According to the latest poll averages at Real Clear Politics, Hillary Clinton leads the Democrat field with 45.9% of the vote. Obama is a distant second at 22.9%.
I might end up eating these words, but the election is over. The next President of the USA will be the Republican candidate, whoever he is. I'm not saying this is a good thing or that I will vote for the Republican, I'm just saying that Hillary Clinton will get the Democrat nomination and there's no way in hell she can win the general election.
Hillary Clinton's problem is TV. As Dan Rather said, the camera never blinks. TV is not the best medium for communicating ideas, but it is the best for showing who a candidate is. TV communicates a candidate's character, his personality, his sense of life. Voters have an instantaneous emotional reaction to a candidate they see on TV and for all too many voters their first reaction is their last.
Hillary Clinton has a remarkably unpleasant character. She is one of the coldest personalities I have ever seen in a politician. And she can't hide who she is on TV. When she tries to cover it up, such as the day she laughed a lot, she looks worse and ends up on You Tube.
Clinton is a statist through and through. She sees the American people as helpless, deluded creatures who need to be forced and controlled for their own good by altruist philosopher-kings like Hillary Clinton. She thinks of herself as having "compassion" and "caring for the common man," but when one thinks of people as inferior children who need to be lied to, there is another feeling just beneath the surface: contempt. Her contempt and condescension shine through on TV.
A Hillary Clinton candidacy would excite and mobilize the Republican base; it would bring out more Republican voters. At the same time, it would not excite the Democrat base much. If anything, Republican attacks on Clinton would motivate Democrats more than anything positive about their candidate. (Such is the sorry, hate-filled state of American politics.) I see very little enthusiasm for Clinton at Democratic Underground or Daily Kos.
That leaves the independents, who are least interested in ideology or party loyalty and are most susceptible to impressions of a candidate's personality on TV. In his piece on the case for Republican optimism in 2008, Jim Geraghty writes this about independents:
The Democrats have thrown away most of the reform issues that helped them a lot with independents: lobbying reform, ethics rules, earmarks, lack of disclosure, junkets, etc. The “culture of corruption” narrowly outranked terrorism on the list of voter concerns in 2006.
What can we infer about independents from this?
Placing "culture of corruption" above terrorism as a concern shows complete ignorance of politics and economics. The welfare state spends over $2 trillion a year on programs the government should not be involved in. The penny ante corruption of politicians is nothing compared to the scandalous injustice the state perpetrates legally.
People who can think at least a little in principle will evaluate whether they support the war and the welfare state and then choose their party accordingly. But people who ignore the war and the welfare state to place corruption as their number one concern are simply... well, maybe I'd better stop before I degenerate into profanity.
Why don't independents align with any party? For the most part, because they're ignorant. They don't give a damn about politics. They play video games and watch American Idol and take their kids to soccer practice and gossip about Britney and Paris. At some point in the fall they realize there's a campaign going on and they get their first glimpse of the candidates -- on TV.
So you see, Hillary Clinton is doomed. She can lie about her ideas, but she can't fake who she is. How ironic is it that a Democrat candidate will lose because a large part of the American electorate has been dumbed down by government schools (teachers unions being a huge bloc of the Dem base) to the point that they are actually too stupid to listen to Hillary Clinton's lies?
UPDATE: Slight revision. I can't believe all the typos I found in this post. In one sentence I meant to write stop but wrote the opposite, start -- a kind of conceptual dyslexia.