One of the biggest misperceptions out there is that Hillary Clinton is an unstoppable juggernaut who will run roughshod over any candidate that the GOP puts up in 2008.
Does that mean she's a guaranteed loser? No, not at all. The country is closely divided and 2008 will likely be a tough environment for the GOP, so if you had to bet on a winner, the edge would have to go to the Democrats right now. That being said, Hillary is a weak candidate and almost any set of numbers you look at with regard to her candidacy seems to confirm it.
For example, in late June of this year, A Mason-Dixon poll showed that 52% of Americans and 60% of independents wouldn't consider voting for Hillary. Meanwhile, in that same poll, her disapproval rating was 42%, the highest of all the candidates, and her approval rating was only 39%.
These numbers would be bad news for any candidate, but they're particularly devastating for Hillary because the voters know her so well. Americans watched her in the White House for eight years and they've had a chance to look over her work as a high-profile Senator. Their conclusion? Hillary Clinton doesn't have what they want in a President.
Another dangerous indicator for Hillary is her mediocre numbers in match-ups against Republican candidates. Keep in mind that George Bush's poll numbers are incredibly low right now, Americans are extremely unhappy with how Iraq is going, the Republican base is demoralized, and GOP fund raising is terrible. In other words, if you're a Democrat, the field can't tilt much farther in your favor over a Republican than it does right now.
Yet, if you look at the latest numbers from Rasmussen polling, in head to head match-ups, Clinton only ties with Fred Thompson at 45%. Additionally, she barely beats Rudy Giuliani 44% to 43%, defeats Romney 46% to 42%, and crushes John McCain 47% to 38%. In other words, Clinton is essentially tied with the two GOP front-runners even though the political environment is almost as favorable as it can get for her.
So, what happens if the American people become even more disenchanted with the Democratic Party, which has done a disastrous job since it took over Congress in 2006? What if the surge continues to work and Bush pulls 50,000 troops out of Iraq because they're no longer needed? What if Bush's frighteningly low approval numbers, which almost can't go down much further, rebound? In other words, it may be as good as it's ever going to get for Hillary right now. Moreover, you've got to ask if Hillary is the right candidate, at the right time, in the right place for the political climate we have in America right now.
At the end of George W. Bush's term, we'll have had a Bush or Clinton in the White House for 28 years. Will Americans really want more of the dynasties? In a time when the Democratic Congress has an approval rating in the lower teens, do Americans really want to promote a Washington insider like Clinton from the Congress they dislike so much to the presidency?
Then there are the words, "culture of corruption," that the Democrats made so famous in 2006. Well, no candidate outside of a prison cell exemplifies the culture of corruption quite like Hillary Clinton. This is a woman who was up to her neck in a crooked land deal, Whitewater, who got away with being bribed via dirty cattle futures deals, and the Clintons are the most notorious liars ever to inhabit the White House outside of "Tricky Dick" Nixon. Is that really the record of someone the American people will want in the White House in 2009 given their concerns about corruption?
It's also worth noting that the Democrats have run Northern liberals 4 times in recent elections -- George McGovern, Walter Mondale, Mike Dukakis, and John Kerry. All four times, the country has rejected them. The Democrats two successes in recent years, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, were both southern Democrats who successfully portrayed themselves as moderates and managed to carry southern states. Hillary Clinton is a very liberal carpetbagger who happily abandoned the South for New York and likely won't carry a single southern state. That means she fits in with the former group of liberal losers, not the latter group of faux-moderate successes.
Now, you can go on and on with Hillary Clinton's weaknesses: she's not charismatic, she makes a lot of gaffes, her husband is prone to drop his pants at any moment, the netroots really doesn't like Hillary, she will drive up GOP turnout like no other Democratic candidate could, she's pro-amnesty, and with her weak record on the war on terror, she wouldn't make a credible Commander-in-Chief. These are all issues that will certainly come out in a long, brutal campaign.
Again, Hillary is certainly capable of winning the presidency, but if she's the opponent that we have to face in 2008, it should suit Republicans just fine.