Thoughts on Hillary in 08
USA Today's poll says, for the first time, that a majority of Americans would likely vote for Hillary Clinton, should she run for President. Naturally, a poll in 2005 has little meaning on events in 2008. But, it does get you thinking. Conventional wisdom has generally been that she's such a divisive figure that, though she could win the nomination, she'd get trounced in a general election. We won't know until she tries. But, this poll shows her negatives falling and her positives rising. So, it's good news for her.
Hillary is, like Bill, a centrist Democrat. Voting for her would entail making compromises from me, just like voting for Bill did. Of course, after 8 years of Bush, I'm certainly less likely to oppose the Democratic nominee in 2008. Voting for Nader was fine when I felt sure Gore would win, or that Clinton would be re-elected. But it doesn't seem fine anymore.
It also might be that the Republicans kind of blew their wad criticzing her while she was first lady. Bringing up things like Whitewater, Travelgate and her old healthcare plan would only serve to remind voters of the Republicans' unpopular attempt to kick her twice-elected husband out of office.
Of course, they'll go right after her with all sorts of personal and professional attacks. But, Hillary, unlike John Kerry, is a real fighter in that arena (as Bill had been) and she'll surround herself with real fighters like the people who worked on her husband's campaigns. I think that this is why her popularity is rising. Democrats, after the last election where the genteel John Kerry seemed afraid to wade into the muck, and to fight hard, would like a fighter now.
I still think she's a divisive figure and I think she could well lose in a disaster, but... if she loses, she'll go down fighting and she'll inflict some damage. It would be nice to see the Republicans try to deal with a target that hits back.