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Political Prediction

For the past year and a half, maybe even longer, I've been making a prediction about who I think is going to win the 2008 presidential election. I know that there are people out there like gnomi who can attest to the fact that I've made this prediction. Almost every time I have done so, the people around me have told me I was wrong and explained why they thought so.

I've decided to go out on a limb here and commit my prediction to my blog. And in a moment, I'll explain why I've done so.

First of all, my prediction. I predict that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton will win the 2008 presidential election.

The reason I'm willing to make this prediction public is because of an article in today's New York Times: Clinton Says New York, but Money Hints at '08. In short, Clinton and her husband have been locking up major fundraisers all over the country, despite the fact that her re-election to the Senate this year is almost certain. She has raised more money than any other potential Democratic presidential candidate this far. People may recall that there was a lot of buzz about different Republican candidates in the 2000 race, but the one who ended up winning his party's nomination was the one who had raised more money, and more early money, than anyone else: George W. Bush.

From what I can see, Clinton now has the same edge that Bush had in 2000. And although many people who have told me over and over that there is no way she can generate broad mainstream appeal among the electorate, I respectfully disagree.

Hillary Clinton will be elected president in 2008.

Disclaimer: Please note that all I am doing is making a prediction. I am not endorsing Clinton for president, nor am I commenting on whether or not I think she would be a good choice for the office.
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Comments

The choice of George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton ... could anything be more ghastly?
Fortunately Dubya won't be on the ballot, at least.
Unfortunately, the Republican nominee is guaranteed to be smarter than Dubya, and will be able to disassociate himself from the least popular Bush Administration stances while taking credit, as a fellow Republican, for the most popular stances.
Well, the $64 question is will it be McCain, who I think would be hard to beat. The rest of them don't look very formidable.
I think that the David Duke / Edwin Edwards gubenatorial race in Louisiana in 1991 was more ghastly.

(Anonymous)

Why I don't think H.C. can win

I disagree, only because H.C. is public enemy #1 as far as the right goes. If some governor or senator comes up from the ranks and becomes a front-runner candidate for the Dems, then the Reps will have a reasonable time to come up with dirt and vitriol against that candidate. But Hillary has been in their sites for over a decade. They've already succeeeded in making her the absolute most hated 'librul' on their list. Imagine how they would react if she was the presidential candidate!
-- Dan "Not Anonymous" Wood
Hah. Y'know, I might agree, but not only because of money... I think she'll take the Democratic primary if she works for it (to echo you, this is not an endorsement, just a commentary), and I think if she does, she could carry the fall elections.

I really think in terms of opinions, the US is more in line with more of the Democratic platform, and the Democrats have been suffering because they let the Republicans go negative first, and spend their time responding to allegations.

I don't think Hillary Clinton will make that mistake.
Michael, I think the "broad appeal among the electorate" is precisely the point where most of us don't see her getting very far. No question that she has the name recognition and the capacity to raise money and thus fight for the nomination, but if you want the prediction to be convincing, I'd want to hear why you disagree with people about her potential appeal.
Well, to be honest, this is the most difficult part of my prediction. But I would suggest that a candidate doesn't actually need broad appeal among the electorate, provided he or she can get out the nonvoters. And I suspect that a lot of people who normally don't bother voting may very well turn out just to vote for Clinton.

I don't know if that's enough to make my predicition convincing for you, but it tends to convince me.
So basically you're saying that appeal doesn't matter much. I think it depends on the public mood. If for some reason (eg a recession) people are fed up enough they will vote for someone they don't like (eg Nixon).

The other thing is that I don't see her natural home in the party. She's positioned herself as a pro-war moderate-to-conservative Democrat. If she had strong charisma to go with that then the party would at least be pragmatic about her. But really her main qualification right now is name recognition. I think that as soon as someone else palatable to the party emerges, it will coalesce around that person.
If you were Clinton's campaign manager, how would you convince the Democrats of Iowa and New Hampshire that she'd make a better Democratic nominee than, say, Wesley Clark? "I raised lots of money!" isn't much of an answer. Howard Dean raised record-breaking heaps of money before the first 2004 Democratic primary, and look at all the good it did him.
Dean didn't raise his money early enough would be my guess.
I don't see Clinton being able to beat McCain in the general election.
What about HRC vs Condoleeza Rice?

I have, but have not read, a book about that very possibility.
HRC wins unless a viable male third party option arises. Too much of the electorate is still racist and, in fact, genderist.
Condoleeza Rice doesn't have the "negatives" associated with Clinton: she's perceived as both honest and competent.

It'd be nice to see CR as a Republican candidate. I have to wonder if (a) she wants the job and (b) she feels she's ready for the job.
I'm betting on a Mark Warner/Bill Richardson ticket to win in November. I think George Allen will be the Republican nominee (making it a Virginia-vs-Virginia battle, with Warner carrying his state.)

