Electability

Back to the 2008 theme (I've got a couple more thoughts on the State of the Union I hope to get around to), one knock against Hillary is that she cannot win in the general election.  I used to believe that myself, but am not so sure anymore.  Partly because the Republican party is imploding under the weight of its bad policies, especially Iraq.  Perhaps more importantly, if polls like this keep showing up,

The new poll finds statistical dead heats in different scenarios
involving John McCain or Rudy Giuliani vs. Hillary Clinton, Barack
Obama or John Edwards. In a hypothetical match-up, Clinton gets 48
percent while McCain gets 47. A Giuliani-Clinton race finds the same
numbers but with the former New York City mayor as the hypothetical
victor.

The public, especially Democrats will actually believe Hillary can win, and I think this is, to a considerable degree, a self-fulfilling prophecy.  If average Democrats and media elites are convinced Hillary cannot win, then she really can't.  But if people, especially the beltway elites, look at enough polls like these, the electability knock against Hillary will have to disappear. 

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State of the Union– initial reaction

The thing about Bush is that he talks a great game of bipartisanship in the abstract, but when you get down to the details, there's really not much bipartisanship there.  He really sounds like he's trying to be the “uniter, not a divider” and then delivers a health care proposal (which I'll say more on later) that is not only stupid, but completely dead in the water with a Democratic Congress.  Having not looked at the specifics of his energy proposal yet, I can only imagine that they will not be much more palatable (though, its not like anyone opposes alternative energy– except Dick Cheney and the oil companies).  For Bush, bipartisanship means, the Democrats are free to do things his way if they want.  I thought Webb did a nice job with the Democratic response, by keeping it very simply and focused and hitting on two winning themes for Democrats: 1) the growing economy is only benefiting a small slice of the country; and, 2) not only has the president really screwed up Iraq, he's ignoring the American people on the issue.  For my of my thoughts on the matter, you can, of course, check out Pravda, Slovakia's largest circulation daily newspaper.

Also, just wanted to add that the MSNBC crew pointed out that on at least one occassion Bush's prepared remarks referred to the “Democratic party,” but Bush just could not resist the somewhat perjorative “Democrat party.”  How's that for changing the tone. 

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