These numbers shocked me. Yes, Ms. Clinton was a victim of her husband's infidelity. But the American public never seemed to get too worked up over any of the presidential soap operas of the Clinton years. Sure, she's very bright and articulate, but I felt certain her seemingly obvious high ambition and calculating nature would rate her a distant second in favorability to her more amiable husband.
Then again, a review of surveys over the last year or so reminded me that Hillary Clinton has consistently outpolled other Democrats in potential presidential match-ups. In essence, she's been able to avoid revealing to the general public the liberal, standoffish, opportunistic image that so many conservatives see and abhor in her.
Undoubtedly, I'll receive a deluge of e-mails and letters telling me how terrible Sen. Clinton is and how there is no way the public would ever elect another Clinton to the White House. But to underestimate this woman would be a huge mistake on the part of Republicans. She waltzed right out of the Deep South, into the White House with her husband, then straightaway to -- of all places -- New York, where many pundits were proven wrong by her election to the U.S. Senate. Now she's working at enhancing her image with a best-selling book and selective TV interviews, such as the recent one with Barbara Walters. Make no mistake: There are few acts of political magic Sen. Clinton can't perform.
So if in five years or so you come across this column, all dusty and yellow, you might be startled at its long-ago accuracy. And if that's the case, some of you might find yourself yearning to return to the days of that kinder and gentler Clinton, Bill. An alternative hope might be that this column is correct in canvassing the possibility of one relative succeeding another in the White House. How about the headline "Jeb Takes Over For George W."? Now that's a column worth saving.