Sunday, September 2, 2007

Electability a "Hill of Beans?"

Campaigning today with his wife, Sen. Clinton, President Bill Clinton tried to counter arguments that she would have a tough time winning the general election. From the Washington Post:


"In Portsmouth, he sought to knock down arguments that his wife wouldn't be able to win a general election. He cited polling in several states showing her leading most Republicans in hypothetical matchups.
"This electabliity thing is a canard. It's a hill of beans," the former president said, adding he believed Americans would elect the best candidate."


Really? So, did Americans elect the best candidate in 2000 and 2004??? I admire President Clinton, but he is ignoring his wife's obvious weakness here. She does energize the Republican base in a way none of the GOP candidates can hope to do. In any candidate field, there are candidates who are easier to get elected than others, and in this field, Hillary does not win the "electability" contest, and frankly, the fact that the Clinton campaign is now addressing this directly underscores the fact that it is an issue.

Last week, at the health care forum, Edwards had her addressing his issue of lobbyist contributions, and today, she retools her speech to address the issue of whether she can be a change agent (something raised effectively by both Obama and Edwards). For the first time in the campaign, she is no longer controlling the message and the debate.

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