“Buoyed by her strong lead among women in polls, Hillary Clinton's advisers are predicting that women will carry her to victory in the Democratic primary and that, if they do, they will turn out to vote for her in historic numbers in the general election next November.”--Marcella Bombardieri, Boston Globe Story
Folks, I hate to take away the sense of ease from the Clinton Spin Machine and from the rest of the Democratic Party, but I think they are seriously miscalculating Clinton’s favorability among women voters—I really do. Her likability numbers are = between (+’s) and (-'s), and the general debates have not yet begun.
They are discounting several items:
1) The presumption that all women agree with her. Where do you think conservative babies come from? Women! There are masses of women who not only disagree with her but would actually take time out to bring their children to the polling place as a protest vote against everything she stands for.
2) The presumption that only women will come out in droves. Men en mass do not like “Hillary” or “Mrs. Clinton”. Joe 6-pack will take his lunch hour from the construction site to vote against her. He doesn’t even need to re-hear the NY firefighters and Police boo her at a 9-11 fundraiser after the World Trade Center falling.
3) The presumption that she has the market on “woman’s issues”. One of my favorite speakers I have ever heard was former Vice President’s wife Marilyn Quail. She articulately told listeners she resents how new Senators are telling her what “her issues” are and should be. She believes the military is a woman’s issue as much as a man’s. She believes fertility and abortion is a human issue. Thank you Marilyn! She is right. I care about fertility because I am human. My mother is a woman, my wife is one, and my daughter is too. I care about fertility. My wife, whom I am thankful, is a woman, cares about the military and whom the US blows up and threatens to kill. I reckon some soccer moms may tell the NY Senator where to put those demeaning “women’s issues” and start talking about the issues. Just like I have a mother, wife, and daughter, they have fathers, husbands, and sons whom they love dearly.
4) The presumption that women actually like her or her husband. They are discounting the “ick factor”. American Idol speaks of the “it factor”, you either have “it” or you don’t; Hillary maybe lacking “it” (incidentally, I think Obama has “it”). But even worse, she and Bill have an “ick factor”. I think many women loathe that cackle just as much as I. I think too they don’t see Bill as irresistible but rather are skeeved to the thought of his shaking their or their children’s hands. They are an icky couple.
5) Finally, the presumption that cash will just poor in toward her side. Productive folks who love the US want to see it thrive. Hillary scares them. Clintons may be able to shakedown Hollywood types and Foreign money. They are easy targets for corrupt politicians and the mafia. The GOP candidate may not get the easy come-easy go Nuevo Riche, but may see small and large donations come from hard working Americans who don’t want to see this country sink in the toilet. The local plumber and corporations making his tools may have a stake in seeing the GOP win. Cash is good for an election.
Yes, Hillary may get some women voters from Brown University who have nose rings and hand out fliers on Thayer Street in Providence, but the presumption that only that demographic will be driven out “in droves” may be miscalculated. If campaign staffers stick with these presumptions they mislead Clinton, their party, and ultimately the election. To alter a quote from Hillary: “It takes a village to raise a village idiot”.