The specter of Hillary
Everybody's talking about Hillary in '08, apparently because of a new poll that says 53% of Americans would vote for her.
Democracy Guy thinks Kos and the folks at MyDD might be "lining up behind a Hillary Clinton candidacy in 08."
Oliver Willis says:
... hardcore partisans like me would love nothing more than to hear the collective wailing of the right as Hillary Clinton is sworn in as First Gentleman Bill Clinton looks on... but this is all speculation, and the right is already making moves to smear Senator Clinton in a way that makes the Swift Boat Liars look like amateurs.
But on the other hand, Sen. Clinton knows how to fight back.
The worst thing about President Hillary could be that she'd fail to do just what her husband failed to do -- she'd fail to build a counter-narrative that removes the stigma from being liberal.
There are still other candidates I would prefer over her, but I think it is pretty evident that she is not a sure loser and polarizing figure anymore.
All of this means it's time to start evaluating a Hillary candidacy on its own merits rather than as a function of the enormous hatred we're certain she engenders.
So what are the merits of Hillary '08, then? I'm not sure what to think yet ... I'd support Hillary over her GOP opponent, of course, but there are several possible candidates that I'd rather see get the nomination: Kerry, Edwards, Clark. Probably others. Dean, but I believe he's said he's not running. I'd probably prefer Hillary to Bayh or Richardson, though.
UPDATE: Kos says:
Hillary isn't as toxic with the public as large as many assume. Just because Rush and his ilk can't stand her doesn't mean middle America has it out for her.
He also points to a remark made by Ariana:
I’ve just decided that I do have a litmus test for the 2008 Democratic nominee: someone who can utter, in plain English, an unambiguous, unequivocal sentence about Iraq.
That doesn't seem fair to me. Beyond "it's a fucking mess over there" I'm not sure if there's anything that can be said for certain about Iraq.