A 30 second video which sums up why Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States of America


This post carries the normal proviso that I don’t know what the heck I’m talking about so anything I predict is likely to be pure nonsense.

I’ve just done something which I very occasionally do. I last did it in February 2007. I put a modest little wager on who will be the next President of the USA. I put money on Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton.

OK. It’s the misty-eyed old Liberal in me. I got a thrill from betting on Obama the day he declared as a candidate for the President. (I also got a thrill from winning a small amount when he won). And I enjoyed putting money on, what I think will be, the first female “leader of the free world”. Most bookies seem to be giving her about a 54% chance of winning at the moment. Why am I so confident that she will win?

Well, first of all, Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee. I’ve given up thinking he’s going to have a blowout. He’s Mr Teflon. He’ll walk the Iowa caucus and most of all the other primaries. I live in hope of a “dream ticket” – Trump/Palin. That would be hilarious.

And Trump still might get to be President. If, as soon as he has the Republican nomination sewn up, he manages to take an overdose of political Ex-Lax and expel from his body all his previous positions and prejudices, and imbibes a new moderate, mild persona – well, he might do it. I wouldn’t put it past him. George W Bush did it – but George W Bush seemed quite reasonable at the equivalent stage of the process in 2000 – Governor of Texas, compassionate conservative etc etc.

I heard an American saying last night that Bernie Sanders had a 45% chance of winning the Democratic nomination. I don’t think so. More to the point, nor does Nate Silver:

Unlike on the Republican side, this isn’t necessarily a choice between head and heart for Democratic voters. Democrats aren’t just backing Clinton because they think she’s more pragmatic or electable; most of them are closer to Clinton than Sanders on the issues. So even if Sanders gained a lot of momentum after the early states, he could have trouble closing the sale with voters who think he’s a little too far to the left.

One reason to be reasonably confident about Hillary Clinton being the Democratic nominee is that she already has 343 delegates to the Democratic nomination who have pledged to support her. These are the “Superdelegates”. Bernie Sanders has 12 superdelegates pledged to him. Even if Sanders wins Iowa (52 delegates) and New Hampshire (32), he’ll still be 247 delegates behind Hillary Clinton. If the Democratic process gets a bit drawn out, like it did in 2008, Clinton has the upper hand.

So now we come to Trump v Clinton. We hear a lot about the people who like Trump. We hear little about the people who detest him. Let’s take three anti-Trump straws in the wind:

  1. There’s a significant constituency of Republican grassroots supporters who do not like Trump – for example in New Hampshire.
  2. Most Americans just really don’t like the guy.
  3. Here’s Nate Silver again:

    Contra Rupert Murdoch’s assertion about Trump having crossover appeal, Trump is extraordinarily unpopular with independent voters and Democrats. Gallup polling conducted over the past six weeks found Trump with a -27-percentage-point net favorability rating among independent voters, and a -70-point net rating among Democrats; both marks are easily the worst in the GOP field. (Trump also has less-than-spectacular favorable ratings among his fellow Republicans.)

    To be fair, Clinton has a high unfavourable rating at 50% overall (she has always tended to be a bit of a Marmite candidate) but Trump has a 58% overall unfavourable rating. Clinton’s overall net favourable rating is -8%. Trump’s overall net favourable rating is a stonking -25%.

  4. Trump has Hispanic and Latino Americans (13% of the electorate) queuing up to vote against him ten months before the election.

But my hunch is that a Trump v Clinton match would boil down to one deciding criteria. Generally speaking, when faced with the choice between flashy/loud and boring/competent, US voters normally choose boring/competent.

I’m reminded of one of Hillary Clinton’s campaign videos (below) from the 2008 primaries. For me, it’s one of the most memorable American political ads. At the time she got a bit of jip about it. She was criticised for going for Obama’s jugular, accusing him, effectively, of being incompetent and ill-prepared for high office. Underneath all that flak, she actually smuggled into the American consciousness a very important point.

Being blunt, and with apologies, voters (particularly male ones) are bound to wonder whether a woman would be good in a crisis as President. Well, in one 30 second video, Clinton nailed it. She would be very good in a crisis. Yes, she is, email servers and White Waters aside, boring and competent. She can bore the hind legs off a donkey. But when push comes to shove, when they are faced with the choice of the pyrotechnics of Trump or boring/competent Hillary, American voters will choose boring/competent.



* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist and member of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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28 Comments

  • I really hope you’re wrong but I wouldn’t bet against you. Her chances look good, that’s for sure.

    Still, I think Bernie has a far better chance than the the odds at the bookies might suggest, but still Hillary has the edge over him. But I’m not giving up hope yet.

    I hope Hillary Clinton is never president, she strikes me as the sort of dishonest machine politican that craves power so much there is nothing she wouldn’t do to get it.

