Hillary Clinton is on a very good wicket. Her universal health care plan has been generally well received. (Joe Klein in Time Magazine calls it by far the best health care plan on offer.) Last Sunday morning she went on five talk shows (including Fox) and answered a series of tough questions without turning a hair. Her command of her briefs is astonishing. She has dominated every debate I’ve watched.
In national polls she is ahead of Obama by double digits. (John Edwards is dead in the water). Iowa is close but in New Hampshire Hillary again leads Obama by double digits. The most recent polls indicate she would beat Rudy Guiliani if he turns out to be the Republican candidate.
Still Hillary has a lot of baggage and high negatives. And she is a woman. When Geraldine Ferraro ran for vice-president in 1984 she was ridiculed and put down. A senior politician from Mississippi asked whether she could bake a blueberry muffin. She and Walter Mondale were handily beaten by Ronald Reagan.
In 1894 Ferraro was defined by her sex. Not Mrs. Clinton. Like Margaret Thatcher she is viewed as a politician first and a woman second. Realizing this the formidably disciplined Mrs. Clinton has positioned herself as something of a hawk in her party, risking the wrath of the Left rather than appear weak.
The nagging fear for Democrats is that Hillary will win the nomination (which I also believe) but would lose the election to a Republican candidate with broad appeal. They also fear the perception of 28 years of a Bush or Clinton in the White House.
Do you think Americans are ready for a woman president?
Do you think Hillary could win the Democratic nomination?
Do you think she could win a general election that would put her in the Oval office?