Friday, June 29, 2007

Hillary Update; My Take On Bloomberg

I'll be honest. I started out liking Hillary in large part because she is Bill Clinton's wife, and the "Two For One Deal" logic worked for me.

But as I see her in debates and news coverage of her positions, I like what I hear (so far at least.) She listens to the questions and gives thoughtful answers with a good mix of overview and detail, and that are not motherhood and apple pie generalities. The matters on which she prefers to be silent (Imus, Scooter Libby pardon) are ones where she's resisting playing to the gallery which goes to her credit. So I don't find MSNBC's labeling her an "artful dodger" as fair when she chose to avoid scoring cheap political points by playing to the influential Democrat left. I hope she maintains enough of a lead to be not forced to pander.

Talking of leads the latest democrat nomination polls shows her widening it a bit. Even the latest one by the tricky Fox News for June 26-27 shows Hillary:Obama:Edwards at 42:19:10 up from 36:23:12 on June 6-7. This is with Gore running, and without Gore the Hillary:Obama: Edwards numbers are 47:21:13 on June 26-27, versus 41:26:15 on June 6-7.

The general election polls also show Hillary now leading all the Republican contenders, though some leads are very slender and within the margin of error.

There has been some speculation in the comments following my earlier post of June 15th about how Michael Bloomberg as a third party candidate can change the dynamics. I went out on a limb there to give him under 1 in 50 odds of making President, and under 1 in 5 of spoiling it for the Democrat nominee. If anything, I think he'll help Hillary by splitting the votes of the centrists who (irrationally) hate her. Anyone think differently?

If I were Bloomberg, I'd jump into the fray only if both Giuliani AND Hillary did not secure their respective party nominations. That's because with a farther left Democrat and a farther right Republican squaring off, a centrist like Bloomberg would become more appealing to the mainstream. As I've said I think well of Bloomberg and can see myself supporting him in that eventuality, or even in preference to Giuliani. Just so long as polls show that Bloomberg voters are not throwing away their vote like those Naderites or Perotists of old.


kenrod said...

I disagree slightly with your assessment that Bloomberg will only enter if both Guiliani and Hillary do not secure their nominations. I think he will enter anyway if their numbers are below 35%. Hillary is now polling 41% and Guiliani is around the same.

The question is who will he take away from more, Dems or Gop? Bush 41 would have beaten Clinton if Ross Perot hadn't run. Perot ran a conservative fiscal agenda and the pocketbook issues were high at that time.

Now, the June 30, 07 NY Times ran an article defining some of Bloomberg's social issues. He is a social liberal and the question is if there are any deep pocketbook issues.

Currently, unemployement is low and inflation is minimal (unless you have kids going to college). So it could depend on social issues and Bloomberg and Clinton may split the vote. I think he hurts her more than Guiliani unless pocketbook issues show up.

Third party candidates have always had a hard time though. But Anderson had only $20 million, Perot had $60 million, but Bloomberg is ready with $500 million. And that buys a lot of TV time.

Sandip Madan said...

Let's see how it turns out, Kenrod. What odds are you placing on MB? I gave mine. I doubt he hurts Hillary.

After the primaries neither of the two party candidates will score below 35% in the polls. So you're presumably predicting MB will enter the fray before then. Could happen...

kenrod said...

I give MB a 1 in 10 chance of winning. Hillary is a 1 in 4; Guiliani is 1 in 5. But if MB enters his odds will improve to 1 in 6 because he will not enter until he's pretty sure of winning.

What is interesting is that 52% of the "likely voter" segment say they will, under no circumstances, vote for Hillary. And that number is 45% for Guiliani. Which means the negative rating for both candidates is quite high.

The Dems have a good history of changing horses in mid stream. If they sense that Hillary or Obama can't do the job, they will turn to Gov. Richardson.

The GOP on the other hand, usually find a front runner and stick with him all the way. Stoggy, law and order types.

In that sense I admire the Dems in their ability to sense when change is needed.

Right now it's the Dem's election to lose, rather than the GOP's to win. After all the only slogan the GOP have right now is, "Beware of the 3 most dangerous people. Osama, Obama and Oh Mama! (57 year old Hillary)

Sandip Madan said...

Dems have lost the last two presidential elections all by themselves, so Repubs should take heart from previous history. :-)

Being a stodgy law and order type myself, I'd have no problems being a Republican if that was their defining characteristic. (I think Hilary would be prety tough on crime, though I've doubts about the other two, particularly Obama.)

Instead, I associate Repubs more with meddling in the private lives of others (aka being pro-life); rampart cronyism and governing badly, then saying, "see, I told you government is bad" (heck-of-a-job-Brownie GWB administration); plundering the future for short term gain (environment issues, low taxes and high deficits); mean-spiritedness (Bill Clinton impeachment proceedings); hypocrisy (family values side by side with multiple affairs and divorces); and ignorant narrow-mindedness (creationism).

I won't add corruption to the list (Halliburton, no-bid Iraq and Katrina contracts) because some Dems may be as bad if given the chance. One can draw up a similar list for Dems I suppose, but I doubt I'd find it as compelling, especially for centrist ones.

And of course, there are plenty of very decent Republicans (you sound like one of them, Kenrod :-) ) who don't fit my above stereotype at all. Some of them are my best friends. Thanks for your inputs, Kenrod. Let's see how things go...

kenrod said...

Who I think is a really good candidate but will find it almost impossible to make it is Mitt Romney. Barron's has rated him their favorite. He comes out good on TV, maybe a little too slick. But he's a Mormon and he will find it an uphill battle to get the "Bible belt" in his column. Mormons have two strikes against them. First, their history of polygamy. Second, the secret activities the church conducts. He'll have to give a JFK, "I'm a Catholic" speech before he make any headway.

Sandip Madan said...

Yes, Romney hasn't much chance in the Repub race, and even less in the general election. He's lost my respect after flipping on core issues to try winning over the right. I can appreciate a genuine change of heart, but his moves and their timing look purely opportunistic.