Slate, the online magazine attuned to liberal nuance, claims that Hillary Clinton cannot win a presidential election. It also quotes her former advisor, Harold Ickes, Jr., as agreeing. He said "I'm one of the few in the semi-inner circle who don't think she can win."
This has to hurt. If a conservative magazine denigrates her chances, she can explain it as an attack of the enemy. When someone in her own camp does it, it hurts. Slate, in an article by Jacob Weisberg, says that the problem is not her politics or her husband, but her personality. She is just not likable. She does not “connect” with ordinary people. That, of course, was one of her husband’s best traits. He could talk to any crowd, anywhere, and sense how they felt and thought and communicate with them. He might lie to them, but he would communicate with them. Hillary does not come off as the affable scoundrel, but as the calculating politician.
Here is the money quote from Slate: “Hillary isn't as obnoxious as Gore or as off-putting as Kerry. But she's got the same *** problem, and it can't be fixed.”
She does, however have thong underwear advertisements. Yes, you can buy your own pair of thong underwear inscribed with the words “Hillary For President”.
The most prominent Republican with presidential aspirations is Sen. John McCain. McCain is a worry to conservative Republicans, however. His popularity with the Democrats does not help. Rumors abounded that John Kerry would pick him as his vice presidential candidate. That alone would ruin you for many conservatives. He publicly opposed Majority Leader Bill Frist's plan to employ the “nuclear option” for ending the filibusters against President Bush's judicial nominees. He is also considered anti-business by some, a less than enthusiastic supporter of President Bush, and self important.
David Shribman, Executive Editor of the Pittsburg Post-Gazette, compares McCain and Clinton this way: A Republican who very likely can win the general election but likely can't win his own party's nomination. And a Democrat who very likely can win her party's nomination but likely can't win the general election.
McCain was the subject of a made for cable movie about his Vietnam experience, including his being a prisoner of war during the Vietnam era. That is great publicity, but the election is 3 summers away. Also, as John Kerry proved, if there are any skeletons in this military closet, someone will likely find them. His second movie venture will hurt him with Christian Conservatives, who complained that “Wedding Crashers” had too much gratuitous nudity. You have to give him points by responding that he works with boobs every day in politics.
McCain is also a champion of campaign finance reform, but many conservatives think McCain-Feinhold violates the First Amendment in its restrictions. McCain will be a natural target for campaign finance investigations, since he co-authored the legislation. His opponents would love to find and proclaim hypocrisy by finding McCain violated his own law. In fact, one spot of trouble has already emerged. McCain was head of a “think tank” called the Reform Institute. It has been discovered that the Institute accepted large cash contributions from companies who had business before the Senate Commerce Committee. McCain was chairman of the Commerce Committee at the time. McCain resigned from the Reform Institute.
McCain also has embarrassing ties to Charles Keating and was reprimanded by the Senate Ethics Committee back in 1991 for meeting with bank regulators who were conducting the investigation. The government paid out over $3 billion to cover the losses of Keating’s savings and loan. Keating contributed to McCain’s campaign to the tune of $112,000.
McCain does oppose abortion, which will help him with conservatives. He also is at least somewhat opposed to affirmative action. His most attractive feature may be that polls show that he would defeat Clinton by almost 20 points.
The enemy of my enemy is my president?