In spite of all premature celebrations (mine included) of the closing of the Clinton age, last night’s Democratic results may spell good things for Republicans. If Hillary continues to eke out primaries, Republicans could have an easier time of things in the general election. There’s a strong argument that Hillary is a much more beatable candidate than Obama.
As all the palpable (if largely erroneous) pre-New Hampshire hype demonstrated, the Obama campaign can come on like a force of nature. People praise him without quite knowing why. Others back him for admittedly superficial reasons (Andrew Sullivan citing Obama’s face as an asset in the war on terror.) Timing, talent, and enthusiasm can turn an Obama spark into a wildfire at any moment. No Republican wants to come up against that kind of momentum.
Hillary’s triumphs, on the other hand, are fragile, manufactured affairs. Instead of a wildfire, her campaign is made of errant friction with an army of stokers paid to keep to the flame going into the next round. One must remember she started out this election with most of the country thinking unfavorably of her. She’s erratic and unliked, and capable of great gaffes that swing the electorate one way or the other on a daily basis. Plus, lately her husband has been there to pick up the slack if things start to go too smoothly. An unstable Hillary nomination could be a Republican’s dream come true. . .