hillaryhotdog.jpgThis rather unflattering picture comes courtesy of the conservative and somewhat vitriolic No Hillary Clinton website. In all fairness, no one looks good eating a hot dog (or is it a burrito?).

A poll recently conducted by the Siena Research Institute and published on The Empire Page indicates that New York State voters consider NY Senator Charles Schumer twice as effective as Hillary Clinton. According to the article, “When asked. ‘Who is a more effective senator for New York State, Charles Schumer or Hillary Clinton?’ 44% chose Schumer, 22% chose Clinton, 22% said both are equally effective, and 12% had no opinion”. The article goes on to suggest that the poll numbers reflect Hillary’s lack of attention to New York state issues in favor of national affairs that will help lay the foundation for her 2008 presidential campaign.

But Hillary is having problems beyond New York State.

It seems that her political strategy is based upon her husband’s—follow the middle road. But when her husband was running for president, the middle was distinctly more leftist oriented than it is today. In other words, the entire political spectrum has shifted to the right, and, consequently, her middle of the road position is much more right wing than was that of her husband’s. This is a considerable disappointment for many liberals who had staked their hopes on Hillary. The boos and hisses that she received at the Take Back America Conference, for refusing to support a timetable for Iraq withdrawal, were well-deserved in my opinion. Hillary has never adequately renounced her vote for the war, and she has failed to speak up on too many important issues.

Schumer is a better Senator than Hillary. While Hillary and Schumer basically vote the same on most issues, it is Schumer who has shown party leadership and mobilized others. Schumer is more accessible than Clinton, and he is not afraid to speak his mind, because he has no presidential run to worry about.

If Hillary is nominated as the Democrats’ presidential candidate for 2008 and if “playing it safe” will be her strategy, then we should be prepared for four years of whatever Republican is nominated, most likely John McCain.

Russ Feingold, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Al Gore, John Edwards, Wesley Clark, and Joe Biden would all make better presidential candidates, and better presidents, than Hillary.