Bartlett's Misguided support of Hillary
In principle I would not necessarily disagree with his stance. It may be wiser to promote the most liberal democrat, in hopes that this would dissuade moderates towards the Republican candidate in the general election. However, such tactics are only relevant if you believe that the election has already been won by the Democrats. I do not believe this is the case.
While Democrats do have a great deal of momentum, and while the Republicans are "on the ropes", to a certain degree, the two primary Democratic candidates have severe disadvantages: Hillary is a woman and Obama is black. Traditionally women do not vote for women, and "white flight" is a very major factor for black Democrat candidates.
Democrats...desert their party when its candidate is black... In House races, white Democrats are 38 percentage points less likely to vote Democratic if their candidate is blackIf Obama were to get the Democratic nod, it could mean a great flight of white Democrats towards a white Republican candidate.
Bartlett goes on to state,
Republicans should remember that they just barely won the White House in 2000 and 2004 against very poor Democratic candidates and with the party strongly united behind George W. Bush. I just don’t see that happening again next year.. In 2000 Republicans were hardly united behind George Bush. John McCain had a great deal of support in the primaries. Nonetheless, Bush managed to beat the incumbent Vice President. In 2004 Bush beat Kerry despite a fairly weak approval rating. There is no reason to conclude that the 2008 Republican nominee will experience less support than Bush has had in either 2000 or 2004. The nominee will likely experience greater support.
The Republicans are not going to be as united, and it is almost a certainty that the Democrats will run a better campaign in 2008. I think all three of the Democrats within striking distance of the nomination will be better candidates than Al Gore or John Kerry
Frankly, Bartlett is wrong on throwing in the towel. With well over a year before the election it is simply too soon to make any predictions, and certainly too soon to give up on those candidates who will continue to fight the war on terror.
Cross Posted at California Conservative