I am opposed to Hillary for one central and important reason: electability. Here's why:
Blowhard Bill Bennet spoke on CNN this morning talking about the extreme disarray of the GOP. (No new news there). The conservatives are truly fractured, the right-wing is spurned on the immigration issue, the Bush-backers are backing off because of the utter disaster in Iraq, and the evangelical base is really ticked off--the abortion and gay marriage legislation was put off until just before election time last year; and they are looking at a likely Rudy Guiliani nomination to boot. (OUCH!) The fact that the cult masses are losing their leadership can't be good either.
Pretty much all that is left is one thing--their unifying hate for Hillary Clinton. This is what Bill Bennett was rooting for in his rant this morning--and it does fit the GOP M.O.--let's stop the fighting and come together so we can hate someone. It's sad that this is the state of the GOP, but it would serve as a "rallying cry", to use Bill's words.
This was also the dying wish of Jerry Falwell, who opined that his flock would fight harder against Hillary than if the devil himself was running. (Now that he has had some time with him, I'm certain he would change his mind).
Putting aside the nutjobs, look at the statistics. The last Newsweek poll that compared the contenders showed Edwards and Obama beating their likely GOP counterparts by wider margins than Hillary...
While the poll has some high marks for Clinton, it’s not all good news. Though the New York senator and former first lady aims to project an aura of inevitability that she will win the Democratic nomination, Obama beats the leading Republicans by larger margins than any other Democrat: besting Giuliani 50 to 43 percent, among registered voters; beating McCain 52 to 39 percent, and defeating Romney 58 percent to 29 percent.
Like Obama, Edwards defeats the Republicans by larger margins than Clinton does: the former Democratic vice-presidential nominee outdistances Giuliani by six points, McCain by 10 and Romney by 37, the largest lead in any of the head-to-head matchups. Meanwhile, Sen. Clinton wins 49 percent to 46 percent against Giuliani, well within the poll’s margin of error; 50 to 44 against McCain; and 57 to 35 against Romney.
Hillary also has the highest unfavorability rating among the candidates, which doesn't bode well.
With stronger candidates showing greater matchups, I am confused why Hillary is leading in all the polls right now to be our choice for the Dem primaries. The Orlando Sentinel shows her leading comfortably here as well.
My question is simple: WHY are we making this difficult on ourselves? Obama or Edwards can win this hands down---especially if we put a combo ticket together featuring both of them together, (Hillary as veep?), Clark, Richardson, or any other credible candidate or swing state/red state governor (calling Mark Warner!).
Look, I will work hard for Hillary if she is the nominee, but I'll have my work cut out for me. People in my red district like Obama's optimism and Edwards' call to action--I bet I could pick some of them off. But many would slit their wrists rather than follow Hillary. And folks, we NEED to win this! The Supreme Court will definietely bring more retirements on our side after 2008--and we have so much to fix post-Bush. We can't afford to lose.
WE can't afford to bet on Hillary.
Final thought: My purpose is to explain why Obama or Edwards would be the stronger candidate for the general election, it is not to slam Hillary. Just please remember that we are ALL Democrats and we ALL need to strongly support whoever the nominee is once the primary is over. We can't afford 4 more years of GOP rule. Period.