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February 13, 2006
Hillary, You Are No Bill Clinton

The London Times reviews the performance of the presumed front-runner for the Democratic ticket in 2008 and finds her performance wanting. Gerard Baker, the editor for its American desk, notes that Hillary Clinton not only cannot connect well in her appearances but cannot even escape the long shadow cast by her husband and most potent political asset:

Few deny that Mrs Clinton is razor-sharp and politically savvy. But even supporters worry about her personal skills, at least before a large audience. She is a somewhat wooden speaker with a hectoring style at times more reminiscent of Al Gore than her husband. And unlike Bill, she projects a lofty, distant air that has been likened to the Queen of Sheba in a power suit.

Last weekend Ken Mehlman, the Republican National Committee chairman, homed in on Mrs Clinton’s personality, saying that she was too angry. His aim was both to pinpoint her weaknesses and to needle her, and it seems to have worked. ...

The hope in her camp is that people will believe that Mrs Clinton has her husband’s political strengths and none of his weaknesses. The growing fear is that she incites the same level of loathing and suspicion as her husband always did, but has none of the charm and personality to deflect it.

Hillary has always come across as a scold and a cold fish on the stump, where Bill may only truly find himself in that setting. He has always had a grace and flow to his appearances that served him well on most occasions. His charm finds its best and most productive outlet there, while Hillary usually sounds rather tight and forced. The comparisons will not make her look any better, and if she has Bill at the same events with her, he will continue to upstage her every time. That only plays into the suspicion that Hillary will run as an end-around to the 25th Amendment to garner Bill his third term in office.

Democrats need to find a national candidate with less baggage than Hillary. Almost half of the electorate doesn't want anything to with the Clintons ever again, and about half of what's left doesn't think Bill is worth casting a vote for Hillary. Rasmussen's last poll demonstrates that Hillary might win in the primaries, but she will get shellacked in a national election and probably would be the biggest get-out-the-vote incentive for the GOP in years. When the London Times plays Lloyd Bentsen to Hillary's Dan Quayle, her negatives no longer can be portrayed as Republican wishful thinking.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 13, 2006 6:42 AM

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