Sunday, November 25, 2007

Hating Hillary

We have discussed Hillary haters and her extraordinarily high negatives. But those cold polling statistics are nothing compared to what the Daily Telegraph's Toby Harnden found in his tour of America's flyover country. Harnden crisscrossed America from Portland, Maine, to San Diego and from Seattle to Merritt Island on Florida's Atlantic coast.

After visiting the America where "people shop at Wal-Mart, eat at Dairy Queen, work two jobs to make ends meet and have a Bible at home," Harnden concludes "America hates Hillary Clinton and Co.:"

Mrs Clinton might be the frontrunner in the polls, but almost everywhere we went people questioned her candidacy. Many stated bluntly that they did not want a woman in charge. "It's a man's world," said Hugh Laflin, 62, a Kansas truck driver. "Would a Middle East sheikh talk to a lady president?"

A Vietnam veteran in Arizona and a Florida gun-shop owner were among those who made crude jokes about America "going to war every 30 days" under a female president. We never brought up Bill Clinton's sexual dalliances, but many ordinary Americans did. "She couldn't keep her own home together, so how can we trust her to manage America?" asked Micki Martinson, a housewife in Somerset, Pennsylvania.

While we found many people who hated Mrs Clinton, those who loved her were few and far between. Certainly, many said they would vote for her, but the reasons cited tended to be her status as the top Democrat, the fact that she was battle-tested against Republicans and - for some women - the fact that she would be the first female president.

Such support might register in the opinion polls, but could melt away should the former First Lady lose in Iowa. And the frequently expressed nightmare for Democrats is that she will win their party's nomination but lose to a Republican next November when most Americans decide they don't much like her.
Obama has recently overtaken Hillary in Iowa. In response the Hillary campaign has started lowering expectations, preparing for a possible loss in Iowa.

Nor does Harnden have good news for Barack Obama:
Beyond the coasts and outside the college towns, Obamamania was difficult to find. His lofty, professorial manner has made it difficult for him to connect with ordinary Americans and he could well go the way of earlier "outsider" Democrats running on a platform of change, including Gary Hart, Paul Tsongas and Bill Bradley. Obama's lack of experience was a staple of conversations about him.

Although few people cite Obama's race as a negative factor, there are clearly worries about whether he is too exotic a creature for Middle America. Some openly speculated that he was a Muslim - the result of snippets from his background cited in emails that have dropped into inboxes everywhere.

A childhood in Indonesia and Hawaii and mixed-race parentage in some ways epitomize modern America. But voters are often most comfortable with the candidate they can best relate to - something Bush tapped into in 2000 when he played down his Yale education and chose not to reveal how often he had traveled abroad.
Harnden did find support for Giuliani:
The great and the good of Washington decreed long ago that Mr Giuliani, who favors abortion and gay rights and has previously advocated gun controls, was too liberal to secure the Republican nomination. Not so in the flyover states, where in the post-9/11 world, defending America trumps everything else among conservatives.

"I have always admired Giuliani, especially after 9/11," said Grita Poehle, a German-born new citizen in San Diego. "If he can do for America what he did for New York, that would be good."
I grew up in flyover counter. I agree with Harnden, flyover folks don't care much for Hillary and remain security voters first.

1 comment:

vote for hillary said...

They only hate her because she's the only one with the nerve to crack down on the greed and corruption that the smear merchants have been profiting from.