The last president to fully understand this concept was Bill Clinton. He understood that sticking to the principles of the democratic base locks you in a corner with no wiggle room to work out deals that could work in your favor. Everyone loves to criticize politicians for flip flopping or endorsing policies that seem to conflict with what they stand for, but people have got to understand that politics is all a big game. And if you refuse to play the game correctly and you instead stand by a list of ideals that don't resonate with middle America, then you aren't going to be very successful. This is the reality, and this is the way it's always been and always will be.
Bush was able to market himself on this ability of meeting both sides in the middle, and that's how he got elected. But once he was elected, he betrayed the people by refusing to work with those of opposing views. Above all else, this is precisely the reason why Bush's poll numbers are so low. He tried to be everything-republican. His way or the highway. Believe me, history will not remember him in a good light.
That's why at this time more than ever, we need someone that isn't so stuck and stubborn in their narrow ideologies. We need someone who is flexible and understands that a good President has to work with both parties and consider all ideas. The American people's needs and wants are constantly changing, and a good leader needs to be flexible to adapt to that change. This is why we need someone like Hillary Clinton in the White house. A good representative of any group is someone who doesn't let their own personal views get in the way of carrying out what the people want. From what I can tell, Hillary Clinton doesn't really have deep personal views, so this conflict between leader and the people won't even be a factor.
MSNBC touched on this a little bit in an article entitled "Bill Touts Hillary's Work With GOP":
Today in New Hampshire, her husband noted the ways she’s worked with the opposite party, including a would-be rival. And he argued that more attention needs to be paid to candidates’ records and not to "pure politics."
“I argue to you based on a lifetime of experience that if you have spent as my wife has 35 years ... being a positive change maker, that indicates that you would be more likely to successfully execute change as president. If you have proved in the U.S. Senate that you could get things done with Republicans as well as Democrats, that indicates you’d be more likely to succeed as president.”
Bill hit the head right on the nail. In order to be an effective leader, it is essential that you learn to work with all sides and not be so isolated in your own ideals that you fail to see the real needs of every day Americans. I'm willing to bet that no other candidate realizes this fact, a fact that is only realized with a great deal of experience - something both Bill and Hillary have an enormous amount of.