:58 PM
Comment #228878

BillS, I vote my mind in every election. My heart has led me astray on many occasion. I follow my heart only when my mind agrees with it. Some call that integrity. Some call it cerebral in a negative context. I leave it to others to characterize; it works immensely well for me.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 9, 2007 4:01 PM
Comment #228885

Some one tell me again what is all this experience that Mrs. Clinton has other than being a former president’s wife and being in the Senate for how long? Isn’t the most experienced person in the group of Dems running Richardson. If that is the case how is Hilary more qualified than let us say Obama?????

Posted by: Allen Walker at August 9, 2007 6:32 PM
Comment #228891

DR
And some call it an arrogant disregard for political reality.
Real people get hurt. The Clinton Administration had prepared changes in work rules to address repetitive motion injuries, They were thoughtful and allowed employers to make some common sense changes like raising the floor level slightly for stationary workers,rest periods,placing some supermarket check stands so checkers could switch hands etc. The first presidential action Bush took was to recind those rules. For this we can thank the Florida Green Party and Nader. So next time you are shopping and the checker has a wrist support on and maybe winces a bit when she drags your milk across the scanner thank the “integrity” of those thoughtful voters.

Posted by: BillS at August 9, 2007 8:40 PM
Comment #228896

Uh, let’s see Allen,

She’s been involved at the highest levels of the federal government for the past 15 years, first as first lady and presidential policy advisor and then as a U.S. Senator from New York.

Before that she was first lady of the Governor of Arkansas for twelve years and pursued a career in law becoming the first woman full partner at the prestigious Rose Law Firm. Before that she worked as a lawyer for the Children’s Defense Fund and worked on the impeachment inquiry staff during Watergate. She even became the first student ever to give a commencement speech a Wellesley College.

And whatever you think of Bill Clinton, he has been one of the shrewdest politicians ever to become president and who considered Hillary to be every bit his intellectual equal.

You should look up her bio, it’s quite impressive.

Obama has been a U.S. Senator for uh, two years? I like the guy but he hasn’t seen the federal government up close for very long nor been close to an executive office like the President of the United States.

Richardson has a laundry list of federal government positions as well as Governor of New Mexico under his belt. I like him but he doesn’t stand much of a chance.

Posted by: chris2x at August 9, 2007 9:42 PM
Comment #228946

The Dems have a deep bench.If you threw a rock at the stage you would hit a better potential president than what the Reps are offering.
The MSM has already picked the two front runners for us. Up theirs. Edwards has the best healthcare plan so far and it is detailed. He will do well in Iowa and with SC moving their primary up he will do well there and in the South generally,possibly breaking the Rep lock on the region.

Posted by: BillS at August 10, 2007 1:23 PM
Comment #228948

chris2X, It sound like you’re comparing Hillary to Lady McBeth. She also learned her devious ways looking over the shoulder of her husband. What you cite as accomplishments can be said of many women who were wives of a President and/or an attorney. She has never ran a business, had an elected office in any federal, state or local government with management duties, or had to be held responsible for her public decisions. She is woefully unqualified. Richardson should have her as his running mate and she can then experience some on-the-job training.

Posted by: Jim at August 10, 2007 1:36 PM
Comment #228952

Jim,

You’ve got to be kidding. Never been held responsible? Uh, she was elected and reelected. And no, not many women can boast of their experience or policy making influence with a governor and President of the United States as you claim. She’s been thru the political wringer and and plenty of savage attacks for someone so obviously unqualified. In fact, her toughness in handling political attacks makes her uniquely qualified.

Lady MacBeth? No points for cheap shots especially when you somehow link it to what I said.

Posted by: chris2x at August 10, 2007 3:21 PM
Comment #228953

Jim,

Oh, and being Richardson’s vice-president is somehow better on-the-job training than being Bill Clinton’s partner? Pleeaze!

Posted by: chris2x at August 10, 2007 3:24 PM
Comment #228954

Ok Chris just so I did not misunderstand you let me see if I got it right.
She was married to the President and married to the Govenor of Arkansas, was a partner at a law firm, worked on an impeachment inquiry staff during watergate and has been a US senator for how long?

I like Mrs. Clinton but I not sure that resume when compared to Obama’s or Richardson is light years better as the press would have us to believe.

Posted by: Allen Walker at August 10, 2007 3:52 PM
Comment #228962

Oh, and being Richardson’s vice-president is somehow better on-the-job training than being Bill Clinton’s partner? Pleeaze!

