Five things you want to read about Hillary's campaign

Five items on Hillary's campaign:

Not inevitable

The trend lines that perhaps after all, Hillary Clinton will not win the Democratic nomination are now in abundance. The first piece of evidence that Hillary was not in control of her own destiny was that she could not choose the timing of her entry into the race. Barack Obama's early launch forced her to jump in well before she had planned to, and it hasn't gone well for her ever since.

Let's start with volatile poll numbers that show her support is far from solid. Why do these matter at this point? Because Hillary's candidacy isn't like Barack Obama or other candidates who can weather plenty of swings in the polls before the primaries: The big selling point she's projecting about her candidacy is that you should support her because she's a shoo-in; nevermind where she stands on the issues, she is Hillary 'Living History' Clinton, who will make history again as the first female president of the United States.

If her numbers can go down from the 40% levels she started at -- and they have already in recent polling by ABC/Washington Post, then her stands on issues suddenly do matter, and that living history/national figure stuff is worthless. If it comes to her positions, well, she's a 80% DLC Democrat on economic and foreign policy issues -- i.e. a corporatist and imperialist -- and decent on social issues and environmental ones. In other words, she's Chris Dodd without the outspoken passion for restoring habeas corpus.

If Hillary Clinton's candidacy is captive to the issues -- and duh!, it is -- then statements like her promise to bring health care (#3 issue for Dem voters in a recent ABC poll at 16%) by the end of her 2nd term are going to absolutely kill her, because on that issue there are candidates like John Edwards who promise to get it done as soon as he gets in. And do you want your president to fight for national health care in 2009 or 2016?

This plays all the heavier with Iraq (#1 issue at 28%) which will get worse every day from now 'til Nov. 2, 2008 and and long after that -- though interesting that the ABC poll showed that 68% of Dem voters didn't care if she apologized for her Iraq vote -- and I'm sure we'll see her sticking to the same DLC stuff on trade and other economic issues (#2 at 23%) in the same way -- offering scraps like more minimum wage raises and a repeal of the bankruptcy bill passed a few years ago, but little else. The ABC poll also showed Hillary with a 48% disapproval rating -- that's a sky high number, indicating that to stay in the race if her approval numbers (49%) fell, her only hope would be to go negative on the other candidates to make them as unappealing as she is.

NY Dems dis Hillary


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