    If I had a vote I’d vote for Bernie, and if it was a straight contest between Hillary and trump I’d choose trump, simply because I think she is so unprincipled she should never ever be president.

    Hillary was against gay marriage but now that the country are in favour of it and the Supreme Court settled it she’s for it too. She was against marijuana legalisation, now that the country is changing so is she. That’s not a leader, thats someone who will do whatever the opinion formers who own the media will tell her to do. Think she dressed in hunting clothes and played the race card during her run against Obama too. Terrible.

  • I’m with RsF7 on this. I would vote for Sanders. I also think you are underestimating Trump’s lead in the Republican race and over estimating Clinton’s appeal to the electorate. There were reason’s she failed against Obama. I hate saying this, but in a battle against Trump I suspect he will win. It sort of reminds me of the Boris Johnson mayoral campaign.

  • I’m glad you put the disclaimer at the top, Paul. You say : “George W Bush seemed quite reasonable at the equivalent stage of the process in 2000 – Governor of Texas, compassionate conservative ”

    Compassionate Conservative my ………., as Jim Royle would say :

    According to ABC news , George Bush Executed Texans at Faster Rate than Governor Rick Perry. Perry has overseen the most executions of any governor in the history of this country, but the rate at which the state of Texas has executed people was actually higher under his predecessor, George W. Bush.

    Under Perry, Texas has executed 235 people over nearly 11 years – amounting to more than 21 people per year. During Bush’s five-year tenure as governor, 152 people were executed in Texas – more than 30 per year. ABC News September 22, 2011.

    Not the sort of compassionate conservative I would like to have a coalition with – although Tony Blair (King of the PFI’s ,and Saviour of Iraq ?) did….

  • @ Paul “Underneath all that flak”,

    Hmmmm…… do you remember that Hillary “misspoke” about landing under sniper fire in Bosnia ?

    With the other posters, prefer Bernie Sanders (whose brother is a Green Party Councillor in Oxfordshire).

  • I’m with Bernie.

  • Paul , excellent as ever , and I am of the same view , though do not find her as only boring and competent . Perhaps even rather watchable and , though many do not , attractive and likeable ! I think as someone who loves the best of America , my wife is originally from there , that this is important . Sanders cannot win the presidency , so what is the point of Liberal Democrats backing him ! He has never even been active in the party called Democrat and now wants it s nomination ! I know some of the people on here seem besotted with Corbyn , it s rather like us as a party accepting him as our leader , rather than , say ,Susan Kramer , Lynne Featherstone etc ! There is a lot to be said for Sanders , would like to see him as a cabinet secretary , sat in it , he might do good , but Hillary Clinton has it ! I think she is mired in goodness knows what in the way of old business , yet would rather have her that or any way and in office than the alternative , which we now know is Donald Trump !

  • When Carter was elected I thought he would be a great president – he turned out to be good meaning but hopeless. When Regan stood I couldn’t believe the American people would be daft enough to vote for him – many Americans now consider him to have been a great president. For me it has to be Clinton – who could vote for someone like Trump? However, I fully expect the American people to surprise us and give us President Trump and who knows they may well be right.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 30th Jan '16 - 4:25pm

    I don’t often agree with you, Malc, but that’s my worry, too. I am a Hillary supporter and I think she can win both nomination and election, but nothing can be taken for granted.

    Every quiz I take matches me up with Bernie, and, certainly, I do agree with him on more policy issues, but I’m not sure he can win the presidency. He could probably lead our Labour Party, though.

  • Tony Dawson 30th Jan '16 - 4:37pm

    I think you are right, Paul. And I don’t think she will be either terrible as a president or as good as some people think either. The sad state of affairs is that in the US as in Russia and India, Pakistan and quite a few other places in the world, politics is showbiz these days which explains a lot of the Trump phenomenon. The only thing which has ensured her election is not her abilities, substantial though these are. It is because she is the tolerant spouse of a former president, the showman-fornicator Bill. We have ‘democracies’ which are essentially run by various competing sets of politico-media ‘Royal Families’. I guess that’s better than being promoted as a result of the other main factor creating success globally which is being a former senior member of the secret services. 🙁

  • Eddie Sammon 30th Jan '16 - 5:31pm

    Here’s a good article on Bernie Sanders by the Washington Post:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/bernie-sanderss-fiction-filled-campaign/2016/01/27/cd1b2866-c478-11e5-9693-933a4d31bcc8_story.html

    I said last week: I don’t know what you call policies based on misinformation like Bernie’s. It’s not even left wing because the facts are wrong and I think it’s based on hate. A fiction filled campaign based on scapegoating finance professionals.

