Andrew says that “There is only one person who can rescue Republican fundraising, reunite the party, rally the base and win the presidency for the GOP. And you know who she is.” This is certainly what Republicans are hoping, and I certainly agree that she has the best chance of losing, but I wouldn’t bet too heavily on this if I were a conservative. After all (Bill) Clinton-hatred was a plenty strong political force in the 1990s, but Bob Dole got a bit less than 41 percent of the vote and Clinton left office with sky-high approval ratings even before the country got a taste of how bad the alternative might be.
Speaking as an admirer of both Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, I sincerely doubt that the GOP wound up in its current predicament because the American people were bowled over by the Pelosi/Reid charisma or their inspiring rhetoric. Rather, the Republicans, having consolidated power in 2002 and 2004 proceeded to unveil a governing agenda whose consequences have been bad for everyone outside a narrow economic elite. The Republican Party needs a nominee who can distance himself from that agenda, but that person needs to run a primary gauntlet dominated by the smallish minority of people (and donors — just look at Mike Huckabee’s fundraising) who think Bush is great and everything would be fine if the president had just vetoed some popular spending initiatives. All of the leading candidates have stood up on stage and pledged support for endless war in Iraq, vetoing bipartisan childrens’ health care bills, and sworn that the economy is performing fantastically.
Come November, that’s going to be a problem and it’s not one Hillary Clinton is going to solve.