December 3, 2013
Hillary under water in shocking new poll
The news keeps getting worse and worse for the Democratic Party as it contemplates 2014 and 2016. The congressional wing of the part finds itself strapped to Obamacare, a disaster that promises to anger voters even more next year than this, with tens of millions losing coverage through employer-provided policies, and back-end website chaos leaving people who thought they were covered uninsured when show up at the emergency room.
But Democrats comforted themselves with the notion that the "historic first" strategy that worked so well with Barack Obama would repeat itself in 2016 with Hillary Clinton becoming the Republic's first woman president. The excitement over the 51% of the population that is female mobilized to push Hillary and the entire ticket to success has been almost the sole comfort for the donkeys.
But there are signs that this is as much a fantasy as the notion that if you like your insurance and doctor, you can keep them. Paul Bedard writes in the Washington Examiner:
A new YouGov/Economist poll found Clinton, whose approval ratings have typically been sky high, with an unfavorable rating of 48 percent, more than the 46 percent who have a favorable opinion of her.
The YouGov pollsters said that the change in American attitudes toward Clinton "suggests that negative press surrounding the tragic September 11, 2012 attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which led to the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others, may have impacted views about Clinton and her tenure at the State Department."
During her time at State, Clinton's favorable ratings were typically 15 points higher than her unfavorable ratings.
I always believed that Hillary's approval ratings as Secretary of State were purely the result of the enthusiastic media coverage she received, only an inch deep. After all, more than 99% of the population has no contact at all with State Department affairs, and few pay much attention to the details of foreign affairs, much less the role of the State Department. If the media said she was great, why so be it.
But once you look into the details of her tenure, the picture gets much more complicated. There was the embarrassing "reset" fiasco that led to a cave-in to Putin, who has triumphed in Syria and intimidated Ukraine away from its move toward an embrace of Europe. However, Benghazi is almost certainly the main source of her polling collapse.
The raspy near-shout with which she berated her inquisitors at a congressional hearing, "What difference, at this point, does it make?" worked in the short term, shutting up her critics. But in the long run, it will prove to be her undoing. Not only are the words and tone unattractive on their face, they betray a callous attitude toward loss of human life.
Moreover, Benghazi remains shrouded in lies and mystery. The entire fabrication of a story that a rogue video lay at the root of a terrorist attack is shameful, and is certain to be a factor in any presidential election run with Hillary as a candidate.
The big problem Democrats face is that aside from Hillary, they have got nothing very appealing. Joe Biden is making moves as if he is in the race, but a gaffe-prone glad-hander may be OK in a small state like Delaware where the average citizen expects to meet his senator, and it works very well in the Senate, a club with 100 members. However, the presidential derby is far more demanding, and gaffes do not play well.
Then there is Elizabeth Warren, a far left intellectual who only made it onto the Harvard faculty because of her faux claims of Native American heritage. In Massachusetts, one the deepest blue states, she came close to losing to a Republican.
Maybe there is a dark horse out there for the Dems if Hillary continues to collapse. Three years, to 2016, is an eternity. But for now, Obamacare and Hillary resemble two millstones around the neck of the Democratic Party.