Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Clintons Poll-larizing America again!

[President] Clinton's legacy is in many ways a story about polls. It is not true, as some critics say, that Clinton always did what pollster Mark J. Penn's numbers told him to do. It is true that no previous president read public opinion surveys with the same hypnotic intensity. And no predecessor has integrated his pollster so thoroughly into the policymaking operation of his White House.—John F. Harris, Washinton

Public opinion, or mobtocracy, float a few trial balloons, see which direction the herd is stampeding and get behind them. That was the way former President Bill Clinton governed and his homies loved him for it because he'd always said what was hip and cool and just what they wanted to hear.

It was the first, “And survey says…” Family Feud Presidency in American history. It was truly a, don’t be mad at me, I just want you to love me, style of governance that would make really bad parents but super primo cool best friends of any parent and child’s relationship.

Yes Polling is what the Clinton’s did best or was it Polarizing? Not everyone agreed that America should be governed like one great big popularity contest. Things like Slavery and White superiority were hugely popular in their day but it took men and women with conviction and faith to stand against popular opinion to change America for the good. If President Clinton instead of President Lincoln would have been deciding, we’d still be owning slaves today. Now that’s a thought!

Clinton a man without convictions or moral turpitude didn’t make decisions based on what was good for the country his decisions where based purely on what was good for his political career. President Clinton believed that as President if you talked about popular things you would be popular.

It was with the critical assistance of polls -- literally hundreds of them, taken daily during campaigns and other critical moments, and at least once a week all through the second term -- that Clinton refined the centrist "new Democrat" language and policies that are one of his distinctive political contributions…

Two once-close Clinton aides, former senior adviser George Stephanopoulos and former labor secretary Robert Reich, wrote memoirs after leaving the administration that recalled bitterly Clinton's reliance on consultants and polling. This contempt for Clinton's data-driven brand of politics is widely, though privately, shared even by many people who still work for him.

"He institutionalized the notion that the presidency is about policy and polls, and this very mechanical notion that if you talk about something that is popular than you will be popular and that's all that matters," a former senior White House aide said. "It drained the majesty out of the presidency. In some ways that was what saved Clinton, but it came at some cost."

Well, speaking of polling here’s some interesting numbers. In a recent poll by a Harris Interactive poll, half of voting-age Americans say that they would not vote for Senator Hillary Clinton if she became the Democratic nominee for president in 2008.

Half of voting-age Americans say they would not vote for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) if she became the Democratic nominee for president in 2008, according to a Harris Interactive poll released Tuesday.

What’s more 1 in 5 Democrats say that they would not vote for Senator Clinton. And 48 percent of Independent voters say they would vote for someone other then Hillary.

If Democrats offer Hillary Clinton as their nominee for the Presidency polling indicates that she is not popular with Americans and they will not support her. I would say that is quite a dilemma for a popularity driven campaign, wouldn’t you?

The question is will the Clintons leave their long established tendency of going with the polls for an unveiled narcissistic attempt to make Hillary head cheerleader. Or will they do what is best for the Democratic Party and let someone else who can win it, in it?

Survey says…She won’t step aside and she’ll lose the election. But who listens to polls anyways?

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