05 October 2015

Hillary Clinton–The “But” Candidate

520625453-hillary-clinton-gaNBH5GLsefInteresting Associated Press article about Hillary Clinton this morning that highlights what may be Hillary’s biggest liability as a presidential candidate–this being her ability to repel voters at the same time she attracts them. An affect similar to two magnets that both attract and repel each other depending upon how they are positioned.

This is borne out in the article–Clinton Draws Early Support But Also Ambivalence From Voters–by the number of potential voters who use the word “but” when describing their feelings about Hillary. The AP Journalists interviewed 70 voters from Iowa and New Hampshire, from places where the candidate has campaigned in preparation for next years early primary voting.

“She could certainly manage the country,” said Jim Gallagher, a 61-year-old real estate investor from Manchester. “But she just rubs me the wrong way. But, hey, you don’t have to like her, right?” Jim provided two “buts” in describing Hillary, and his comments suggest that Jim’s vote could easily be pulled away from Hillary.

Likewise with 66-year-old Donna Colabella, who said Hillary “is very inspiring as a speaker and a woman, but she carries a lot of politics with her,” adding that there “is a lot of baggage with Hillary that concerns me.”

“She makes a stand against super PACs but has been known to receive money from them,” said 25-year-old Spencer Jackson, adding that it’s “a double standard with her own convictions.”

“I don’t think she’s ideal, but I think she’ll be good,” said 65-year-old Susan Richards, in describing her opinion on what kind of president Hillary would be.

“She kind of turns me off,” said Marsha Campaniello, adding “but I’d rather have a Democrat in there as opposed to a Republican.”

And while not all of those interviewed actually used “but,” the word was often silentlyanyone_but_hillary_2016_bumper_bumper_sticker present through inflection, hesitation and abrupt shifts from positive to negative commentary. In short, Hillary might be the front-running Democratic candidate, but due to voter ambivalence and outright dislike from some quarters, her candidacy is certainly not assured.

For her part, Hillary showed us a “but” by noting that she is “a more reserved person than maybe some people in politics are, but I also like to have a good time so we’ll mix it up a little bit.” We suppose that the “mixing it up” refers to Hillary’s stint on Saturday Night Live over the weekend, a bid to show the electorate that she does, in fact, have a sense of humor.

But will this effort to make herself more personable be enough to get her into the White House? What other “buts might hinder her bid for the nomination? And when you speak of Hillary do your sentiments include a “but?”

Hash It Out!–Hillary for President, but….



M.J. Moye