COMMENTARY | Politico is reporting that a Gallup Poll of 1,024 adult posed two questions. What would be the best reason for a Hillary Clinton presidency? What would be the worst reason for a Hillary Clinton Presidency? The answers were illuminating.
The best reason for electing Ms. Clinton appears to be because she is a woman, topping off at 18 percent. Coming in second at about nine percent was her experience, especially foreign policy (Benghazi?)
The reasons against a Clinton restoration were a little more varied. Six percent suggested that she lack qualifications, that she would not succeed, or that she would just be a continuation of the Obama presidency. Five percent cited her history of scandals. Three percent were afraid of what happened if Bill Clinton returned to the White House. Two percent cited her personal baggage.
The main takeaway from this poll is that the principle argument for President Hillary Clinton is her gender, such as the argument for President Barack Obama in 2008 was his race. If she does run, we can fully expect a great many tiresome ads about breaking the class ceiling. The fact of the matter will be that it would be an example of a woman rising far beyond her level of incompetence. In the British political system, the phenomenon is called “failing upward.”
An “I am woman, hear me roar!” election strategy may be complicated by the prospect of several women competing with Clinton for the top prize. Elizabeth Warren, the uber liberal senator from Massachusetts may become the great left hope for those who imagine that President Obama has been insufficiently liberal. There are a slew of female governors and at least one former governor on the Republican side who might have a go at the presidency.
Imagine a general election campaign in which Democrats will argue that Hillary Clinton deserves to be president because she is a woman and at the same time piling on the most viol, misogynistic attacks on – say – Sarah Palin. The spectacle will be ugly but, in an odd way, entertaining.