There seems to be a sense in the blogosphere that Clinton would be the weakest candidate in the general election. That might be right; on the other hand, I think there's a good possibility that she could be the strongest--not my favorite, mind you, but the strongest. This is why:
In a new book alleging a campaign of slander and intimidation orchestrated chiefly by Hillary Clinton, Kathleen Willey points a finger of suspicion at the former first couple for the death of her husband...Asked if she suspects her husband Ed, a lawyer and son of a prominent Virginia lawmaker, was murdered, Willey replied, "Most definitely"....And there you have it: Hillary's ace in the hole.
Does she believe the Clintons were involved?
"I do have suspicions," Willey said, "yes."
Hillary Clinton has taken 15 years of this crazy vitriolic hatred, and she's still standing. There isn't any accusation against her that hasn't already been made. The people who believe it, the 27 percenters, believe it. To the rest of America, it's just noise.
And the louder it gets, the more it drowns out less crazy attacks on her. It's much too easy to dismiss any right-wing criticism of Clinton as more of the same crazy-ass Vince Foster stuff. They've done her an odd sort of backhanded favor: they've effectively inoculated her against slime.
We don't really know yet whether Edwards or Obama can take a punch. The wingnuts have fired a couple of warning shots across the bow (the haircut, the madrassa), but they haven't attacked in earnest, and we have no idea what'll happen when they do. From what I've seen, I'm not encouraged.
I think Clinton probably has the highest ceiling of the three (although every major candidate, Democratic and Republican, has a would-never-vote-for number in the 40s), but I'm pretty sure she has the highest floor. The former may be preferable, but the latter is no mean advantage.