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  • Hillary redux

    Posted by Andy B on June 11th, 2003 (All posts by )

    Does anyone else see the similarity between H.R.C. and Nixon? Both tainted by scandal, they are also the most polarizing figures from each of their respective parties. The irony is particularly sweet, since H.R.C. revels in her hatred for R.M.N. I think she has a slightly better chance of being elected President than Nixon would have if he were alive today, (and there were no term limits), but not enough of a chance to actually get elected. The intensity of hatred, contempt, and mistrust felt for these two individuals by the body politic is equal at least, and may be skewed higher towards Hillary, with the passage of time having mitigated somewhat the enmity directed at Nixon. Hillary, however, is the true legacy of the Clinton Presidency. Bill Clinton was nothing more than a patsy who achieved his highest goal in life when he ejaculated on a kneeling intern in the hallway of the Oval Office, and a patsy does not merit lasting hatred. All of the baggage of the House of Clinton now falls directly on her head. FWIW, here is my admittedly non-scientific prediction:

    Probability of a 2004 Hillary run—1% She will let fellow Dems cut each other up and will wait for a non-incumbent.
    2008 Hillary run—95%
    2008 Hillary win—5% Have to allow for the Republicans screwing up.

     

    9 Responses to “Hillary redux”

    1. CJ Says:

      Entertaining commentary, but I’d like to differ in two areas. First, more people genuinely loathe and despise Hillary than was/is the case with Nixon. With Nixon, most of his detractors had to work themselves up into a frenzy of Nixon-hating, which was combined with general America-hating and with a class-based scorn for Nixon as a lower breed who didn’t deserve to be the chief executive. With, Hillary, it’s genuine instinctive loathing – the flames don’t need to be fanned.
      Second, you say the chances of her running in 2004 are only 1%. Way too low. If a week is a long time in politics, and it is, then five years is a geological epoch. If the chance to take the nomination presents itself, she will be there. Just how many chances to run for president is any person likely to get? The media will be wild for her to take it – not just because so many of them worship the Clintons, but because an electoral race between George W. Bush and Hillary would be an attention and ratings-getting media circus without parallel.

    2. Lexington Green Says:

      Lex and CJ gangin’ up on Andy.

      First, Hillary aint nothin’ like Nixon. Somebody commented in the 1950s that there were two guys in DC who were going to be president some day: Nixon and Johnson. Why? Because they were the only two pols who knew every party county chairman by name. They had done the hard, patient work of building a national base. That was the old-fashioned way. Hillary is like Bill, self-anointed, a creature of media and big donors, with no grassroots base. This is the modern model. (See Alan Ehrenhalt, The United States of Ambition). Also, unlike RJN, who was serpentine, flexible, unideological — Hillary is an ideological fanatic. They are opposites, Nixon was posing as an ideological right-winger, when in fact he wanted to cut a deal with the commies and had no problem with government regulation. Hillary pretends to be a centrist, sensible, non-fanatical — but she aint.

      The thing to remember about Bill Clinton is not that he had a screwed up sex life. It is that he ran as a centrist Democrat and won twice. That is still possible. Hillary is going to try doing it, if she gets the chance.

      And 1%? Way too low. Making up my own number, I say 51% — more likely than not, but open to revision depending on events.

      Finally, Hillary will work a jujitsu trick on the Right, turning their hatred of her into a strength with moderate voters. Do not charge at the red flag!

    3. Andy B Says:

      Allright!!! When I get two analytical responses like this, I know I’ve hit some paydirt! But seriously, my point of comparison between Nixon and Hil was the perception of them, and reaction to mere mention of their names by the populace, rather than a line-item matchup. While that may be a superficial measure of a man/woman, keep in mind that the majority of those casting ballots probably could not spell “ideealojicul” if you challenged them.
      As for my percentages, (I SAID they were unscientific) yeah, maybe 1% is too low, and maybe I’m talking my position/hope, but I make my living putting my neck on the chopping block and I say she sits out ’04!! Besides, how could she run when she already promised NY that she would serve out her full term?

    4. Kevin Says:

      95% is too high for the 2008 run. Remember, she has to run for Senator in NY in 2006….if she fails there (and there is a good chance of that for someone with negative ratings as high as hers), then by 2008, it will be “Hillary who?”

    5. Pete Harrigan Says:

      I’ll buy your 1% in 2004 and sell your 95% in 2008. How could you leave yourself so open for someone to leg the spread?

      You are committing the classic people make in assessing probabilities. I agree with most of the rest, though.

    6. Andy B Says:

      I chose those probabilities for effect, not for market-making, and only assigned the 2004 run a 1% because it would be nonsensical to assign it a zero.(cabinet offer maybe?)

    7. craig henry Says:

      I place her chances of victory in 2008 much higher than 5%— at 35-40%. Just based on the fact that it is hard for a party to win three straight presedential elections.

      Good point about Nixon and his knowledge of the grassroots. In October 1980 he told the Reagan campaign they were going to carry New York when everyone inside the campaign thought it was a lost cause. He knew more than most political professionals even after he had left office.

    8. JEG Says:

      Speaking as a Manhattanite who dislikes Hillary, I have to say that:

      1) Her chances of being re-elected senator in 2006 seem pretty good to me. She is adored by many, including many in the “Likely to vote” category. The teachers’ union alone could probably get the job done.

      2) I agree with those who think her chances of running in ’04 are good. She has to get the Democratic nomination first, and the ’04 crowd is weak. In ’08 she’ll be facing, say, Evan Bayh.
      In any event, ’08 is bound to be a stronger field. She might succumb to a “Draft Hillary” movement in ’04.

      (And CJ, a Hillary/Jeb race could also be a media circus!)

    9. Scott Says:

      Never underestimate the ignorance of the electorate.