Executive Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Is Hillary Clinton the Next Ted Kennedy?

Whether Hillary is presidential material interests me even though the odds of her becoming president seem slim. Her missteps have equalled or surpassed her good ones. The sum of who she is will not be what America wants or needs in 2008.

She comes along at a time when the Democrats need a scandal-free leader with experience who is seen non polarizing.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, Hillary will draw lots of interest, and lose. If she makes it out of the primaries -- and I think she will -- she'll lose in November. The thing thrusting her into the spotlight will be the thing taking her down.

I expect her primary victory to be a record breaking landslide, especially after the second-rate candidates (Edwards, etc.) drop out in her favor. They will try to join the Hillary bandwagon, to become part of as massive Elect Hillary effort.

With so much antiBush marketing campaigned by Democrats the last couple years, they have created a strong chance to beat whatever the Republicans throw at the election.

Obama might be scandal-free (seems he is as clean as a whistle), but will not be connected enough internationally to move an agenda. I think he is more than the flavor of the month, but is too fresh to establish a strong enough base.

In Illinois (where I live), he's huge, but mostly because we have no one else. He won the election because no one ran against him, not because his issues were the ones we wanted. Alan Keyes came in, much like Hillary did in NY, and ran. Unlike Hillary, Keyes lost big, had no party support, and is long gone. Obama used Keyes as kindling wood to start the Obama fire.

Obama has soft-pedalled the hard issues, and has yet to make it easy for anyone to answer, "What makes Obama unique as issues go?" Instead, there are replies like, "Wow, what a speaker!" Lots of fluff, not enough stuff. He'll come around with substance, but not until the next election.

I think he will be president eventually, presuming he stays on course. Hillary's course will be as Ted Kennedy's course has been: lots of influence, lots of power, but never a president.

So why then a Hillary Clinton for President blog? It looks at her campaign, but is not necessarily in support of it. There's no ignoring her machine, and its impact on the election. She has money, she's smart, she's known, and she has support. That forces every candidate, pick your party, to make decisions accordingly. I'm trying to semi-objectively look at all of that, with her campaign as a sort of pivot as opposed to my personal position.

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