As one Democrat to another, I advise Hillary Clinton to pipe down and stick to harmless sound bites.
Clinton has the Democratic nomination locked up so she should stop sticking her foot in her mouth by proposing radical left-wing policies that have no national support.
One Clinton proposal, baby bonds, has already come back to haunt her. The other looming over her is her promise to grant amnesty to illegal aliens.
I give my counsel to Clinton as a fellow Democrat who is so turned off by her extremism that, as disgusted as I am with President Bush, I wouldn't vote for her under any circumstances.
Three weeks ago, the Greater Lodi Area Democrats asked me to address its group to discuss the November 2008 presidential election.
In short, I said that under normal conditions neither of the two leading Democratic candidates, Clinton and her closest challenger Illinois Senator Barack Obama, would have much of a chance.
Clinton has the highest negatives of any candidate—Republican or Democrat. And a certain significant percentage of moderate Democrats like me would not support Clinton because of her hard-left politics. Say the name "Hillary Clinton" and millions of minds shut.
As for Obama, his chances at the White House are remote because of his inexperience and because, like it or not, many Americans will not vote for a black candidate.
I went on to say to the GLAD group that this is not a normal election year. Because dissatisfaction with President Bush, Congress and the Iraq War is steadily growing higher, the Democrats should have a fighting chance.
But if Clinton keeps running off at the mouth, all bets are off.
Even though Clinton dropped her baby bonds idea, the concept gives insights into her "tax and spend" and ultra-liberal mentality. Her suggestion that U.S. newborns receive a $5,000 baby bond would have cost taxpayers, according to economists, about $20 billion annually. [Clinton Urges 401(k)s, Matching Funds, By Nedra Pickler, Associated Press, October 10. 2007]
In a survey of likely voters that no doubt influenced Clinton, only 27 percent of Democrats thought the bonds were a good idea.
The biggest benefactor of her baby bonds would have been alien immigration law breakers who average nearly four children per household and visa abusers who come to the US legally but for the sole purpose of having an American citizen child.
Furthermore, Clinton shows amazing disregard for public opinion on so-called comprehensive immigration reform. Although amnesty was defeated in the Senate three times this summer because of public outcry, Clinton still promises illegal aliens a "path to citizenship."
According to a UPI/Zogby poll, 59 percent of Americans feel that the best way to deal with illegal immigration is not amnesty but immigration law enforcement. Here in California, 77 percent of voters think that illegal immigration is a "somewhat" or "very serious" problem.
Although Clinton is likely to carry California, her position on illegal immigration with its negative impact on the state's social services can only hurt her.
Conventional wisdom predicts that a Clinton-Obama ticket would be a lock to win the White House.
I'm unconvinced. That would pair two liberal candidates in a politically moderate nation that may not be ready for a woman president/black vice-president.
The inherent weakness of a Clinton-Obama ticket has created a shift in front-runner Republican Rudy Giuliani's tactics. Giuliani's strategy is, smartly, to convince voters that only he can beat Clinton. [Giuliani Argues He Can Beat Clinton, Associated Press, September 30, 2007]
Giuliani may be right if the November 2008 choice is between Clinton and him.
But conservative Republicans promise that if Giuliani—who they view as unacceptable because of his three marriages and his pro-abortion, pro-gay rights, pro-gun control positions—is the GOP candidate, they threaten to support a third-party nominee who would drain enough votes from him to ensure Clinton's victory.
A month ago I wrote that if the presidential race evolves into a choice among three candidates, "anything is possible."
In the thirty days since my September column Clinton has become more unappealing, difficult as that is to imagine, and conservative Republicans more rebellious about a Giuliani candidacy.
I'm revising my assessment to "surprises are probable".
Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It currently appears in the Lodi News-Sentinel.