HILLARY HATING: IT'S NOT JUST FOR REPUBLICANS ANYMORE. �Lying b**** . . . shrew . . . Machiavellian . . . evil, power-mad witch . . . the ultimate self-serving politician.� So said the grassroots Democrats who were part of New Hampshire pollster Dick Bennet's focus groups. And this is New Hampshire, Hillary's strong primary state, not Iowa, where she's already trailing John Edwards in the polls.
Now, that's not to say these haters represent the median opinion of Clinton. But if a significant portion of the Democratic electorate in New Hampshire is strongly motivated to turn out against her, her much vaunted strength in the state may be almost entirely illusory -- particularly if she loses in the preceding caucuses, as may very well happen.
Meanwhile, John Edwards, newly reenergized by a Democratic calendar that puts his strongest states (Iowa and Nevada) first and second, has called for an immediate withdrawal of 40,000 troops from Iraq. Given his deepening alliance with organized Labor, high positives among the Democratic electorate, strong Iowa organization, and moderate demeanor, he's making a play to be the anti-Hillary -- not just through tone, but through organization and constituency support. And if, indeed, there's a sizable chunk of the Democratic base desperate to find a candidate capable of stopping Clinton, expect to see John Edwards and his aura of genial electability getting a strong second look.