Candidate: Hillary Rodham Clinton
Political Background: U.S. Senator from New York, Former First Lady of the United States.
Campaign Website: http://www.hillaryclinton.com/
Dem Appeal: Immense name recognition, husband still popular amongst Democrats, pro-choice, increased spending on welfare/entitlement programs and other social initiatives, creator of modern universal health-care movement amongst liberals, pro-environment, pro-gun control, embodiment of feminist movement, pro-amnesty/legalization for illegal aliens, pro-union, anti-Iraq War,
Cross-over Appeal to Republicans: Foreign policy and business/commerce stances somewhat moderate, supports "3 strikes" laws, fairly hawkish on anti-terrorism measures compared to Dem Party as a whole, has working relationship with Newt Gingrich, state's rights on gay marriage.
Cons: Incredibly polarizing politician - may be worse than Bush in that regard, is more socialist/progressive than husband who advocated "third way", supported "No Child Left Behind" as part of "village", has many image issues with both Dems and Republicans...Dems see her as "more of the same" and GOPers see her as part of the problems with government, has fairly long list of issues she has flip-flopped on, hated by anti-corporate liberals.
My Personal Thoughts: The Democratic front-runner has issues. She is wildly popular with the Democratic Party base, but fares badly elsewhere. Republicans and "change" voters hate her. Independents are indifferent to her. Radical leftists have luke-warm support for her. If you think George W. Bush was a polarizing figure, image what Hillary could do.
There are those who see an advantage if Hillary makes Bill part of her campaign and they use the 1992 strategy of "two for the price of one" and make a better appeal for independent voters. However, that would increase the polarization as Bill is too centrist for many hardline progressives and is a villainous figure in the eyes of many Republicans.
The question remains about Hillary...how well would she hold up against Republicans? She's already launching the attack dogs in campaign ads against the "Republican smear machine", which may play well now...but if this remains her theme for the next 11 months, she's going to lose. Period.
The time has long-been right for "a" woman (or a minority) to be President of the United States. However, it remains to be seen whether or not the majority of the voting public believes that Hillary is going to be "the" right person for the job.