Presidential voters in an open presidential election year tend to try to solve the perceived problems of the past president.
I think the public, both democratic and republican, perceive the current president to have been inexperienced and lacking seriousness when it came to the presidency.
It may be a right wing talking point and it may be echoed by the establishment, but, unlike other preivous elections, voters will probably be looking for a serious and experienced candidate. If a candidate does not posess these qualities, it will probably take great rhetorical skill to convince a skeptical public that he or she should be trusted with the job.
When it comes to actual governing experience, none of these candidates have a great deal besides Giuliani, Richardson, and Thompson. (I am sure I have forgotten someone in this incredibly overpacked field)
And with her as the nominee, down ballot democratic candidates will also have a problem.
And her last name in the general election will also be a liability- not because people like or dislike Bill Clinton. I think voters will be averse to only electing presidents with the last name of Bush or Clinton.
Contrary to national opinion polls, I find it hard to beleive that Hillary Clinton is popular amongst Democrats. Her poll numbers remind me of Joe Lieberman's poll numbers in 2003. Her numbers seem too related to her being extremely well known in an environment where the general population is not paying attention yet to the race.
Although every Democrat I know approves of her as a Senator from New York, I have yet to meet a Democrat or Republican here in the midwest whose stomach doesn't turn-over when her name is mentioned as a presidential candidate. Perhaps people on the east and west coasts feel differently.
Glad to hear a little discussion on increasing the size of the House of Representatives. The number has been stuck at 435 since the early 60's. Before that, it routinely changed with population growth.
During the mid-term election, the democratatic leadership should go out on limb with this one and propose increasing the size of the House to around 870. This number assumes that you would split each house district in half.
And for those concerned about reforming the electoral college, increasing the number of representatives would easily solve many of the problems associated with the current imbalances. And it would not require a constitutional amendment.