Hillary Clinton has a tendency to be her own worst enemy.
That’s the charge of many of her critics, who’ve watched her lose to an inexperienced Senator from Illinois (in 2008), fumble Benghazi, and get caught up in a campaign finance scandal that found her Clinton Foundation taking substantial payouts from foreign interests.
The former First Lady’s baggage, they argue, is the reason her polling numbers continue to fall at a steady clip. Now one pundit has deemed her “unelectable” in a recent appearance on This Week (via Egberto Willies).
Matthew Dowd, a centrist who has worked for both Democratic and Republican parties (most recently the successful Bush-Cheney ’04 reelection campaign), thinks that Hillary Clinton has an uphill climb to the presidency.
His exact words, below.
“To me this is not a campaign problem. This is a candidate problem. If you take a look at the data on her over time, the place where she drops is when she enters the national scene as a candidate. Every time she enters the national scene as a candidate she falls in the polls. That’s just what happened this year. If you just take a look at this. Ignore tactics. Ignore all these things. Take a look at her numbers. And you look at her numbers and you look at the dynamics of the country, where the country thinks we are off on the wrong track, where the country wants a change in policy from Obama, and the President’s job approval is in the forties. All of those dynamics say she is unelectable.”
Even so, Dowd confesses that Hillary Clinton can still win in 2016, but it wholly depends on her opponents.
“Can she win? Yes,” he says. “But she can only win if the Republicans nominate an equally unelectable candidate or she disqualifies herself.”
It’s this last part that has Clinton supporters hopeful. The Republican party, while routing Democrats in 2014, have an open field of challengers for the upcoming primaries.
Some of the more prominent ones — like Mike Huckabee, for instance — do not appeal to centrist voters because of hard-right stances on abortion and same-sex marriage.
Huckabee also recently tied himself to the embattled Jim Bob Duggar before backtracking and removing all references to the family from his website and Facebook pages over the Josh Duggar sex scandal and the disastrous Fox News interview from last Wednesday.
It’s possible that having such an extreme candidate running in the party could prove to be guilty-by-association baggage for candidates like Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. If that’s the case, then Hillary Clinton might be able to win, as her critics would say, “in spite of herself.”
[Image via NY Post]