Salon’s interesting article “The Hillary Juggernaut” gives some strong reasons why Clinton will be the democratic candidate to beat in 2008:
But otherwise, you will face in Hillary the most formidable presidential front-runner in modern political history. (And, yes, I am counting George W. Bush in 2000.) Here are 10 reasons why the junior senator from New York will be a daunting foe:
1) Universal name recognition. (In contrast, JPW, only 3 percent of likely Democratic primary voters know that you were originally the president in the Gershwin classic “Of Thee I Sing.”)
2) Her capacity to raise $100 million without once working late into the night cold-calling strangers to beg and grovel for money.
3) The ability to dominate the free media. Hillary will never make a public appearance in this campaign without being tracked by 100 reporters. (In contrast, JPW, imagine how much coverage you will get for your first press conference bragging about your gubernatorial record and the “Tennetucky Miracle.”)
4) Her emotional support from a significant percentage of women voters out to make history.
5) Nostalgia for the Clinton era of peace and prosperity in the 1990s.
6) Continuing Democratic resentment over impeachment.
7) Hillary’s over-cautious political style that avoids risk and, quite likely, deliberate mistakes.
8) The most potent candidate surrogate in political history in the form of Bill Clinton.
9) The ability of the Clinton name and legacy to attract 75 percent of the African-American vote and a large slice of the Hispanic vote.
10) At least a half-dozen candidates (including JPW) who will divide the anti-Hillary Democrats, so that she could win major primaries with just her hardcore base of, say, 35 percent of the vote.
And they round up who they think the other democratic candidates will be:
The Non-Hillary Field: Start with Mark Warner and 2004 V.P. candidate John Edwards, who are unabashedly running. Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh has privately put his own odds at 90 percent, and the latest word from Iowa is that Gov. Tom Vilsack is similarly poised to run. Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold — who wins headlines every other week with an anti-Bush gambit like a censure resolution — has to be counted among the likeliest contenders. And finally, Sen. Joe Biden, the Delaware motor-mouth who performed so garrulously during the Alito confirmation hearings, keeps insisting that he’s definitely running.
Depending on whom you talk to, John Kerry is either running or merely keeping his options open for a mid-2007 decision by maintaining his visibility and e-mail list. (An e-mail appeal from Kerry raised over $100,000 for Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran running for the House in Illinois.) Al Gore represents another puzzle; his wife, Tipper, is said to be definitely opposed, while his politically active daughter Karenna seems severely tempted. Bill Richardson is seriously mulling his chances, while former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is also playing the maybe game. And don’t forget former Gen. Wesley Clark, who has never lacked ambition or self-confidence.
The have some other great analysis of how to examine the candidates and compare them — and who stands for what, which is very interesting preliminary research for democrats who are studying up on the whole thing. They analyze them from the “electability” versus “left-wing purist” standpoints and throw in a few other ideas as well. This article is a great read.
Personally, I don’t think Clinton has been enough of a friend to GLBT issues to win my heart and soul, and her tendency to play to the middle on bullshit issues is disturbing as well. I honestly don’t know where I am on the “electability” versus “left-wing purist” issue; I go back and forth, which is why I haven’t decided yet. And when it comes to the hometown boy, I’m more of a fan of Vilsack than Bayh, who is only a Democrat because in Indiana the political spectrum is skewed so far to the right — in any other state he’s a middle of the road Republican.
I have to do a lot more research before I can pick my horse for this race. But in the end, it will probably just come down to “Whoever’s running against the retard in the White House.” Same as the last election.
If you’re planning to comment, please read the article beforehand, ’cause it’s tiresome to hash out all the issues that have already been examined in the piece.