Posted by: chris2x at August 10, 2007 03:24 PM

OH…geez, I forgot, being Bill’s bed companion is certainly on-the-job training…for something. Just because a first lady lives with the President doesn’t qualify her for much. I do believe she is capable of organizing the White House Christmas decorations and handling arrangements for WH state dinners. Or, are you telling me that Bill included her in his cabinet meetings, meetings with congress and his joint chiefs of staff? Has Bill revealed any Presidential decisions he made differently because of her council and advise? Should she win her party’s nomination and starts her sprint to the center do you actually believe those of us who are conservative or moderate will forget all the liberal crap she is throwing out to get the liberals to support her now with money and voice? And, when she runs to the center I will enjoy reading the howls of “traitor” coming from some of you folks. She’ll throw you folks away like a dirty pair of pants. Should be great fun.

Posted by: Jim at August 10, 2007 4:56 PM
Comment #228964

Allen,

Clinton has been reelected as a Senator for New York and has served as such for seven years. As I said, Richardson’s resume on paper is better than anybody’s. Obama hasn’t even faced reelection as a Senator, either has Edwards.

Before becoming President what exactly did ‘W’ do? Oh yeah, he was governor of Texas which has a weak governorship, got taxpayers to fund a stadium, and lost a lot of his Dad’s friends money trying to find oil.

Hillary has more experience than Obama, Edwards, Giuliani and George W Bush prior to becoming president. Romney served one-term as Governor of Massachussets. Fred Thompson’s resume is very comparable if slightly weaker. Only McCain, Richardson, Joe Biden, and possibly Tommy Thompson and Chris Dodd have better resumes on paper. If she had been a governor her resume would be nearly perfect as a Presidential candidate. As it is, I would say her resume is comparable to John F Kennedy’s, minus his military service.

BTW, it seems having served in the military apparently means nothing in Presidential elections anymore as McCain is the only major candidate who has served (that is an understatement) and the only other candidates having served are Duncan Hunter and Chris Dodd.

Posted by: chris2x at August 10, 2007 5:03 PM
Comment #228965

Jim,

You are a bit behind the times. Hillary was constantly in the President’s council. Remember that is why you guys disliked her so much because you thought she should be decorating the White House and keeping the bed warm. If we were talking about Laura Bush I wouldn’t even argue with you. It’s not that she was first Lady but the position she was accorded in the government. Remember, you haters were the ones who howled “but she was never elected!” like that ever mattered when it came to people advising the President.

You guys should be rooting for Hillary as she is more moderate than Obama or Edwards. I won’t be howling if any of them is the Democratic nominee.

Posted by: chris2x at August 10, 2007 5:12 PM
Comment #228967

chris2x, what exactly is the President’s council again? And, was she a voice in cabinet meetings, congressional meetings and joint chiefs of staff meetings? I am waiting for Lloyd Bentson to sign on and tell you that Hillary is no John Kennedy, a man I admire and actually voted for and certainly not from the liberal wing of a once great party.

Posted by: Jim at August 10, 2007 5:25 PM
Comment #228985

Jim,

It’s President’s council as in advises. She was a key player in the administration, not always to everyone’s satisfaction, either.

Until Al Gore and Dick Cheney, vice-presidents weren’t good for much either. Their power was what the President gave them.

And for the record, although Bentsen had a point and scored big points clobbering Dan Quayle with that one (I don’t necessarily blame him for refusing to let Quayle associate himself with Kennedy), it was an unfair comment. Quayle, while hardly Kennedy caliber, was making a valid point on the question of age and experience.

My liberal father pointed that one out to me at the time and it was just another example set by him of truth and reason being more important than idealogy. He liked winning mind you. He switched to the Republican party in California just so he could vote against Ronald Reagan in the primary. He is also the same guy who sponsored the Young Republicans on his campus when no one else wanted to bother to lend their time to support them.

Hillary could use some first-hand executive experience but most of the candidates this year lack that. Tommy Thompson, Huckabee, and Richardson are or were governors with decent records but are small fry right now. Mitt Romney was governor but for one term, that’s it. Giuliani was Mayor of one of our most vital cities and in a time of crisis so that looks good until you actually get to know him.

Hillary has more experience than Obama or Edwards. Experience isn’t everything but she has more of it.

Posted by: chris2x at August 10, 2007 7:49 PM
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