Clinton Addresses Likeability Issue

Dec 17, 2007 11:44pm

From ABC’s Eloise Harper and Kate Snow: Most people don’t have the guts to ask Sen. Hillary Clinton the question David Dickey asked late Monday at the Antique Car Museum in Coralville, Iowa.

But it’s been bothering Dickey a lot lately, so — though he admits he was a bit nervous – he went ahead and launched it.

“I know a lot of people" the questioner began "they just, for some reason don’t like you,” he said.  “I like you,” he added quickly.  But what could she do about all the rest?  All those people who just plain don’t like the woman?

“There are people who would never vote for  me,” Clinton replied.  “Breaks my heart. But it is true.”

“If you’ve been fighting for the causes you believe in and taking on tough special interests as long as I have, you’re gonna get beat up,” she continued.  “There are some people who will never agree with me.”

Some she said, even make a living being anti-Hillary. "Some of the folks the talking heads on radio and tv, you know the ratings dip a little bit, well you know they’ve got a hard core that always responds to going after me, they can make a little money off me.. " Clinton continued,  “I have created so many jobs and wealth,” she joked to applause.

Clinton argued that if people get to know her — as many did in upstate New York when she was running for Senate in 2000 — they might change their minds about her.

“They saw me for the first time as somebody who was a person, not a caricature,” she said.

She also argued that whoever the Democratic nominee is will have “high negatives” as soon as they’re selected.  At least she, she said, has already been vetted.

“I’ve been through this.  A lot,” Clinton deadpanned.  “I know how it works.” 

Clinton then launched into a detailed list of her supporters: "I’m running against three senators and one former senator. None of them have more than one other senator supporting them. I have nine." Clinton also said "we have to win ohio to win the election. The governor of Ohio endorsed me."

“These are not politicians on a suicide mission,” she said.

But Dickey wasn’t completely sold.

“I’m leaning toward Obama,” he said after the event.  The 25-year-old from Iowa City said he’d been to two Clinton events now, two Obama events and had seen Edwards once.

Yes, he does “like” the Senator.  He wasn’t just saying that to be nice.

But he worries that she might not be electable if too many other people simply don’t like her.

“It does sway me,” Dickey said.

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