Too Bad It Doesn't Mean A Thing

If only it was August 2008, and not 2005…

Gallup on Horse Race: Poll Puts Rudy Ahead of Hillary in 2008 Contest

Its most recent survey in late July found the former New York mayor with the highest favorable rating among several top possible choices, at 64%, with Hillary Clinton clocking in at 53%, John McCain at 51% and Sen. John Kerry at just 42%.

Face to face, both Republicans (right now) top Clinton by the same margin, 50% to 45%, and trounce Kerry 54% to 41%.

One problem with Clinton: Her unfavorable rating, at 43%, is nearly twice as high as McCain’s, and more than double that for Guiliani. Her favorable rating has remained pretty much at the same level, in the low 50s, for two years.

For the record, I’m not one of McCain’s hacks and I don’t particularly care for the moderate/liberal positions of Guiliani. I can’t stand John Kerry.

But that’s not important.

What is important is the real story in this little poll – Hillary’s unfavorable rating. That’s going to be her toughest job, the thorn in her side. If she’s going to have any chance at the presidency, she’s got to lower that percentage. Her handlers know this, and they’re stuck with the realization that she might not be able to do anything about it herself.

The solution? Democrats only know one. Reimaging. With some candidates, it’s as easy as a new hair style (didn’t work for Hillary), a new issue to promote (trumpeting healthcare didn’t work for Hillary), a common folksy personality (didn’t work and wasn’t believable for Hillary), or becoming a local (didn’t work for a Yankee ballcap wearin’ Hillary). If none of these work, then the only thing left is to run to the ideological center. On all issues, STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD! Be on the side of EVERYONE. Be tough on issue that demand toughness from the majority. Be sensitive, understanding and accommodating. Feel their pain. But most of all…

Be liked.

Well, this is where Hillary is today. She’s trying to recast herself as a moderate. Tough on defense! Realistic about (gulp) healthcare! Oh, and be sure to cite a few Bible verses every now and then. Do this long enough and those negatives will be erased, right?

Wrong.

Like most of her past attempts at fooling America, this won’t work for Hillary now. This time she doesn’t have the trappings of the White House to bring her a win. This time she can’t play the role of the scorned wife, the victim of Bill’s philandering. There is no Monica.

So, this is Hillary’s biggest challenge. Bring down those pesky negatives. She must be liked by her supporters and tolerated by the rest. She can’t afford to be hated, and today, she’s hated by too many.

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