Update: The Washington Blade endorses Hillary. The Blade ignores Obama’s gay bashing tour to focus on experience:
SO, THEN, WHY Hillary? Her chief rival, Obama, has disappointed in the debates, appearing to lack confidence and talking mostly in generalities. George W. Bush has certainly lowered the bar when it comes to expecting experience in our presidential candidates, but Obama was an Illinois state senator just three years ago. [snip]
But the world is a complicated mess: warring religious factions in the Middle East, rising anti-American sentiment around the globe, the dollar in a free-fall. Electing a president with virtually zero experience on the world stage would be a mistake.
By contrast, Clinton has demonstrated a mastery of detail during the campaign. Whatever you think of her, there’s no denying her intellect and willingness to work hard. She knows the issues, the history and players and has repeatedly pledged to work to restore the country’s reputation around the world. That’s a much-needed common sense perspective on where to start in 2009. And with an eight-year record of extensive globetrotting as first lady, she’s well positioned to serve as the diplomat the country needs.
For those who doubt her ability to win over moderate and conservative voters, look at what she accomplished in upstate New York, where she carried “red” counties in a landslide Senate re-election victory. I’ve interviewed elected officials, including conservative Republicans, from those areas and they agree that Clinton is a hard-working and accessible leader with a focus on constituent service. In addition, she worked from day one in the Senate to cultivate relationships with even her most conservative Republican colleagues. [snip]
But in the end, Hillary Rodham Clinton stands the best chance of sending the Republicans into eight years of a well-deserved political wilderness. She’s smart, tenacious, hard working and willing to cede the spotlight in the interest of bipartisan cooperation. She has marched in our Pride parades, promised unprecedented access to her administration and backed nearly all of our issues.
Clinton has earned the support of gay voters in 2008.
We are still waiting for Obama’s ‘factcheck’ website to offer up a rebuttal or even answer the $925,000 question.
While we wait, we are chuckling. We recall when Chris Dodd, not even scrapping 1% support in the polls made the claim he was most electable. Today, Obama is making somewhat the same claim.
Marc Ambinder writes the joke and the punch line:
Obama’s aides have been making this argument privately for eight months, but it’s the first time I’ve ever heard Obama say it himself. The wrote [sic] Clinton campaign response — and having asked Mark Penn this question many times, I can recite it my heart is that “by the time of the convention, both the Republican and Democratic nominees will be equally as polarizing.” History bears that out, but the premise of Obama’s campaign is that he would be different. As he told an audience of independent voters in Exeter, New Hampshire today, “there will not be a litmus test in my administration.” He meant that his approach to problem solving would be collaborative and he would select experts and policy-makers without regard to policy. In Congress, though, Clinton has plenty of bipartisan credentials on her own.
Obama is selling the snake oil that he will be different. “History bears that out” writes Ambinder regarding how by convention time any candidate will be viewed as polarizing. But Obama, thinks he is the exception to history.
Politico does not buy into the Obama delusion.
Marc Ambinder, noting Obama’s shot at Hillary’s “47 percent disapproval ratings,” today rehearses Mark Penn’s theory of this: “By the time of the convention, both the Republican and Democratic nominees will be equally as polarizing.”
In other words, nine months of total, inevitable bloodbath.
This is fairly persuasive. Even if, say, Huckabee and Edwards run campaigns of pure optimism and hope, there are vastly wealthy outside groups — Freedom’s Watch, the Fund for America — ready to pour millions into defining, and smearing, the opposing candidate early. The RNC is already firing on all cylinders.
And the partisan media — larger and more confident even than in 2004, with MSNBC now more polarized and a larger online audience for everything from WorldNetDaily to HuffPo– will be spending nine months convincing itself of why the other party’s nominee is not just wrong, but wrong for America, dangerous, and probably a criminal.
That doesn’t mean ever candidate is affected by it equally, of course, or that attacks on Hillary don’t arguably have a bit of a head-start.
But I’m not sure I’ve heard Obama’s camp argue that the general election climate will be one of sweetness and light. Not to be pessimistic, but what’s the alternative scenario to the partisan bloodbath?
Sweetness and light, optimism and hope – as President Harry Truman said, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.”
But of course, Obama thinks he will be the exception and the Republicans and all the Republican interest groups will decide to play nice, just because they are running against Obama.
Hillary is not drinking the Kool-aid and knows the “RNC is already firing on all cylinders”.
Rezko aside what is left of the Obama argument? Obama trails Hillary in all national polls. Hillary is ahead of Obama, usually by 20 points. But maybe Obama wants to argue the electability issue on a state by state issue.
We know Hillary is ahead in red states like Arkansas. Will Obama bring out more voters than Hillary? Hillary will bring out millions of women voters. And the strong argument is made today concerning Hillary strength with Latinos. Latinos love Hillary.
Since these states became the major test of presidential aspirations, no Democrat or Republican has ever gotten the nomination after losing all three. But even if she fails to win any of those three critical early states, Hillary Clinton still has a chance. That’s because of her strength among Hispanic voters.
Hispanics will play a negligible role in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, but they will be a major factor in the Nevada caucus on January 19 and in the primaries in New Mexico, Arizona, California, Colorado, New Jersey, and New York on February 5. Those states together account for 1025 delegates; only 141 are at stake in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. And if the contest is at that point between Clinton and Senator Barack Obama, then Clinton’s edge over Obama among Hispanics, as seen in opinion polls, could prove decisive.
