In two posts (here and here), I have noted far more cars sporting bumper stickers promoting Senator Barack Obama’s presidential bid than those promoting that of his rival from New York, former First Lady Hillary Clinton. While the two may be tied in presidential preference polls, his backers more readily advertise their support.
Recently, I speculated that her husband generated such enthusiasm among Democrats because of his success. Unlike any of his party’s previous presidential nominees, he demonstrated an ability to not only win a presidential election, but also to win successive national elections. Do her supporters back here merely out of respect for his past achievements?
It’s not just that.
As I become increasingly aware of animosity to Mrs. Clinton among Democrats as well as Repubilcans, it seemed odd that a woman who could inspire such animosity could generate so little enthusiasm. Usually politicians who inspire such animosity among their adversaries generate a corresponding (if not increased) amount of enthusiasm among their supporters. (Think Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and Bill Clinton in the 1990s.)
In this way, she seems similar to President George W. Bush for the better part of his second term. He has many impassioned critics, but currently gets only tepid praise (at best) from his supporters.