Who would easier to beat in the general Obama or Hillary? A perplexing question indeed especially now that it appears Obama has some serious momentum. Let's tick down the pros and cons of each.
First Obama has the charisma. Someone said this earlier in the week and it's true ..."Obama sounds better saying nothing than any politician in the field", a prerequisite for any successful candidate. Looking and sounding good is 70% of the battle when running for any office especially the Presidency.
Secondly, he is a minority and when you're a Democrat that's worth 15 pecentage points in and of itself. If you doubt it ask yourself, would he be a serious contender if he was not?
Thirdly, he's anti-establishment. Obama is riding the wave of a "change mentality". Hillary is considered the old guard, her support is coming from institutional Democrats whereas Obama is being bolstered by the perceived outsiders. Remember, one Oprah endorsement is worth a hundred Ted Kennedy's at this point in time.
Fourthly, the Press loves him.
Lastly, he's not Hillary. Aside from the fact that Hillary Clinton's negatives are higher than any serious contender for the Presidency in history she is associated with Bill Clinton. If you think that Clinton fatigue is not alive and well in the minds of the electorate., take a look at the crowds Bill has been drawing lately.
Hillary on the other hand is far from a gimme either. First she is still a powerful money generating machine. The limousine liberals, Hollywood and top eshelon establishment Democrats will no doubt cough up hundreds of millions of dollars to insure her victory over the "vast right wing conspiracy". Like her husband, she's better at fundraising then anyone in the business.
Secondly, she's a women. It's not as strong a motivator for liberals as being a minority but it's a significant advantage when wishes to spur an ambivalent electorate to get to the polls.
Thirdly, much of Obama's support is coming from younger voters whereas Hillary garners advocacy from the rank and file. In a general election the younger voters tend to be a good deal less dependable then the rank and file.
Fourthly, the Press doesn't particularly like her.
Lastly, Hillary, deserving or not, is perceived as the more experienced candidate. Her eight years in the White House and few more years [than Obama] in the Senate will be construed by her proponents as ample preparation for the Presidency. Obama's complete lack of ANY significant experience will prove an easy target for any Republican running against him.
So there you have it, which would prove to be the easier to defeat? My personal opinion is Hillary. Her very high negatives show her to be unlikable and regardless of how wonderful your policies, people will not vote for someone they don't like. Obama on ther other hand is eminently likeable, even his opponents admit this.
Style over substance has become increasingly important in Presidential politics, on the Republican side Fred Thompson is a perfect example of this. If this were not true it would be a two man race between Romney and Thompson for the nomination.
Three months ago I was salivating over the possiblity that Obama could give the Beast a very hard time, maybe even slay her. Well, now that this has become a distinct possiblity I'm beginning to wonder if my wish coming true is such a good thing.