Hillary Clinton is a strange female politician. Politicians have to play to their strengths, and some of those are gendered. I argued in this post that it would surely be very difficult for Hillary Clinton to win by being aggressive. I think that’s a taboo with women politicians. Even Margaret Thatcher dressed her aggression up in a kind of imperiousness that Clinton simply doesn’t have – or at least can’t have until she’s won power. (As in all things electoral, I think defending an incumbency is a very different proposition from winning it, and I can’t see how Hillary can win.)
Unlike her husband, Clinton doesn’t really ‘do’ charm. She’s a strangely cold person who seems to have thought that she could run on wonkishness. Bill her hubby might have been the original wonk, but he won as much on charm as anything else. Kevin 24/7 is a wonk, but he was also very careful to craft his image in a positive light, and indeed was not that aggressive in winning government.
Anyway, these chickens might be coming home to roost. According to this article, in the zero-sum game that seems to dominate the democratic nomination now, Clinton’s attacks on Obama seem to be turning her popularity southward a good deal more than his:
Meanwhile, the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Clinton popularity dropping precipitously. She is now viewed favorably by 37% of the country, and unfavorably by 48%, down from 45-43 in early March. (Obama’s rating is 49-32, and John Mccaib’s is 45-25.)