Sunday, November 04, 2007

Negative Impact

Remember when Newt Gingrich told Sean Hannity last week that he thought Hillary Clinton's Tuesday debate meltdown would cause her chances at the 2008 Democrat presidential nomination to crater? Well, thus far anyway, no such luck:
Tuesday night’s debate was not Hillary Clinton’s finest moment of the campaign season, but there has been little or no immediate damage to her standing in the national polls. In fact, if anything, support for Clinton has ticked up a bit since she stumbled on an answer to questions about drivers licenses for illegal aliens.

Data from the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows that on the two nights following the debate (Wednesday and Thursday) Clinton held a 45% to 18% lead over Barack Obama. For Clinton, that’s an improvement from Monday and Tuesday nights when her lead over Obama had been 40% to 24%.

What have I been saying? That when a Clinton is directly involved in a presidental campaign, the conventional rules of politics don't apply - especially to them. Six days ago Hillary was exposed as a churlish, imperious dissembler, and her poll numbers went up. She did something that would have significantly damaged anybody else in her shoes, but it ends up helping her. Looks like Brother Deacon's instincts (and my own) were right on the money.

Scott Rasmussen adds the obligatory caveat that it's "too soon to tell" what the impact of last Tuesday will have on Hillary's numbers and that Obama and Opie have two months yet to try and exploit it, but let's get real: if the Chappaqua dragon can get stronger after a debacle like that one, doesn't that make her inevitability even more obvious?

This is just an appetizer of the maddening frustrations to come, my friends. Don't say nobody ever warned you.