Free-Floating Hostility

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

An Imaginary Person Runs for Senate, Sun Tzu Stirs

I read ABC's Note most mornings, so today I learned of the existence of someone named KT McFarland, who is running for the Republican nomination to take on Hillary Clinton for Senate this year. She claims to be a committed Reagan-ite who left Washington to take care of her kids. Now she's decided come out of retirement to run for Senate.

As an Art of War guy, I'm trying to figure out what's going on here. Six years ago, Hillary was surprisingly strong upstate, and maybe the thought is that by running a more traditional values-type woman they can weaken her there. The GOP probably can't knock her off on the strength of the rural vote alone. But they can shave down her margin and allow the Anybody-but-Hillary faction in the Democratic Party to make a case that she doesn't have enough universal appeal to win the general election. Maybe they've brought in someone who is not particularly concerned about maintaining a reputation so she can attack Clinton without worrying about destroying her career. Or maybe the GOP wants Clinton to skate easily through this cycle because it believes she can't win a presidential election.

ABC News released this poll, finding that in a match-up with the presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, Hillary would be a pretty strong option.

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