In a March 4 U.S. News & World Report article titled "Crafting the New Hillary," chief White House correspondent Kenneth T. Walsh wrote that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-NY) presentation at a recent energy policy conference in Washington, D.C., "was devoid of hard edges, contrary to her longtime image among critics as a harridan and a polarizer." After stating that Clinton's "critics" view her as a polarizing figure, Walsh went on to assert as fact that she was polarizing, writing, "perhaps it's no wonder that Hillary is just as polarizing as President Bush, maybe more so." From U.S. News & World Report:
Her [Clinton's] presentation was devoid of hard edges, contrary to her longtime image among critics as a harridan and a polarizer. Instead, Clinton has begun trying to present a warmer, more genial side -- and she's having some success. Forty percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of Hillary Clinton, but 58 percent see her favorably, according to the latest USA Today/Gallup poll. That's an improvement from just a few years ago (chart, Page 26). And she enjoys a substantial lead over her Democratic rivals for the 2008 presidential nomination.
"When you're attacked," she [Clinton] declared in Iowa in late January, "you have to deck your opponents. You can count on me to stand my ground and fight back." With that kind of rhetoric, perhaps it's no wonder that Hillary is just as polarizing as President Bush, maybe more so. Republican strategists, in fact, say she has so many detractors that she could never persuade more than a bare majority of Americans to vote for her. This again raises the nagging question of her electability, long a sore point. Her advisers are doing their best to counteract it.
As Walsh noted in his article, according a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted February 9-11, "Forty percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of Hillary Clinton, but 58 percent see her favorably." Despite speculating that Clinton may be more polarizing than Bush, Walsh did not note that according to the same poll, 55 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of President Bush and 44 percent view him favorably.