I Disagree For A Number Of Reasons

The biggest of which is that I don't believe there is a favorable public perception of Hilary Clinton, and sad as it is, that and not her ability to do the job is what will win a candidate an election.

I think that Senator Clinton is portrayed as "far-left" in most media, and there's no question that the right already hates her. In reality, she's a moderate liberal, far closer to the center than most of the left-wing base (such as myself) is comfortable with. Speaking personally, and somewhat off-topic, her recent campaigns for legislation regarding video game violence is worrysome when thinking about first amendment rights.

As for the middle, and majority of this country, I think that the overblown Lewinsky scandal is goign to rear it's ridiculous head again in ANY debate about "family values", an issue which is becoming more and more overimportant in politics. People aren't going to be able to put their associations with that aside when considering Senator Clinton and the right is going to take advantage of that. She's also a very strong woman, something I think is easily portrayed as "Bitchy" in the media, and something I've found the majority of this country still sadly believes.

Speaking of which, I believe that the far right has most of the money and power in this country, and is not going to give it up. Putting their "sneakier" tricks aside for the moment (Why wasn't the Ohio voting machine/voter ratio more of an issue in 2004?), let's look at their number 1 weapon: the lie. Published a mere seven months after President Bush was re-elected, "The Truth About Hillary" is a biography of the former first lady that has been debunked over and over again, yet it debuted at #2 on the New York Times Best Seller list, so there are enough copies in circulation that the message is still out there. If "Unfit For Command" is used as a model, the debunking of these lies will do little to balance out the gross mis-information contained within.

So when you combine the negative associations with her husband's administration, her un-friendly portrayal in the media, and the Republican Noise Machine whirring up a full 3 and 1/2 years before the actual election, to say nothing of whomever is nominated as the Republican Candidate, I don't believe Senator Clinton will be elected in 2008.

Re: I Disagree For A Number Of Reasons

Also, I forgot to change my icon to something slightly more somber.

Whoops.

Re: I Disagree For A Number Of Reasons

"Un-friendly portrayel in the media"? From my perspective, the press worships the ground she walks on.

But regardless, I agree that the negative perception of her will doom her campaign if she receives the nomination. We can argue all day long about whether she deserves that perception, but that's a different debate.

Call me a cynic

HRC can't win because the "swing states" election commissions are controlled by the Republicans, and they play dirty. It doesn't matter how much any candidate "appeals" to the nation as a whole, the GOP (gonfis of politics) have mastered the art of "gaming the system," let's call it, in the states that matter.

Jeb and now-Rep. Harris stole Florida for them in 2000, Diebold acquired Ohio for them in 2004. Until the next Watergate, I don't expect the system to allow a Democratic party candidate to win.

Re: Call me a cynic

I agree.

Wrong, very wrong

For all that she's desperately moving towards the center, she'll never be comfortable there.

She'll never escape her past: Whitewater, for example, or that little business of turning $1k into $100k in the space of a few hours. Or "losing" her law office records and then "finding" them just after the statute of limitations expired. Or stealing stuff from the White House on her way out the door, for God's sake.

I don't disagree that she may capture the Dem nomination: the Clintons have raised tons of money for the Dems and the Clintons will collect on it. She will have the power of the mainstream press behind her. But the Republicans will turn out in droves to keep her out of office, and the more moderate Dems will be reluctant to vote her into office.

Feh. Another eight years of Clinton chicanery? The mind boggles...

Re: Wrong, very wrong

Of course there is no evidence that the Clintons took things from the White House or trashed the Whtie House and, in fact, Ari Fleischer later admitted that they were trumped up and made up charges.

Re: Wrong, very wrong

Interesting. I've read books that claimed the opposite. I wonder what the truth is — but I believe I can state unequivocally that Ari Fleischer never used the words "trumped up."

I have to admit that given the Clinton's behavior on their last day in office, such as pardoning their political contributors and showboating their way out of town, I'm ready to believe anything.

But that's not really the thrust of my statement. I think that Clinton, even if nominated, is unelectable. Between the Republicans who will vote against her, the Democrats who are hesitant to vote for her, and the middle who will hear the charges against her, she has absolutely zero chance. I think that my personal horror at the thought of another eight Clinton years isn't affecting my judgement.

I was appalled when the Republicans put Robert Dole up for President; he simply didn't have a serious chance to win. I'll be very disappointed if the Dems actually nominate Clinton and deprive me of any reasonable fascimilie of choice in 2008.

Re: Wrong, very wrong

I think that my personal horror at the thought of another eight Clinton years isn't affecting my judgement.

It is often difficult to dissociate oneself from one's personal political views when making political predictions. I think a lot of people have a tendency to try to predict what they're actually hoping for.

Re: Wrong, very wrong

You're entirely correct, of course.

What I've found is that I can usually tell who's going to win in the weeks before the election by listening to the radio. The candidate with the most on-air mentions wins.

For the past few elections, I've only been able to predict that the election will be very close.
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