Tuesday, November 27, 2007

When it Comes to It, Electability is the REAL Issue for Dems

Reuters is reporting that if the 2008 presidential election were held today and Hilary Clinton was the Democratic nominee, Rudy Giuliani could beat her.

So could Mitt Romney.

And John McCain. And Fred Thompson. And even Mike Huckabee.

I the same poll in July, people were unfamiliar enough with the most of the GOP candidates that Hilary would have won by a small margin. Not as big as the margin that Barack Obama or John Edwards would have won by, but she would have won. But people have had time to think about it.

The campaign for the Democratic Party's nomination has been about influence and money until now. Many Democratic women want a woman to be president. And Hilary is easily the most well connected of the candidates running for the Democratic nomination. Hillary has led until now. She still leads the other Democratic candidates in polls that ask Democrats who they plan to vote for.

There is a danger for the Democrats, a danger that they could lose sight of the real goal of the nominating process. The goal is not to find out who is most popular with other Democrats. The goal is to nominate a candidate who can become President. The concern has consistently been that Hillary Clinton may not be that person, regardless of her influence and popularity with the party.

The choices are really at the party level:

  • Almost every Democrat wants universal health care administered by the Federal government; almost every Republican believes that it can be left in the hands of private insurance companies and employers.
  • Almost every Democrat wants to get out of Iraq; almost every Republican want to stay in Iraq.
  • Almost every Republican wants to privatize social security and reduce benefits for future generations; almost every Democrat wants to extend the payroll tax so that the wealthiest one or two percent of Americans pay that tax on all (or at least most) of their incomes (like the rest of us) so that we can fund the system as it currently exists in the future.
  • Almost all Democrats are pro-choice; almost all Republicans are pro-life.
  • Almost all Republicans want to take our education system toward government financed private education; almost all Democrats want to strengthen public education and repeal many aspects of the disastrous No Child Left Behind law.
  • Almost all Democrats want to simplify the tax code and make it more progressive; almost all Republicans want to simplify the tax code and make it less progressive (or do away with it and replace it with a federal sales tax).

So take your pick. Do you want a Republican or a Democrat in the White House in 2008. If your answer is that you want a Democrat, that person is probably not Hillary. And if we nominate her, there's a good chance that we will end up with eight more years of George Bush's policies and a President name Mitt or Fred....

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