I am continually amazed by the number of knowledgeable conservatives who underestimate Sen. Hillary Clinton's popularity. I'm equally surprised that the general public can't see through her obsessive desire to capture the White House -- and therefore her unacknowledged but likely wish to see Sen. John Kerry and Sen. John Edwards lose in November.
First, the news that Republicans and conservatives never want to hear or believe: Sen. Hillary Clinton is the one person among Democrats who this year could have sailed to a virtually guaranteed win against President Bush in the general election. What? This overwhelmingly liberal, conniving and self-serving senator from New York? That's right.
Every InsiderAdvantage survey we have ever conducted has shown support for Hillary that doesn't exist for other Democrats. In hypothetical match-ups against any assortment of potential opponents, she enjoys huge crossover support, mostly from women who describe themselves as Independents or moderate Republicans. And this is no weak trend. It's an undeniable pattern.
This creates great confusion and even disbelief among those of us who believe the former first lady is far too liberal (and less charming) than her husband, former President Bill Clinton. So let's illustrate the Clintons' continued hold over much of the public by posing the following question to America. InsiderAdvantage, with our polling partners The Marketing Workshop, asked it prior to the Democratic National Convention.
Q: Do you believe Bill and Hillary Clinton want John Kerry to win the presidential election against George W. Bush?
Yes 67 percent
No 14 percent
Don't know 19 percent
Why did we ask this question? Because it seems clear to many informed Republicans -- and even to many in-the-know Democrats -- that a Kerry-Edwards victory in November might end, once and for all, Sen. Hillary Clinton's ambitions to be our nation's first woman president.
Four years of a Kerry administration would be followed by his re-election campaign. And that would force Hillary to either profess her continued loyalty to a Democratic president, or to openly challenge an incumbent of her party, much as Gene McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy challenged President Lyndon Johnson in 1968. Either way, she would probably have to stay out of the way until 2012. That's a long wait for someone so ambitious.