Wednesday, January 17, 2007

President Hillary, Bigfoot...

Originally uploaded by paynehollow.

...And other mythical creatures.

With the news today that Barack Obama is one step closer to running for president, I hear again that the only one polling more positively for the Dems than Obama is Hillary Clinton.

Am I totally off my nut in thinking that there's no way she's an electable candidate?

The progressives are absolutely opposed to her because of her vote for the Iraq War (and other reasons). The far right hates her with a passion because of her perceived socialist leanings and a lot of what she represents (at least in their minds).

Are there truly that many people in-between who could make a Hillary candidacy valid? I just don't see it.

Am I wrong?


BruceA said...

Her name is Clinton, and she has a campaign warchest of about $14 million. Those two factors get her the continual media exposure that make her a competitive candidate. I don't know that her actual support is that high, but in the early polls most people just pick a name that they have heard.

Dan Trabue said...

Welcome to Payne Hollow, Bruce.

I know her name is Clinton, I used it in the story. I'm guessing you state that because you find my use of the phrase "President Hillary" to be demeaning?

Not intended to be. It's just that we already have a President Clinton. That's one reason I refer to Bush sometimes as W or Bush, Jr.

However that may be, I think you're right that she's taken seriously at least partially because the big money is behind her.

This I see as one of her great liabilities. We already have too many bought and paid for politicians.

BruceA said...

Sorry I wasn't clear. I wasn't being critical of you at all. You were wondering why anybody sees her as a valid candidate. The reason, I think, is that her name is Clinton. That, plus her money.

Eben Flood said...

People laugh and make snide remarks whenever someone makes the assertion that the MSM is a collection of like minded liberals who can influence the public but you can point to Hillary as such an example. The MSM want her to be President and so by sheer force of will they can promote her as a viable candidate long after she has ceased being one, if she ever was.

They tried something similar with McCain.

Dan Trabue said...

Bruce, thanks for the clarification. Makes good sense now.

Eben, you may make the case that the media is like-minded (I think you'd be wrong, but you could make the case). But you could hardly argue that Hillary is "liberal," it's the more "liberal" side of the country that is most opposed to her (well, besides the more "conservative" side).

As I've said before, these titles (conservative, liberal) are marginally useful and often more of a hindrance.

Anonymous said...

I agree with both Bruce and Eben, but, regarding the latter, I don't think the media loves Sen. Clinton because she's liberal, but because she's NOT--she's part of the pro-corporate, "centrist," free-trade loving, Democratic Leadership Conference. And, like Bill, she's a "triangulator" who compromises and cares more about political survival than principles. She's NOT liberal or progressive.

The media want to pick our candidates for us--they want to tell us who is and is not a "viable" candidate. And they do so based on who supports and who threatens their interests. We saw this blatantly in '04: Dennis Kucinich, Carol Mosely-Braun, and Al Sharpton had all made statements supporting media reform. So, at the very 1st debate, 11 MONTHS before the campaign, Ted Koppel, supposedly the "moderator," walked up to these three, called them "vanity" campaigns and ordered them to withdraw. The next day, the media pulled out of all 3 campaigns. Moseley-Braun folded her tents quickly. Sharpton and Kucinich labored bravely on--but the public never heard of them or their message afterword because of the self-censorship of the media.

Then, Howard Dean also began saying that the FCC needed to break up some media monopolies. So, when he had some sort of scream attack in Iowa, the media replayed it constantly and deliberately killed his campaign--giving us their favorite, Kerry.

They are doing it again. They annointed Hillary frontrunner from the moment she won the senate race in NY in 2000. The Washington Post today handicapped the race--and didn't even include Kucinich in it, though he declared in December and Clinton has yet to declare.

MSNBC's website rates the "contenders," including several who have not yet declared--and omit Kucinich who has declared. (No matter whether or not you want Kucinich to win, protest this by emailing MSNBC and demand that they report accurately and follow all candidates.) The other networks have divided the race into "top tier" candidates (Hillary, Obama, and Edwards--notice that only Edwards in that list has announced; Obama has an exploratory committee and Clinton just keeps clearing her throat) and "the rest."

Media reform is a vital necessity toward reclaiming real democracy.

And, no Dan, I don't think Hillary has a chance for exactly the reasons you suggest. If you don't fire up your base (progressives in the case of Dems), but really fire up the other party's base (the right wing for the GOP), you are NOT a smart candidate.

Because of the media's deliberate exclusion of Kucinich, I think the Democratic ticket will be some combination of Obama and Edwards. As a progressive, I can be happy with that--with either one at the top of the ticket. Both are against the war (though Obama is cautious about cutting off funds and Edwards has had to repent once voting for it); both are strong on anti-poverty and environmental issues. I think Edwards has more concrete policies (hammered out ever since November '04), but that Obama is the more inspiring and the one who can connect more with a moral vision instead of just a laundry list of policies.
Ironically, Kucinich can do both of those things and has more experience than either Edwards or Obama and an incredibly progressive voting record and platform--but unless he can raise enough money to get the media to take him seriously, he doesn't have a chance. We have to keep raising our voices against the media picking our candidates for us.

