It ain’t easy being Hillary. As far as the general public is concerned, she’s the single most divisive major political figure in the Democrat party; while the various liberal constituencies that constitute the Democrat’s party base worry that she’s not liberal enough. Some who consider her too far to the right on the war issue even took to heckling her at a recent speech to the Democrat National Committee.
Poor Hillary. It’s not as though she’s brought any of these problems on herself. First, there was her clumsy entrance onto the national political stage in 1992 with that famous reference to “not staying home and baking cookies” or “standing by her man like Tammy Wynette” in vague reference to Bubba’s past indiscretions.
Then there was the attempted nationalized health-care debacle, questionable profits in cattle futures, missing law firm billing records that suddenly materialize in plain sight, suspicious suicides on the part of close friends, Whitewater, and then of course those continued “indiscretions” on the part of her husband.
But after enduring all that she finally got the payoff and made it to the big game in her own right – even if she had to move to another state to do it. All the while, she’s been biding her time, waiting for the right moment to taker her shot at what she thought should have been hers all along – the White House.
The ground was prepared. Her U.S. Senate campaigns in New York were used as vehicles to build the national fundraising base she would need, as well as to hire the staffers and consultants that would be needed in preparation of a White House bid once re-election was secured in 2006. All the boxes were checked. Nomination seemed like a fait accompli. She could take her time and make a fashionably late grand entrance when ready.
But some funny things happened on the way to the coronation. The radical base of the Democrat party grew more empowered, and the more empowered they became, the more they demanded of the woman who would have their support – so much so that many of them see her as their last choice for a presidential nominee.
Her primary strength among Democrats at large had been her perceived electability, but a January Gallup poll shows that doubts about her ability to win that have been taking their toll. When asked if they were voting for presidential nominees today whom they would vote for, thirty-four percent said they would definitely vote for her. Fifty-two percent said they “might consider” her, while fourteen percent said “definitely not”. Among the two-thirds that weren’t “definitely” for her, the number one reason given was that they didn’t think she could win.
Then there was John Edwards, free from the constraints of the Senate and even freer to be a bomb thrower. He’s constantly creating situations that needed or even demanded her response, uncomfortably causing her to put herself on the record when she would rather not do so. In short, Edwards has kept giving the far left of the party more reasons to be unhappy with her.
Then, to make matters worse, along came the new media darling Barak Obama. Like the kid who transfers from another school and becomes instantly popular, Obama began to steal much of the oxygen she was used to having all to herself. Even the young generation is getting in on the act, turning his “Million for Obama” Facebook campaign into a political Internet phenomenon. To add insult to injury, the new kid is barely two years removed from being a mere state senator, the national political equivalent of grade school.