In a poll from the Pew Hispanic Center released earlier this month, Clinton led among Latino Democrats with 59 percent, compared to 15 percent for Obama and four percent for John Edwards. In polls taken last week in California, Florida, Illinois, New York, and Texas by ImpreMedia, the largest Hispanic news company in the United States, Clinton led Obama by an astounding average of 55 to six percent among Hispanic Democrats. Edwards got only 1.8 percent. Of course, even with this kind of support from Hispanics, Clinton could still lose those primaries, but it certainly gives her an edge.
In a general election Hillary will have the upper hand against Republicans with the crucial Latino vote. Hillary will defeat all Republicans among Latinos. The same cannot be said about Obama in the case that McCain is the Republican nominee. McCain did not, for a while anyway, join in the anti-immigrant Republican mania. Latinos might have some sympathy towards McCain – but not if Hillary is the nominee.
Finally, one other possibility is worth considering. Suppose Obama does win the nomination. Would he be hampered by Latino-black hostility in gaining the Latino vote in November 2008? Probably not, because of the Republican party’s embrace of a nativist agenda that stigmatizes Latinos. But as Rudolph Giuliani or Michael Bloomberg have shown in New York mayoral contests, if in the future Republicans were to abandon their nativism and nominate centrist candidates who could court the Latino vote, they might find themselves the beneficiaries of this division.
Hillary will also keep in the Democratic column the crucial state of New York. In the likely event that Bloomberg enters the race Hillary will win New York. Obama will have a tough time against Bloomberg.
As to Bloomberg, we predicted in May 2007 that Bloomberg would enter the presidential race next spring, around May 2008. The evidence for Bloomberg running for president is mounting. Again, Hillary will beat Bloomberg for the CRUCIAL New York vote. Obama will lose New York to Bloomberg and to Giuliani (whom we have always said will not get the Republican nomination, but who knows what happens with those kooky Republicans if Giuliani actually does well in the February 5 voting states).
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As to enthusiasm with organized labor, Hillary has the enthusiasm, Obama does not.
Among Democratic presidential contenders, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) has garnered the most support of labor union members, with another union endorsement this week pushing her total up to about 6 million members.
After winning the backing of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, Clinton can now claim that she has significantly more labor support than her chief rivals, Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) and former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.).
Clinton has endorsements from 13 national unions with about 6 million members, compared to Edwards, who has endorsements from four national unions with a total of more than 3 million members.
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Today, the Keene Sentinel spoke up for Hillary in their endorsement:
Most people who plan to vote in the first-in-the-nation Democratic primary in a little more than two weeks probably agree on one thing: The first and most important task facing the next president will be to reinstate the historic American principles that have been ignored or trampled upon by the current administration.
The new president will have to begin shoring up international respect for our country, by crafting a responsible withdrawal strategy from Iraq. The new president will have to put the federal government to work in the effort to curb global warming. The new president will have to wage a rational diplomatic and military campaign against international terrorism, while reversing and repudiating the human rights violations that have been a hallmark of the Bush years. And the new president will need to bring respected and accomplished individuals into government, to assure old friends that the United States is ready to rejoin the world community.
At home, the new president will have to address the fact that comprehensive health insurance is now beyond the reach of an increasing number of Americans. The new president will have to redouble the country’s commitment to veterans and their families, especially in light of the wave of wounded men and women returning home from Iraq. The new president will have to pursue an effective yet humane strategy to curb illegal immigration. The new president will need to restore an ideological balance on the Supreme Court, reflecting the wide range of beliefs in American society. The new president will have to ease the country toward energy independence, without killing off the economic engine that is the envy of the world. And the new president will need to reshape key regulatory agencies, such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, that have become dangerous appendages of the industries they are supposed to govern.
That is only a partial list of the tasks ahead for the next president. There are also crises involving fair trade, product safety, public education, the Middle East, the Real ID program, the consequences of sub-prime mortgage lending and the troubling expansion of nuclear weapons technology. What’s more, unknown challenges may lie just over the horizon. Addressing all these issues will take a strong and determined person.
Democratic and independent voters have a rich field to choose from on January 8, people with creative thoughts about how to deal with the challenges. John Edwards and Barack Obama have spoken eloquently on most of the issues, as have Christopher Dodd, Joseph Biden and Bill Richardson. All have their passionate supporters, and for good reason. But this newspaper has come to the conclusion that the candidate with the best ideas, as well as the imagination, know-how and bearing to carry them out, is Hillary Clinton.
She has the best health-insurance proposal of all the candidates, and there are several good proposals to choose from. She has significant international experience, considerably more than some of her rivals. Face-to-face, she is as personable, passionate and persuasive as any American political figure in recent memory, qualities that should come in handy in both domestic and international forums.
Yes, we know. The doubts about Hillary Clinton’s candidacy are widely discussed, often in terms of whether other voters would accept a woman, or accept this woman, as president. We are aware of the reservations some people have about aspects of the Bill Clinton years. But we find those arguments wanting, or at the very least misplaced. Many of today’s Hillary doubters, regardless of party, would surely be impressed during the coming national campaign, just as many New Hampshire voters have been won over during the arduous primary campaign now coming to an end. Choosing a candidate on the Democratic ballot is a tough call this year. In the end, we are confident in our recommendation of Hillary Clinton.
Hillary is the one who can defeat the Republican and bring the United States into the community of nations as a respected leader once again.