Eben Flood said...

I didn't say she was liberal. I said the liberal media want her as President.

Anonymous said...

Did you hear Bill Moyer's speech at the National Conference on Media Reform in Memphis on Friday? If not, I've got it at The Homefront. You have to wait through about 10 minutes of Amy Goodman giving the headlines.

I think Hillary is a viable candidate because of the reasons Michael gave. I won't be voting for her, however.

Dan Trabue said...

Eben: Why would a supposedly liberal media want someone who's not a liberal?

And thanks, Marty. There's always good stuff over at
your place
. I'll check it out.

Obama/Moyers 2008? Charisma, experience, outsiders, progressive. Sounds like a winner to me...

Anonymous said...

Moyers doesn't want it. He's got a new gig at PBS. My worry about Obama is that, for all his powerful oratory and vision, he's shallow on actual policies. (This is the opposite problem of most progressives--long on program and policy-speak and short on giving people a moral vision.) And he's more cautious than he sounds--like his current "opposition" to the escalation of the war, but hesitation to cut off funds for it.

I like him MUCH better than Hillary Rodham Clinton--but I'd feel better if he had Kucinich's courage and experience and platform and Edwards' deep identification with the poor--from which he came and whom he championed as a trial lawyer.

Still, the '08 choices are shaping up MUCH better than in '04. No more Kerry-types. No more wishy-washy.

Anonymous said...

I just wrote a great comment and then lost it. Arrgggh!

Dan Trabue said...

We'll just imagine something witty, pithy and brilliant, then.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the lost comment. On the new blogger you have to sign-in BEFORE you comment, otherwise you lose it. I don't know if that is what happened to you Tim, but it's happened to me.

Anonymous said...

i cannot see hillary as a viable canidate at all--for a multitude of reasons, most of which already mentioned.

i am sick to death of having her paraded around as the democratic/first woman president nominee. i hope she gets shut out in these early rounds, but i know the $$$$ can keep her in the running. otherwise we're totally screwed.

Anonymous said...

What's absolutely infuriating is that she is CONSTANTLY referred to as the frontrunner when she hasn't even entered the race! Hello! Until the Iowa Caucuses, there is no frontrunner! She scores well on polls because of name recognition--she also has the highest polling negatives!

Anonymous said...

I hope you guys are right with regard to Hillary not being a viable candidate. I definately DO NOT want her for president. But she does have $$$$ and corporate backing. Seems to me, these days, that's all you need.

Anonymous said...

"Am I totally off my nut in thinking that there's no way she's an electable candidate?"

Well, not for that reason. :) No, I don't think she will be electable. Popular in the northeast maybe, but I don't think she will get many votes in the south. My wife's bro-in-law, who is a Democrat in Oklahoma, when my wife asked him if he would vote for Hillary, he acted as if the very idea was proposterous.

Anonymous said...

Well, she just announced today. (So did GOP Sen. Sam Brownback from Kansas, but few noticed because of Hillary's announcement.) Obama may be the only one with "star power" enough to stop her from getting the Democratic nomination.

I also hear that tomorrow (Sunday), Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) of New Mexico will announce. Richardson, whose mother was from Mexico, would be the first Hispanic candidate in a major party. He was a Congressman, then Energy Sec. under Clinton, and then Ambassador to the UN. He's been heavily involved in trying to stop the carnage in Darfur. In New Mexico, Richardson has worked on environmental issues, improved schools, created jobs, and cut taxes while balancing the budget!
He's got a serious resume, but virtually no name recognition.

TigerHawk said...

I have actually grown to like Hillary, in part because I think she is the only leading Democrat who will fight a forward war against radical Islam. A best-hockey-player-in-Ecuador standard to be sure, but plausible.

Dan Trabue said...

On Saturday Night Live last night they lampooned Hillary having her say, "Well everyone knows I only voted for the war out of political expediency. I wouldn't go to war myself...unless you want me to..."

I think that's closer to correct. I don't think she's really hankerin' for a war, just doing what she thinks will most help her get elected.

I respect that less than Bush's bald warmongering.

Sean Dennis said...

Hey I thought the Democrats in Louisville were nuts for having John Yarmuth running...

I guess I was wrong.

It seems the folks here in Louisville were so fed up with GWB that they were willing to elect an extremely vitriolic liberal.

While the current administration probably deserved some backlash, I hope that the United States rids itself of that sentiment by the time it goes to the polls in 2008.