Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2008 bid for the White House was "the worst campaign ever," but don't look for the New York senator to disappear from the national stage.
So concludes leading Washington political and corporate consultant and pollster Frank Luntz, among the guests this week on "Inside the Beltway Radio," which premiered late last month and can be heard anytime by logging onto The Washington Times Web site, www.washingtontimes.com.
"It was the worst campaign ever," opines Mr. Luntz, who has consulted myriad national political campaigns over the years. "It was a disgrace."
On the same day as the Iowa caucuses, the Washington-based pollster points out, Mrs. Clinton was leading her opponent Sen. Barack Obama by 22 points nationwide, but then her "arrogance" and "viciousness" got the best of her.
Whether in business or politics, explains Mr. Luntz, "if you think you deserve it, you won't get it. If you think there should be a coronation, they'll pick somebody else other than you."
He says his consulting firm — Luntz Maslansky Strategic Research — examined the speech patterns of both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama during the primary campaigning and determined the Illinois senator and now-presumptive Democratic presidential nominee issued a negative attack or statement almost every three minutes.
Mrs. Clinton, on the other hand, issued an attack "every 50 seconds."
"The American people don't like the way things are going, but they really are fed up with all the negativity," says Mr. Luntz. "This woman just hates: she hates Republicans, she hates [George W.] Bush, she hates corporate America, she hates insurance companies, she hates pharmaceutical companies, she hates oil companies. And a lot of people do, but they don't want to always hear what's wrong; they want to hear what's right."
Mr. Luntz, on the other hand, does not see Mrs. Clinton riding off into the sunset, anytime soon at least. In fact, the opposite is true.
"I've heard it said she could be a Supreme Court nominee; I've heard her talked about for attorney general, which I don't believe," he adds. "She could do in the Senate what Ted Kennedy did" after coming up short in the 1980 presidential primary, when he was the "expected nominee" like Mrs. Clinton.
"He went on to be a great senator," Mr. Luntz notes. "And make no mistake, she's not going away, and should Obama lose [either the presidential election or a potential re-election] she becomes the front-runner for 2012."
The pollster does not see her becoming Mr. Obama's vice presidential running mate.
John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on Townhall.com and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .
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