Poll: Hillary Can't Be Commander in Chief

Discussion in 'Politics' started by -Cp, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. -Cp

    -Cp Senior Member

    Sep 23, 2004
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    Is Hillary Clinton tough enough to be president?

    That question is increasingly being asked as speculation mounts that the New York Senator will seek the Democratic nomination in 2008.

    A front-page story in USA Today - "Can Hillary be Elected Commander in Chief?" - explores the issue and features a poll that contains troubling news for Hillary and her supporters.
    When respondents were asked if they would rate Clinton highly (4 or 5 on a 5-point scale):

    Only 36 percent said she could handle the situation in Iraq if elected president.

    Just 38 percent said she would effectively protect the country from terrorist attack.

    59 percent thought Clinton is not strong on national security.

    42 percent said she would use military force wisely as president.

    56 percent doubted she could handle an international crisis.

    Only half said she is a strong and decisive leader.
    Overall, 37 percent said they "strongly disagree" or "somewhat disagree" with the statement "Hillary Clinton is tough enough to president."

    Washington insiders say Clinton has been repositioning herself to beef up her standing among voters as a strong supporter of the military who could be an effective commander in chief.

    She is the first New York senator to sit on the Armed Services Committee, and recently introduced legislation to boost the Army by 80,000 soldiers over the next four years.

    She was nominated by the Pentagon – "with which her husband often had contentious relations, particularly on gays in the military – to serve on a blue-ribbon panel studying how to foster better cooperation among the military services," USA Today reports.

    A recent study by National Journal showed Clinton's record on defense, foreign policy and economics last year made her the 34th most liberal senator, while in 2003 she had ranked ninth.

    But critics say Clinton's recent shift smacks of a political makeover aimed at polishing her national security credentials before a 2008 run.

    "I think these are absolutely newfound views," William Black, executive director of the anti-Clinton political action committee Stop Her Now, told USA Today.

    "This is someone coming from an administration that had open disdain for the military.

    "Her whole involvement in getting on the Armed Services Committee is a calculated political ploy to burnish up her national security and defense credentials. She certainly didn't seem to care a whit about the military before."

    Some GOP analysts say Hillary's decision not to divorce her husband after he admitted having an affair with Monica Lewinsky, which garnered sympathy from voters during her run for the Senate, could raise questions about her toughness if she seeks the White House.

    "She's going to have a problem in reconciling voters' pity for her plight as first lady with seeing her as a figure with heft on foreign policy and defense issues," said GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway.

    "That's the nagging underpinning that nobody likes to talk about, the 800-pound gorilla on her back."


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