Hollywood and Hillary

Published February 18, 2005 1:57PM (EST)

George Bush likes to say that he's bravely touching the "third rail" of American politics by forcing us all to come to terms with the need for Social Security reform. But there's another "third rail" in American politics, at least on the Democratic side, and her name is Hillary Clinton.

In all the talk about Hillary as a front-running Democratic presidential candidate for 2008, there are precious few Democrats who will speak publicly about what many consider obvious: Republicans hate her as much as Democrats like her, and it's hard to imagine -- her efforts at moderation on abortion notwithstanding -- how she wins over enough swing voters to put her in the White House.

Last night, David Geffen dared to speak the words. As Lloyd Grove reports in this morning's Daily News, Geffen said during a question-and-answer session in New York that Hillary "can't win, and she's an incredibly polarizing figure." Although Geffen has poured buckets full of money into Democratic campaigns over the years, it sounds like he's unenthusiastic about dropping cash on a second Clinton's run for the White House. "Ambition," he said, "is just not a good enough reason."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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