why, dnc, why?!?
It is simultaneously mind-boggling and totally unsurprising that the Democrats are probably going to nominate Hillary Clinton for the presidency. In an election that should be a perfect storm, when America just can't take any more of George W. Bush and appears to want something very different, I'm reminded that it's impossible to underestimate the ability of the Democratic National Committee to screw things up.
I've been arguing for years that Hillary Clinton is unelectable in middle America, as have most of my left-leaning friends who aren't from the east coast. New York and DC Democrats don't understand how much she is hated in the rest of the country. And by "hated," I mean hated, despised, mistrusted, etc., etc.
As this article points out, the standard argument against my view is that she did fine in upstate New York in her senatorial campaigns. And, as the article also goes on to discuss, some people think this isn't a good argument, because perhaps her support for a presidential run isn't as strong as it was for her senatorial campaign. Also, and more importantly in my opinion, upstate New York Republicans are not like Republicans elsewhere in the country!
This is so obvious! Many New York Republicans would be independents or Democrats if they lived anywhere else in this country. New York politics is a world unto itself.
What is glaringly obvious to those of us "out here in the middle," however, seems to be anathema to the Democratic party establishment. And it's too bad, because they're going to throw away their best chance at regaining power in an era of terrorism.
My students, who come mostly from conservative, Texas families, really don't like George W. Bush anymore. The shift I've seen in Texas classrooms in the last 6 years is remarkable. They are fascinated by Barack Obama, which I never would have predicted. And they grimace every time I mention the possibility of a Hillary Clinton administration.
As do I. I haven't really decided who I like for the presidency yet. At this point, I'm still watching the races as a political scientist (read: as a sport) and trying to get a feel for who would be the best candidate. I want to vote for someone who 1) is a grown-up and can listen to criticism (and, more importantly, will surround him or herself with people who will offer criticism), 2) will attempt to de-politicize so many institutions that the Bush administration has corrupted, and 3) can get past the politics of Vietnam and birth control. Hillary doesn't strike me as the one for that job.