Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ties that blight

The Clinton campaign suffered a devastating loss in South Carolina, largely a result of its negative campaigning. Though her husband has been touted as “the first black president,” Hillary Clinton’s startling defeat likely left her wondering if she might soon lose to the second.

Bill Clinton’s immense popularity, especially among African-Americans, was hardly forgotten. For much of the race, Hillary was exceedingly popular among black voters. Now, however, her constant squabbles with Barack Obama appear to have left her with the short end of the Democratic stick. Though Obama is equally guilty of continuing the fight, Hillary’s enlistment of her husband has not helped her cause, to say the least. The Bill Clinton remembered for his personable disposition and positive nature has not been present on the campaign trail, and the effects are beginning to show. As he continues his attacks, his declining popularity is translated directly to his wife—the inevitable result of being legally and politically tied to one of the most popular Presidents in fifty years.

If she intends to recover from her South Carolina defeat, Hillary must understand the political significance of her marriage. Obviously, Bill Clinton would be a useful tool in any Democratic campaign, but only insofar as his popularity is maintained. Hillary, as it seems, is dependent on her husband’s reputation—if it declines, so too will hers.

So, then, the solution is simple: If Hillary wishes to win, she must exploit the positive aspects of her husband that drew voters to him during his 8-year tenure. That means putting a stop to the interparty fighting which—weeks after it should have ended—has become almost as ridiculously long lasting as Stride Gum. On the other hand, if the Clinton tag-team continues dishing out pile-drivers, don’t expect to hear the saxophone on election night.


Nate said...

Is the first woman in the white house going to have to rely heavily on her husband to get there?

Doesn't seem right.

Jon Gold said...

I always liked both Hillary and Bill, up until about two months ago. How time flies.