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Monday, November 26, 2007

Hillary Says: I Would Totally Beat Ron Paul, Though

Interesting development tied either to more weakness in the Clinton camp than many expected (I still say that she motivates GOP voters to show up like no one else in the field) or, perhaps, the left’s error in committing to an early campaign run tied to heavily to a bet on continued dramatic failure in Iraq. For that matter, it could just be a blip on the screen and not the beginning of a trend.

Whatever, these are the numbers that Zogby is giving for Hillary v/ the GOP frontrunners.

Democrat Hillary Clinton would lose to all major Republican White House candidates, according to a hypothetical election matchup poll Monday, reversing her months of dominance over potential 2008 challengers.

The Zogby International poll was the latest sign that withering attacks on the former first lady were chipping away at her opinion poll leads just 38 days before the Iowa caucuses, the first party nominating contests.

In the new survey, Clinton trailed Senator John McCain 42 percent to 38 percent, former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani by 43 percent to 40 percent and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney by 43 percent to 40 percent.

She also lagged behind former Arkansas Republican governor Mike Huckabee by 44 to 39 percent, and former Senator Fred Thompson by 44 to 40 percent in hypothetical general election matchups.

Even if these numbers are accurate and do indicate the beginning of a soft patch for Hillary (and possibly for the Democrats--who may be seeing their own dismal approval numbers catching up with the public’s obvious disappointment with President Bush and the GOP), remember this: winning votes is important only in that those votes win the key states. I would be interested in seeing a state-by-state breakdown to get a better feeling for how the election could go.

There are a lot of questions about a poll like this, though. Was the Zogby poll reliable and unbiased in its questioning? Is this is still too early to mean much? Will positive trends continue in Iraq? How shallow will this dip in the economy be? Oil prices probably won’t start declining much while the dollar continues to sink--when will the dollar begin a substantial recovery? Will Afghanistan see any setbacks? Will the Democrats ever actually accomplish anything while they have control of congress? Or will they prove to be just as inept as the GOP in an even shorter span of time? What happens to the candidates when the real mud starts splashing around?

It would be stupid to count Hillary out at this stage. She’s smart, she has a team of experienced handlers and campaigners, she’s positioned herself well to the left of the GOP field but nowhere near the far left of other Democrats, and she’s a very good campaign strategist.

But everyone who is ceding the election to the left is making a grave mistake, too. This thing is still open to all comers.

Except Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. Because America doesn’t have that much of a sense of humor.

Read the story.

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Come on, this had to be the most comical line: “the latest sign that withering attacks on the former first lady were chipping away ...”

These rather mild attacks on Hillary by the other Democrat candidates are “withering”?

on Nov 26 2007 @ 01:52 PM

It does make you wonder just how nice people are supposed to be playing with her and why. I mean, if it’s because she’s a woman, then that’s sexist in the assumption that a woman can’t handle the rough politics of a presidential election.

Frankly, I think that if she really starts playing the “woe is me, why are they picking on a woman” card it will be part of a strategy to bring in the sisterhood vote. It certainly won’t be because she’s delicate or unable to play as hard as the next guy.

on Nov 26 2007 @ 03:13 PM

"Was the Zogby poll reliable and unbiased in its questioning?”

For the first time in recent memory?  Not the way to bet.

That said, I don’t know how to weight Zogby’s notorious bias in the primary season.

on Nov 26 2007 @ 04:37 PM

Ron Paul vs. The Philosophically Bankrupt

After reading the name-calling and other non sequiturs from the anti-Ron Paul crowd, I am of the view that their hostility arises less from his opposition to war, or the direction American foreign policy has taken for decades, or any of the other specific programs he has criticized. What troubles them the most is that Paul has a philosophically-principled integrity in what he advocates and that, to challenge him, one must be prepared to deal with him at that higher level.

