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Jan-20-2007 23:32printcomments

Hillary is The Democrats` Best Shot

Democratic Senator and former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton entered the 2008 U.S. presidential race on Saturday.

The White House
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(NEW YORK) - Hillary Clinton Campaign Memo By: Mark Penn, Chief Strategist People are always asking, can Hillary Clinton win the presidency? Of course she can. In many of the polls out today, she is already winning. She has national ratings that are higher than the winning presidential candidates of the last two decades had on Election Day and beats or statistically ties the leading Republican presidential candidates in most recent polls. A December Newsweek poll even had her beating Sen. John McCain by 7 points. The people who have come to know Hillary the best love her the most. Hillary won a huge victory in New York, with 64 percent of the vote, after getting 83 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary. In addition to her strong base in the city, she won over the highly Republican areas in upstate NY, where she has been strong since 2000, and went up 17 points this election in the Republican-leaning NYC suburbs. New Yorkers reaffirmed their support of her in her reelection, and she won 37 of the counties won by George Bush in the last election. James Carville and I wrote a piece in 2006 for the Washington Post about how and why Hillary Clinton can win. Every one of the arguments we cited there are even more true today. Hillary Clinton has surged in the polls since the election this November. And women constitute a huge "X factor" in this upcoming election. More than 54 percent of the general election voters will be women, and many -- particularly those in the younger generation -- believe it is about time this country had its first woman president. And they believe Hillary is the right choice. Even before announcing her presidential campaign, Hillary has already proved wrong all the pundits who say that people already know her and that voters won't change their minds. In the last year, the percentage of people who have a favorable impression of Hillary Clinton in the CBS poll rose 34 percent (from 32 to 43, the highest of any Democratic contender). In the December Washington Post poll, she now has the highest favorable rating of any known Democrat (56 percent), and these were her best ratings since 1999. Hardcore Republicans don't like Hillary for the simple reason that they know she can win, and if she does, she will change the policies of their hero, George W. Bush. She has a strong appeal among both Democrats and independents, the two groups it takes to win. Of course, new polls are coming out every day showing one candidate up or another down, and up against these polls from national news sources, there are plenty of other polls out there with less positive numbers -- like a Diageo poll or a Rasmussen poll -- but the major news organization polls, taken before anyone announced, all showed her moving up in favorability and support, moving up in ways many pundits said was simply not possible. Some of the commentators look at the ratings of people who have not yet been in the crossfire, and say they might have a better chance. Recent history shows the opposite. The last two Democratic presidential candidates started out with high favorable ratings and ended up on Election Day (and today) far more polarizing and disliked nationally (see the CBS poll below). Hillary is the one potential nominee who has been fully tested, with the Republicans spending nearly $70 million in the last decade to try to defeat her. She is not just strong, but the strongest Democrat in the field. Hillary is the only one able to match or beat the Republicans after years of their partisan attacks on her. Now that Hillary has closed the gap nationally with the Republicans, the pundits will shift the argument to ask how she will do in Iowa and New Hampshire. Some polls show her down in those states, others, like a recent ARG poll, show her up. The polls in these states are famous for turning around many times as voters get to know the candidates up close. While some candidates have been in Iowa and New Hampshire for years, running as permanent presidential candidates, Hillary has been working hard as a senator for New York. Saturday she is announcing an exploratory committee and announcing she will start a conversation with the people in those states and across America. To them, she is famous but really unknown -- and she will be meeting the primary voters in the same person-to-person way that she met the voters of New York, where she became the state's highest Democratic vote-getter in their recent primary. Can Hillary Clinton get the votes of Democrats in the Democratic primaries? Of course she can. Can Hillary Clinton beat the Republicans and bring the country together for change? Of course she can. Recent polls show this is already happening. Here are a few key findings based on a snapshot of recent polls. There may be others, but these are from major organizations and all from the last 60 days: Hillary was named the "Most Admired Woman" for the fifth year in a row, eleven of the last fourteen years, and has been first or second in that list in every year since 1993.1 Hillary Clinton is the only Democrat who beats John McCain and Rudy Giuliani in the latest Newsweek poll.2 Hillary Clinton 50 John McCain 43 Hillary Clinton 48 Rudy Giuliani 47 She beats candidates like Mitt Romney with overwhelming margins.2,3 In the latest CBS News poll, Hillary has the highest favorability of any 2008 contender (Democrat or Republican) with 43 percent, up from 32 percent in September. John Edwards' favorability is 34 percent, Al Gore's is 32 percent, Barack Obama's is 28 percent, John Kerry's is 22 percent, Rudy Giuliani's is 41 percent and John McCain's is 39 percent.4 Hillary is the candidate Democrats like best, with a favorability rating of 79 percent, compared with 65 percent for John Edwards and 54 percent for Barack Obama.5 Hillary is the candidate Democrats increasingly believe is their best chance to regain the White House. Sixty percent agree that "if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, she'll have as good a chance as any Democratic nominee to be elected President," up from 46 percent in August 2006.6 Hillary leads the Democratic primary horse race with 39 percent, compared with 17 percent for Barack Obama, 12 percent for John Edwards, 10 percent for Al Gore and 7 percent for John Kerry. Her lead is even larger when respondents are allowed to make a first and second choice, with 60 percent choosing Hillary and 33 percent for the next-closest candidate.7 Hillary's Democratic primary support is climbing while others are stalled or falling. Clinton leads with 37 percent (up from 28 percent in October) while Obama is at 15 percent (down from 17 percent in October), Edwards is at 9 percent (down from 13 percent in October) and Kerry is at 7 percent (down from 12 percent in October).8 The latest Gallup poll conducted before her exploratory committee was formed has Clinton ahead of Barack Obama 53/39, and leading the field with 29 percent, with Edwards having announced and showing a 5-point gain (from 8 percent in December to 13 percent in January).9 She is too new to the primary states for reliable poll numbers, but at least one American Research Group poll shows her ahead in Iowa and New Hampshire. And they have new polls out Saturday are showing her ahead in most states.10 Sources: 1. "Most Admired Woman," Gallup, December 27, 2006 2. Newsweek Poll, December 17, 2006 3. CNN Poll, December 19, 2006 (PDF) 4. CBS News Poll, January 6, 2007 (PDF) 5. LA Times/Bloomberg Poll, December 13, 2006 (PDF) 6. Cook Political Report/RT Strategies Poll, December 17, 2006 (Word Doc) 7. "Democrats, Clinton, Giuliani Hold Strongest Hands," ABC/Washington Post Poll, December 13, 2006 (PDF) 8. "Clinton, Giuliani top new CNN Polls," December 11, 2006 9. "Clinton Remains the Front-runner Among Democrats," Gallup, January 18, 2007 10. American Research Group Iowa Poll, December 23, 2006, and ARG New Hampshire Poll, December 27, 2006

