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Miscellaneous meanderings and philosophical ramblings. The title from a spiral notebook I used to jot down my thoughts on religion and other matters some years ago. I like to write, think and express my views on various issues. Robust discussion is welcome.

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"Lan astaslem."
I will not submit. I will not surrender.
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Friday, May 27, 2005

Hillary and the blogosphere in 2008

Well, we now have a poll that says Hillary has a majority that say they will vote for her as President. At least that is how it is being reported.

Poll majority say they'd be likely to vote for Clinton

For the first time, a majority of Americans say they are likely to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton if she runs for president in 2008, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday.

But the headline and lead-in to the story are not an entirely accurate picture of the poll numbers. A few paragraphs later we read:

Clinton commands as much strong support — but more strong opposition — as George W. Bush did in a Newsweek poll in November 1998, two years before the 2000 election. She is in slightly stronger position than then-vice president Al Gore, the eventual 2000 Democratic nominee, was in 1998.


In the poll, 29% were "very likely" to vote for Clinton for president if she runs in 2008; 24% were "somewhat likely." Seven percent were "not very likely" and 39% were "not at all likely" to vote for her.

Along with this rather tepid support and strong opposition, there is no mention of another candidate. This important omission skews the poll into more of a matter of name recognition than an accurate picture of support during a bitterly fought election. It also appears that this poll did not consist of likely voters. By now, we should not be surprised that headlines try to say much more than the story actually allows for.

The poll and breathtaking headline, however, do provide an opportunity to discuss how the media has changed since her husband ran for the Presidency. We now have the blogosphere, which can lay claim to some successes in exposing the MSM bias and an important supporting role in defeating John Kerry. Rand Simberg believes that the blogosphere can stop Hillary in '08 (H/T NRO The Corner). As much as I would like to believe that is true, I just don't think we can be anywhere near certain about it and definitely should not count on this as the inevitable outcome. Instead, we should focus on making sure that we do not underestimate our enemy or misunderstand the battlefield where this contest will occur. The only thing that is clear is that she will inflame passions on all sides, more so than any other politician in recent memory.

A few elements will possibly be in play for 2008. Will enough “Oprahfied” women vote for her just because she is a woman? Will some who never voted before, vote now just to get a female in as President? But then there are those who despite their political views have enough respect for themselves that they may not vote for her or (hopefully) against her because of her apparent sellout to such a character as her husband. Then there is also how men react to Hillary. Could all of these factors, cancel each other out in the end?

The biggest issue, in my opinion, is abortion. Even though she has tried tacking to the right on the controversy, I am sure her core believers know where she really stands and many are passionate about maintaining the ability to legally kill the pre-born. But will abortion rights still be in play with regards to the Presidency? If the Supreme Court changes enough by then, to throw it back to the states, it may defuse the issue for many when it comes to Presidential races.

So, my warning is that we not get over-confident. If the blogosphere were to do that, it would only emulate the fallen MSM and lead us to the similar mistakes. Much is uncertain and many things can and will happen by 2008. We will still need a positive agenda. We will need a candidate who can articulate the policies clearly and persuasively. The GOP also needs to realize that illegal immigration is its Achilles heel and Hillary is smart enough to know that and attempt to use it to her advantage. For those who reference the blogosphere's role in Kerry losing, I have to point out that Kerry was a horrible candidate. His missteps concerning Vietnam, the foolish sound bite gift of "I voted for it before I voted against it", and his inability to really inspire people were easy to exploit. Do we really think the MSM and friends of Hillary are going to make it so easy for us again in her bid for the Presidency? Remember, no matter how good a plan, the enemy still gets a vote.

Related posts:

Are Chicago Women Really This Stupid?
John Kerry - too stupid to be President
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