But modern political discourse long ago gave up on principles, in favor of the pursuit of power as a sufficient end. There is an intellectual bankruptcy exhibited by writers and speakers on the political “left,” “right,” or “middle.” Competing ideas and values that once engaged the minds of thoughtful men and women have given way to little more than pronouncements on behalf of narrowly-defined political programs; the validity of a proposition no longer depends upon reasoned analysis, but upon the outcome of public opinion polls.

Ron Paul’s campaign interjects an energized, principled inquiry into the political realm, an undertaking for which men and women with no philosophic center or rigorous minds find themselves woefully ill-prepared.

on Nov 26 2007 @ 06:52 PM

Zogby Analyst Says Ron Paul Strongest Contender to Beat Hillary

on Nov 26 2007 @ 06:52 PM

The Zogby analyst says that Paul is a strong contender to beat Hillary amongst Democrats and Independents--just not in a general election. That comes from a reasonable reading of the Prison Planet piece:

“Among Democrats, yes, he would be a much stronger candidate than any of the other three (Romney, Giuliani, Thompson)” Wenzel told the Alex Jones Show yesterday.

Now, that Prison Planet piece gives the impression that Paul beats the entire field of Dems and Republicans, but the Zogby piece tells a different story. The title is misleading (although not precisely wrong).

The telephone survey, known as a “blind bio” poll because likely voters are given details of the candidates’ resumes without their names attached, shows Giuliani wins 34% support, compared to 22% each for Thompson and Romney. Ron Paul, who has surged recently in polls and has a significant online following, came in last with 13% support, while 9% said they were undecided on the question.

Keep in mind that this is a blind bio--as soon as people know who they are voting for, Paul loses ground quickly. For that matter, remove Thompson and Romney and see where those voters gravitate. Damned few will be heading for the Paul camp.

Paul is only a winner when Democrats and Independents are included in a poll about Republican candidates. They had no Dem or Independent candidates to choose from. Who would you imagine almost everyone who wasn’t a Republican voted for in that field? If you added in Hillary, Obama, Edwards, and Kucinich, what do you think the results would have been?

The blind bio question was also posed to a larger pool of 1,009 likely voters nationwide, including Democrats and independents, and Paul was the big winner among that universe of voters, winning 33%, compared to 19% for Giuliani, 15% for Romney, and 13% for Thompson.

And then, here’s you:

Ron Paul’s campaign interjects an energized, principled inquiry into the political realm, an undertaking for which men and women with no philosophic center or rigorous minds find themselves woefully ill-prepared.

A person who can’t even manage to understand the significance (or insignificance, in the case of Ron Paul’s candidacy) of a simple Zogby poll dares to complain about my thought processes? If you were intending to show that Paul stood a chance in hell of beating Hillary Clinton in a general election, you failed miserably.

Just because someone disagrees with you on substantial political issues doesn’t mean that they have no principles. Don’t tell me that the man is principled--that’s not exactly uncommon. I consider the majority of my politically active friends to be principled and thoughtful people. That doesn’t make them right, that doesn’t make them wrong, it just means that they take their own political beliefs seriously. There have have been quite a few principled people throughout history who were nonetheless wrong. Principles are most useful in service to the right answer.

What troubles them the most is that Paul has a philosophically-principled integrity in what he advocates and that, to challenge him, one must be prepared to deal with him at that higher level.

No, what troubles us is the incredible arrogance of his supporters. If you’d like to start at that higher level, you may want to start by presenting information that isn’t misleading.

Finally, if you were to go through Paul’s political beliefs one by one, you would find substantial areas of overlap with my own--the same could be said for most of the top tier candidates. The areas where I disagree with him, though, happen to be of the most immediate importance to me. All of the candidates fall short of my own political beliefs; I will vote for the person who best addresses the things that I think are the most important.

Paul, though, isn’t a serious candidate even though he is a very serious person. He will not attract enough of either party to sway the primaries and if he follows through with his promise to not run as an independent, he won’t have any effect at all on the general election. If he runs as in Independent or a Libertarian, he won’t have tremendous effect because he pulls a marginal number of supporters from both sides of the aisle.

