Comment: Hillary's problem: her record

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Hillary's problem: her record

Hillary has a problem: she has to run on her record, and it is not a terribly impressive record. One of the major factors working in Obama's favor in 2008 was that he basically had no record to speak of, aside from a few votes in the U.S. Senate (his experience in Chicago and Illinois state politics notwithstanding). Other than that, he was just a blank slate onto which hopes and expectations of unspecific "change" could be projected.

This appears to me to be the winning strategy, and Democrats would be heedless to stray from the example of Obama's electoral success. For my part, I think a Hillary candidacy would fail against a Republican "outsider" who does not have to run on an extensive record that, by necessity, must alienate more people as more decisions are made.

If we apply the 2008 Obama model to the Republican field of potential contenders, it's not men like Christie, Paul, or Cruz we should be watching; it's men with fresh, outsider appeal who have yet to alienate substantial segments of the electorate. My bet is on Ben Sasse, so if he manages to win election to the Senate, watch his votes very carefully to see how often he votes "present" or is absent when particularly divisive matters are at hand. This would be a sure sign that the Republican Party is grooming a candidate along the Obama model.