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Osotan January 21, 2007 9:20 pm (Pacific time)

Vlad dude.,we.,uh.,didn't exactly "invent" the wheel., but I get your point. Ever thought of running for elected office?

JAFO January 21, 2007 9:01 pm (Pacific time)

depending on fuel remaining.,I might head over to Asia somewhere.,and it was only marginally more logical., commission wise.,but if I did land on the "Gerald" after being waved off., I know I'd get away with it.

Henry Ruark January 21, 2007 8:13 pm (Pacific time)

Re carrier "Ford", probably only Naval vessel with brig equipped with "Get Out Free" door, activated by promise to resign after slammed-shut.

Henry Ruark January 21, 2007 8:00 pm (Pacific time)

Always hard to tell about Royko...that's what made him Royko ! (And "Slats Grobny") Re carrier complex...would you really "put wheels down"?

JAFO January 21, 2007 6:45 pm (Pacific time)

I'd have to attribute more logic in naming an aircraft carrier the " CVN Gerald Ford" over the "CVN Hillary Clinton"., but only marginally,I think osotan may agree but not sure about Royko

Osotan January 21, 2007 6:30 pm (Pacific time)

and if she does have an aircraft carrier named after her.,can you imagine the chagrin of an F-16 pilot having to land on her? "got her lined up now" the pilot would transmit.," "why don't you circle for another pass" maybe the reply. This is not a realistic scenario, read Leonardo for the unfolding saga.

Osotan January 21, 2007 6:23 pm (Pacific time)

if she does get elected.,will they name an aircaft carrier after her?

S.LaMarche January 21, 2007 4:55 pm (Pacific time)

and the slick promotional article? the sparkling Hillary shining us into blind dsregard for her empty presence. She and her husband are dishonest people who may otherwise find themselves unemployed if anything of substance was required of them.,she moves to New York after an embarrasing split up., runs for and is unbelievably elected senator of that "adopted" state while X-hubby rents a space in Harlem but shops in Manhattan! and these are presedential hopefuls according to the powers that be? The current president blatantly stole the first election and the world sat back in stunned disbelief as things just proceeded on., like the fresh.,invigorating and totally B.S. promotional that instigated this comment. Thanks for letting me rave.

