Oct 242007
Authors: Joseph Haynie

Hillary Clinton is like a cockroach: no matter how hard you stomp on her, she never seems to die.

Scandals, ranging from Whitewater to Norman Hsu, have not disrupted or disturbed her along the way to what many have already considered an inevitable nomination. A look at the polls causes one to wonder why and how Clinton is doing as well as she is.

A close look at her résumé does not offer any answers to this perplexing dilemma.

As a U.S. senator and presidential candidate, Clinton is currently at odds with history, even considering her strong position in the polls.

Not since 1960 has a senator ascended to the presidency. Since then, four senators have gone on to secure their party’s nomination, but have subsequently failed to win the White House.

Aside from her time as a U.S. senator, Clinton has little or no relevant experience serving in an appointed or elected post.

Her time as First Lady of Arkansas and the United States, despite efforts to drastically transform the responsibilities of said position and a brief stint in which she was in charge of health care reform, was spent primarily dealing with humanitarian and charitable endeavors rather than developing and implementing policy.

The only “executive” experience Clinton can tout on her résumé came during her freshman year at Wellesley College when she was president of the College Republicans.

With governors and former vice-presidents, not senators and former first ladies, owning the corner on who occupies the White House, it is clear that experience – namely executive experience – is crucial to success.

Hillary Clinton has long been labeled a polarizing public figure. You either love her or hate her – there is no middle ground.

Criticizing her has proven to unite Democrats and Republicans alike.

Former Bush aide, Karl Rove, recently called her a “fatally flawed candidate.” John Edwards and Chris Dodd, both Democrats, consider Clinton too divisive to be an effective president.

Yet despite this, Hillary remains strongly entrenched on top of the polls.

What she possesses in divisiveness, she lacks in decisiveness.

Once a Republican, now a Democrat, Clinton should be trusted as much as Benedict Arnold. But, alas, so is not the case.

Having originally voted to support the current war in Iraq, Clinton, succumbing to electorate pressure, apologized for her original vote and has become an outspoken opponent of the war. She has taken flip-flopper to a whole new level, making it a fashionable and respectable trait.

Notwithstanding her lack of experience and personality flaws, her double-digit leads in the primary and the nationwide head-to-head polls remain difficult to explain.

Although history is not on her side, she seems to be handling the odds quite well.

This is, in part, due to one of her more admirable qualities: a high level of self-confidence. In the face of opposition, as she has demonstrated time and time again, she manages to maintain her cool, confident in her abilities to make things happen.

However, hubris does not always translate to a “slam-dunk.” Just ask former CIA Director George Tennet.

Even Howard Dean can attest to this notion of uncertainty. The “Dean Scream” eventually got to the electorate, resulting in them siding with the lesser flamboyant, yet equally as annoying, John Kerry. Leads are not secure; however, it does not seem that Hillary will not be losing ground any time soon.

Stomp all you want. Unless something drastic happens, Hillary seems unstoppable as she scurries her way to the Democratic nomination.

Joseph Haynie is a senior political science major. His column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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