Can Hillary cut it on the campaign trail?

During our last evening in Paris, we were seated at a restaurant next to a friendly couple that was also vacationing. The woman turned out to be a journalist who covered the 2008 Democratic primary campaign for a major newspaper.

In her opinion, Hillary will not win the presidency. She simply isn’t good enough on the campaign trail.

The journalist recalled that Barack Obama wasn’t a strong campaigner at first either. Once she mentioned it, I remembered having the same impression. But Obama was always better than Clinton and unlike her, he improved.

Obama also had the benefit of Michelle. In the journalist’s opinion, she was the best campaigner on the 2008 Democratic circuit, and that includes Bill Clinton.

Fortunately, the same qualities that helped Michelle Obama relate genuinely to people on the hustings seem to make private life attractive to her. It seems unlikely that she will ever seek the presidency.

As for Hillary Clinton, the journalist finds her campaigning skills only slightly improved from eight years ago. However, her husband, an astute fellow, added an important caveat to her prediction that Hillary will not win the presidency: “Let’s wait and see who the Republicans nominate.”