Stupid January 21, 2007 4:31 pm (Pacific time)

Why do the Democrats want to shoot Hillary?

S.LaMarche January 21, 2007 4:25 pm (Pacific time)

yes Henry,I confess to "outworld" and could have simplified my opinion by stating in the upcoming election I'm not voting for that air headed contradiction named Hillary. And yes I have helped out in some local campaigns of the past but no., not as an elected official.,and I haven't run for office. Are you suggesting I throw my helmet into the ring? Actually.,I,m sure I could do better! you can vote for me if you want! As a former ice hockey goalie.,I'd tell the prolitariat.,"The Puck Stops Here"!.,well,what do you think? I think Royko would laugh at me out of his office and I know he'd roar at her, as he hated white wine.,remember Slats Grobny?

Vladimir Pudding January 21, 2007 4:11 pm (Pacific time)

I am a registered Communist and will only vote for people in the communist party. I suggest that we turn over all power to Russia and China. They know how to control their population and make people tow-the-line. Or we can ask Hugo Chavez to help us. Anyone but BUSH! I miss the Cold War and the threat of nuclear extinction. Put back the barbed-wire, the Berlin Wall and let's get Atomic! Bring back hydrogen bombs so that America can feel secure. This time let's fling them any old place. How about New Zealand. Yes, what a great idea....let's take over New Zealand. I am sick of hamburger and would like some lamb. A little humor goes a long way when you see no real solution in sight. I am totally yanking your chain, but this is how digusted I feel. I do not trust anyone anymore. All is vanity and all are lies. For a minute there you believed my B.S. didn't you? I am not even a sophisticated Media Mogul to wash your brains. I am just an everyday citizen who is tired of being fooled by promises of a better standard of living. We invent the wheel and the large corporations send it to India, Mexico, China, Indonesia. The American people are just serfs and Kings only hang out with Kings.

very good January 21, 2007 1:01 pm (Pacific time)

Well written press release directly from the main political party running Congress. Way to be the watchdog over government S/N. Worthless... can't even use this version to line a birdcage.

Dr. Bob January 21, 2007 9:43 am (Pacific time)

In reply to "do you really believe this B.S.? She's got one agenda, her own!"....I think that's a refreshing change from those politicians who adopt the highest bidder's Seriously, all politicians are much the same in their rhetoric and posturing. When you reach THIS level of office, you are no longer naive nor truly on one's OWN agenda. As an Independent voter who primarily votes Republican, I support Ms. Clinton's bid for the Oval Office. I want to see what an intelligent woman can accomplish. I'm very, very tired of the status quo.

Henry Ruark January 21, 2007 8:40 am (Pacific time)

Out-w: SO what's your record so far ? Since you do NOT ID-self, you seek credibility under heavy load: No reasons to believe your judgment worth more than belly-button feeling. Have you ever run in any political campaign ? Have you ever assisted in one so learning practical levels for judgment ? If not, why should we listen now to you ? This reporter signs his stuff and lays his pro-life right on line. That's moral, decent, and demanded for any judgment as essential as this one.

Raven January 21, 2007 8:32 am (Pacific time)

Any news on the other candidates running besides Hillary?

The President January 21, 2007 5:33 am (Pacific time)

Every elected official is similar to any one of the members of a Condominium Board of Directors or Managers. Members have their oath not to disclose to the unit owners (electorate) anything in the private meetings. They come to a policy decision even if they internally hate each other. Financial issues dominate the private discussions. The majority of the members rule the final decision even if by only one vote. The Condominium Board becomes like your Government. Rarely does anything really get accomplished because there is so much insider fighting, apathy and worst of all self-serving and collusive decisions for the benefit of the Board members financially (MONEY), the contractors and banks. Ego and power influence all. In a democracy things move slowly, corruptly and to the benefit of the Board Members (Government) contractors (Corporations) and Banks (Money Handlers). The structure and outcome of U.S. government decisions result in the same thing. The unit owners get crumbs. The Board exists for its own members, the contractors (who take kickbacks) and the Banks. The American people get crumbs if they are lucky. Sometimes their lives are put at risk for the benefit of Government and the people they deal with (Corporations and Banks).

Spock; January 21, 2007 2:14 am (Pacific time)

"spock to enterprise.,beam me up scotty! no logic here"

outworld January 21, 2007 12:44 am (Pacific time)

do you really believe this B.S? She's got one agenda,her own!.,she stands for whatever people pay her to say and what does she do.,or has she done, in real life?

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