Bipolarizing the election?

I've noticed that a sure sign of when Hillary Clinton is in trouble (at least, when her campaign perceives she needs help) is when her husband steps in to help.

Here's where she's in trouble:

A leaked Democratic poll has suggested that Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner in the race for the party's presidential nomination, could lose the 2008 election because of her "very polarised image".

The survey by the Democratic pollsters Lake Research indicated that both Mrs Clinton and Barack Obama, second in the Democratic race, trailed Rudy Giuliani, the Republican front runner, in 31 swing congressional districts.

The private memo, leaked to The Washington Post, painted what researchers described as a "sobering picture" for Democrats who believe that President George W Bush's disastrous favourability numbers almost guarantee they will capture the White House next year.

All party preference polls show that Democrats are much more popular than Republicans. But when the names of individual candidates are used, the gap narrows considerably.

"The images of the two early [Democratic] favourites are part of the problem," the memo said.

The leaked poll found that Mr Giuliani, a centrist Republican with liberal stances on issues such as abortion and gay rights, leads Mrs Clinton by 49 per cent to 39 per cent in the swing districts.

The former New York mayor enjoyed a much slimmer lead of just one per cent over Mr Obama in the poll, conducted in August. It has long been known that Mrs Clinton has "high negatives" among voters but the assessment of Mr Obama that his "image is soft, and one-fifth of voters do not gave a firm impression of him" was a surprise.

The poll found that Mrs Clinton, in particular, could damage the chances of congressional Democratic candidates on the ballot. The sensitivity of the issue was underlined by the reluctance of Democrats to discuss the survey.

"We're not commenting on this poll," said Daniel Gotoff, co-author of the memo accompanying the Lake Research poll. "It was leaked and obviously not by us."

And here's her husband, to the rescue:
Clinton put on his best "angry face" during the clip. "This was classic bait-and-switch.... These Republicans that are all upset about Petraeus - this is one newspaper ad. These are the people that ran a television ad in Georgia with Max Cleland, who lost half his body in Vietnam - in the same ad, with Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. That's what the Republicans did."

Clinton also brought up the "Swift Boat" attack on John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign. "These are the people that funded the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth. And the President appointed one of the principal funders of the Swift Boat ads to be an ambassador. But they're really upset about Petraeus. But it was ok to question John Kerry's patriotism on the blatantly dishonest claims by people that [sic] didn't what they were talking about."

The clip, which lasted less than two minutes, aired during the last 15 minutes of the 5 pm hour of "The Situation Room." Host Wolf Blitzer played the clip at the beginning of a segment with CNN chief national correspondent John King and new senior political analyst Gloria Borger. The full interview will air on Wednesday's "Anderson Cooper 360." Host Anderson Cooper was the one who interviewed Clinton

The rest of the transcript follows at Newsbusters.

Regardless of the reasons, it's kind of cute when Bill pretends to "lose his temper." The best "tantrum" in recent memory was when he played the role of "angry satyr" to Mike Wallace. This latest one doesn't quite rise to that level, but then, the election's still a long way away.

Notice how Bill keeps baiting what he called the Republican "sliver" last year. (This time, it's the Swift Boat people, but the idea is that they're the right wing fringe, and "it" is in control of the party.)

As 2008 strategy, I don't think they'll rely on Swift Boat bashing. What the Democrats most need this time -- especially the Clintons -- is the Republican War on Sex, and they are bound and determined to keep it going, by any means necessary. (A recent post I wrote on the subject drew a very angry response, which confirmed my suspicions.)

I may be wrong, but I still think that more than anything, they want to run against Gingrich. That way, Hillary can claim to be the less "polarizing" candidate.

Any successful polarization strategy, though, would require neutralizing moderates and political non-conformists. Now that people are in communication with each other, such a strategy would be a tricky business, and if it backfired, there could be unanticipated consequences.

UPDATE: Here's Tammy Bruce:

....MM (the new SS) tapes and watches everything non-leftists do and say in the media.

Ultimately, you will see these sorts of attacks ramped up as we move into the 12 months prior to the '08 election. The left, Soros, and his political and media thugs, cannot withstand independent voices and they will work overtime to silence them. Let's make sure these new gestapos fail.

(From Gateway Pundit, via Glenn Reynolds.)

Media Matters is of course a Clinton operation. (Not that there's anything newsworthy about that....)

posted by Eric on 09.26.07 at 10:21 PM










Comments

Isn't it a little disconcerting that every time there's a little hiccup that WJC has to come out and defend his wife and whine about the big meanies? What's she do - wet her pant suit everytime something happens? And she wants to be presnit?

bandit   ·  September 27, 2007 9:12 AM

It's getting hard to tell who is running for the highest office in the land, the candidates, or their spouses. Somebody tell Bill that Mrs. Edwards accused his wife of stealing her husbands healthcare plan. Great headline for this article btw.

Gregory   ·  September 27, 2007 8:18 PM

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