Were he to magically become President of the United States, he would also be one of the most useless presidents in memory. He would be working with a congress wholly opposed to him, he has never shown an ability to create a consensus of any significant strength, he’s never shown a willingness to compromise, and the left in particular would be disillusioned with him as soon as the troops were yanked out of Iraq. What else does he have to offer the truthers and Kos kids? Not a damned thing.

He’s about as serious a candidate as Kucinich is and only marginally more entertaining.

[Edited for clarity and a grammatical error.]

on Nov 26 2007 @ 07:47 PM

"I Would Totally Beat Ron Paul, Though”


on Nov 26 2007 @ 07:47 PM

Thanks, Mrs. Argghh!


on Nov 26 2007 @ 07:52 PM

No, Chris, what bothers me about Ron Paul is the level of support he gets from the 9/11 Truthers and Stormfront types.

on Nov 26 2007 @ 08:21 PM

Me, I don’t like the strong smell of astroturf in the comment threads whenever his supporters parachute in from all over the internet.

on Nov 26 2007 @ 08:42 PM

But McGehee, the Ron Paul campaign posters done in crayon ( literally around here ) were so cute!

on Nov 26 2007 @ 09:26 PM

I would comment, but that would break my media sabbatical.

But I will say that I would appreciate the concept of an honest nutbar in the Oval Office.

on Nov 26 2007 @ 10:56 PM

I am totally convinced by Chris Lawton’s ad hominem argument that it’s “the name-calling and other non sequiturs from the anti-Ron Paul crowd” that are the problem.

Get back to me when you have an argument not based on a fundamental logical fallacy.

on Nov 27 2007 @ 08:17 AM

Equating Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich? You’re dead to me.

You too, Robin. Neo-Nazis are morons, who cares who they mistakenly support?

on Nov 30 2007 @ 07:39 PM

Not in policy pronouncements, buddy, just in entertainment value. Kucinich is wrong about almost everything (I can’t actually think of anything that he gets right, off hand, but I like to leave room for the possibility) whereas Paul is right on quite a bit but terribly wrong on some very important bits. For all his entertainment value, he also seems to be on of the least likable candidates I’ve ever seen--which says nothing about his beliefs, but an awful lot about him as a candidate: he won’t be the president.

If we know that, we might as well just enjoy the spectacle.

Every candidate draws some unsavory supporters, I’ll admit. What I find so interesting about Ron Paul is that so many of his supporters seem to be out on the edges.

And I don’t understand why his folks weren’t eager to send money back to the white supremacists.

on Nov 30 2007 @ 09:19 PM

I knew you weren’t comparing them ideologically. But to compare them on the humorousness level of their presidential attempts is frankly ridiculous. No, I don’t think Paul will be President (or even a nominee), but I think there’s a chance. He has raised a ton of money, and seems to have some momentum going into the primaries.

Kucinich, on the other hand, is nothing but laughable. He hasn’t raised much money, he’s a joke in the debates, he’s already proven he’s a crappy candidate in a previous election. The only thing he has going for him is a hot wife (btw, have you seen Elizabeth Kucinich? She is smokin’ hot. There was a Daily Show segment on one of the debates where they would show a shot of her after every Kucinich answer, and sometimes after the answers of other candidates, too. You really couldn’t blame them… she’s gotta be the hottest woman to ever be a candidate for first lady).

on Dec 01 2007 @ 05:58 PM

Oh, and I think the only reason they didn’t send the money back was naivete and inexperience. They thought it would blow over faster if they ignored it, but they don’t realize that his opponents will bring it back up if he ever really looks like a threat.

You gotta admit, though, that the idea, “If people hold views that the candidate doesn’t agree with, and they give to us, that’s their loss,” is pretty spot on.

Obviously I don’t think this is a big deal, but I don’t need to be convinced that a man who portraits of two Jews (Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises) hanging in his office isn’t an anti-Semite.

on Dec 01 2007 @ 06:09 PM
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