Looking past the presidential nomination fight, Democratic leaders quietly fret that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton at the top of their 2008 ticket could hurt candidates at the bottom.
They say the former first lady may be too polarizing for much of the country. She could jeopardize the party's standing with independent voters and give Republicans who otherwise might stay home on Election Day a reason to vote, they worry.
In more than 40 interviews, Democratic candidates, consultants and party chairs from every region pointed to internal polls that give Clinton strikingly high unfavorable ratings in places with key congressional and state races.
LSB: Exactly the same fear I've been expressing for months. For the most part I think Senator Clinton would be a good president; however, I must also confess to some doubts as well. First, she appears scripted at times and, perhaps as a reaction to past experiences, so careful in what she says that I feel I'm hearing more double-speak and spin than sincere expressions. Second, I'm waiting to see more leadership from her, as it appears that she is often waiting for someone else to take a position so that she has political cover when she later takes that same position.
While I will support her in the general election if she is selected by the Dems as their candidate, I will be supporting a different candidate in the primaries and hoping that he is the actual Democratic candidate. Senator Clinton brings too much "baggage" with her, and that will certainly be a drag on other Democratic candidates. Remember, it isn't just the White House that needs to be captured in 2008 - it is also 60% of the Senate and House that will enable progressive legislation to go forward.