    So yes, it has to be Hillary for the Democrat nomination, but if there’s an independent like Bloomberg then I’d probably want him to win. Hillary comes across as a bit of a populist herself. She even described her foreign policy recently as “as close as possible to the non-intervention”, which of course is nonsense.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/29/america-war-libya-middle-east-conflict-debate

  • On Bush/capital punishment, I’ve always found it hard to forgive Bill “I feel your pain” for the execution of Rickey Ray Rector. “And?” – Hillary……and misspoke….reveals a bit of a selective embroidery which made her look a less than reliable witness and a bit careless.

    Was in Washington when Obama was elected…. a real thrill at the time…. the streets were full of joy that night. I do hope he emerges eventually as a great President in hindsight. Such a graceful man…. one of the great orators of my lifetime, but hemmed in by the Republican Congress.

    Still….. any one’s better than Trump….. and so sorry Joe Biden doesn’t feel able to stand.

  • Thomas Shakespeare 30th Jan '16 - 7:32pm

    I hope Bernie Sanders wins.

    @Eddie Perhaps some of his rhetoric on banking is somewhat exaggerated, but he makes a good point that Wall Street and the banking sector need more reform and regulation. Although you’d probably disagree!

  • John Roffey 30th Jan '16 - 7:38pm

  • Eddie Sammon 30th Jan '16 - 8:09pm

    Lol, I probably would disagree with more regulation on the banks, but I wouldn’t get worked up about it if Bernie wasn’t travelling the country scapegoating Wall Street for people’s personal finances and clamouring to put bankers in prison.

  • @caron

    every test you take says that you’d be with Bernie not Hillary, but you support Hillary anyway because you don’t think Bernie can win?

    You do know that’s exactly why the liberals lose in the uk?

  • Does anyone on here actually know how lousy Bernie Sanders record on gun s is, a statist and a principled leftist on much , a populist too ,on many things , a typical politician , especially GUNS! Look at his record on guns , not the rhetoric .

  • Tsar Nicholas 31st Jan '16 - 2:26am

    I just don’t get how any self-respecting Lib Dem can be a Hillary supporter. As senator she voted for the Patriot Act and the war on Iraq. As Secretary of State she was behind the attack on Libya and the overthrow of Ghadaffi. She cackled on TV at his death – “We came, we saw, he died.” Doesn’t that remark bother you just bit?

    Hillary actually does things that get people killed in large numbers, and yet self-described Liberals ignore this and go ballistic at unpleasant WORDS from Trump.

  • I just did the whole ‘isidewith.com’ quiz and, as expected, Rand Paul came out top of my list, with 90% policy agreement. The highest ranking Democrat was Sanders (62%). Clinton was a lowly 34%.

    I actually think that Clinton is less electable than Sanders. I watched the recent Republican debate and she was being legitimately savaged from left, right and center. I truly worry for her when she has to go one on one with the Republican nominee. Having said that, Trump winning the nomination would in my opinion be Hillary’s only saving grace. I think that she would lose heavily versus Cruz, Rubio or Paul, for the simple fact that they have so much ammunition to use against her. Trump, being somewhat of a buffoon himself, may not have the political knowhow to use that against her.

    I, for one, hope that Hillary never becomes president.

  • Paul In Wokingham 31st Jan '16 - 8:44am

    If Hillary is candidate then I – like others here – would feel no enthusiasm whatever for her candidacy. Clinton is basically a Tory wet: she was, after all, president of Wellesley College Young Republicans before she met her future husband. She has supported policies that Liberals oppose and she has strongly opposed policies that are touchstones for Liberals.

    However any Liberal watching the Trumpless Republican “debate” on Thursday would have been slack-jawed with horror at the thought of a President drawn from that set of warmongering, climate-change denying, anti-choice rich guys who want to kill the affordable care act.

    If the Democrats choose Clinton then I hope she wins simply because the alternative is so awful, not because I have any positive expectations of a Clinton presidency.

  • Peter Davies 31st Jan '16 - 10:10am

    To quote Malcolm Rifkind on Clinton: “I tremble when I think what would happen if any of the others [won], I don’t care whether its a Republican or a Democrat. I am interested in how they are going to deal with the problems of the world.”

  • If it does turn out to be a straight fight between Clinton and Trump – and I hope it does because I think Hilary is just to smart for him – it will be interesting to see who Fox News supports!

  • Trump may be an idiot, but at least he’s not a “conviction” idiot. I find the thought of President Cruz more scarey than President Trump.

    Any US President will always struggle to achieve anything in the face of a hostile Senate and House, and they will be (almost) as hostile to Trump as they would be to Clinton.

  • Tsar Nicholas 2nd Feb '16 - 8:41pm

    Hillary’s performance in Iowa was not good enough for her to consider the nomination sown up, even with super delegates on her side.

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