By Editor-in-chief
updated 12/6/2006 11:27:07 AM ET 2006-12-06T16:27:07

With voters craving change, the biggest roadblock between Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and the White House may be her ties to the status quo. She is a living symbol of an era of polarization that Americans want behind them.

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“I really do hope we get past the insiders … and the rehash of the past 16 years,” wrote a Pittsburgh, Pa., voter in discussion about 2008 at “I think it will take new blood to pull the country together.” The new-blood sentiment is a common ingredient in discussions between members of the issues-based community. With each new addition to the field comes a familiar refrain: Is there anybody better out there?

“What's the chance that these early announcers will peak early then decline, and the strong runners will materialize mid 2007?” wrote Badger38, a frequent contributor. The public’s restlessness is a problem for all the better known candidates, including early Republican front-runner John McCain, and may be a reason why little-known Sen. Barak Obama has shaken up the race simply by considering a 2008 bid. It is a particular challenge for Clinton; the former first lady and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have been polarizing figures on the national stage since 1991.

“Clinton and Bush. Clinton and Bush. I am sick of hearing both of those names and all of the vitriol that comes with both of them,” wrote a 32-year-old Madison, Wisc., housewife in one discussion Loop. “I like Hillary and support her policies, but it’s time for something different – anything different.”

But from where they sit, many voters are skeptical that things will change. In a recent poll, more than seven in 10 participants said the political system needs fixing and they have little hope for change – even after the 2008 elections. “We need a new approach,” wrote a businessman from Florida. “We need new leaders. Not more of the same.”

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