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Even with Barack Obama getting traditional Clinton support from Hollywood power-brokers here in California, the state is without question Hillary Clinton country.

The latest poll taken from Survey U.S.A. between 06/29 and 07/01 has Hillary Clinton showing a decided edge in the state for the Democratic Primary. Since California has moved its primary up to Feb. 5th, what used to be an “icing on the cake” primary has suddenly become extremely important.

Will Obama be able to close the gap? Only time will tell. At this point, he is about 25 points behind the New York Senator, tracking at 24% as opposed to Clinton's 49%. That is a huge difference here in California where the Clintons have always been considered celebrities as well as politicians.

Pho 24, for instance, on Western Avenue in the heart of Koreatown near downtown Los Angeles, has a huge poster showing former President Clinton enjoying a bowl of traditional Vietnamese soup with his staff at a restaurant in Saigon emblazoned across their wall. Almost eight years after Bill Clinton's presidency ended, the folks at Pho 24 still consider him a national leader and aren't afraid to show it.

That, of course, is the sort of legacy that Obama is fighting against. Hillary Clinton is incredibly popular in her own right here in California, but those Californians who aren't crazy about her, aren't crazy about Obama or any of the other Democratic candidates either and are planning on voting for Hillary Clinton because, as one anti-Bush fan recently told me, “A vote for Hillary is a vote for Bill.”

Californian's have short memories. This is the state, after all, that has kept Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor even though his first term was somewhat of a disaster. The state's short memory dictates that it remembers the guy before Bush. Hillary is going to ride that guy's coat-tails to a big victory on Feb. 5th, 2008. It's virtually guaranteed.

Only two things appear to stand in the way of Hillary Clinton winning the California Democratic Primary and then California's votes in the general election. The first is Hillary herself. But, she has proven to be a master politician. Every answer she gave during the CNN/Youtube debate was designed to soften her image. She's been doing it since the debates started. It is unlikely that a Gary Hart situation will arise regarding Hillary Clinton because her past has all ready been exposed. She is untouchable because anything anyone could possibly say about her has all ready been said.

The only other thing that could stand in her way is Al Gore. Al Gore, the thing, is an Oscar winner. This is opposed to Al Gore, the person, who claimed to have invented the internet. If Gore runs, and continues promoting his own celebrity, fringe image, then Hillary Clinton may find herself in a tussle. Gore is extremely popular in the state, especially among young folks who consider his environmental policies gospel.

But, Gore has stated that he isn't running. That leaves the state to Hillary Clinton. There isn't anything that any of the other candidates can do about it. California has always been Clinton country and will continue to be all the way to the 2008 Presidential Election.


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