So They Booed Hillary Again. So What?

From the perspective of Hillary Clinton's campaign, a little booing is not the end of the world and will not prevent her from Taking Back America.

For the second year in a row, Sen. Clinton's explanation for her positions on Iraq were booed by liberal activists at the TBA conference in Washington. Though not as much.

Here is how Clinton's strategists put it in perspective: the folks who attend the conference are a small subset of the Democratic base. That Democratic base, in fact, is partial to Hillary overall. Those highly-educated Democratic liberals who are engaged right now have probably made up their mind about whether Clinton's Iraq vote is the most savage of apostasies. If so, they're not voting for her anyway. And Clinton therefore does not need to hone her appeal to them.

When it comes down to it, the old canard applies: what hurts Clinton in the primaries just might help ease that polarization factor in the general.

Is this a buyable stock? Unclear. If the arc of the primary electorate swings toward an acceptance of the complexities of the 2002 vote, then maybe. But if Barack Obama begins to more cleanly delineate himself from Clinton -- as he did yesterday -- then maybe the arc will turn into a circle.

Here are the results of a Politico straw poll at the TBA conference:

--Barack Obama - 29 percent
--John Edwards - 26 percent
--Hillary Clinton - 17 percent
--Bill Richardson - 9 percent
--(Al Gore) - 8 percent (write-in)
--Dennis Kucinich - 5 percent
--Chris Dodd - 1 percent
--Mike Gravel - 1 percent
--Joe Biden - 1 percent

Another marvel of this race: Obama remains popular with self-identified liberals and self-indentified independents. His popularity spans a broader spectrum at this point that any other Democrat in the race.