Saturday, December 11, 2004

Reporting For Duty!!!!!

Where's that darn Bill? Posted by Hello

Peggy Noonan has a must read column on all the moves that Hillary is currently making, and will make to set her self up as the perfect canditate in '08'. Here's a few excerpts:

She is [the] presumptive presidential nominee in the 2008 cycle. Her daughter is grown and launched; her husband is recovering from recent surgery and is not likely to cause her future embarrassment because he is (a) not in office, and (b) the happy recipient of low expectations regarding his personal behavior. Beyond that any unfortunate actions on his part will only make her look more sympathetic and, in comparison, more mature and stable.

How is Mrs. Clinton positioning herself in terms of the issues?

She is taking care of her liberal base while cherry-picking key issues on which she can get to the right of the Republican party. This is most astute and quite effective. For the liberals she produces a steady stream of base-friendly efforts (Special Committee on the Aging, education funding, help for the emotionally disturbed, extended unemployment insurance) and classic pork barrel. To get to the right of the president she talks homeland security and immigration.

Why does she want to get to Mr. Bush's right on these issues?

Three reasons. The first is that she knows another attack on American soil is inevitable and wants to position herself politically as The Wise One Who Warned Us.

Second, she knows that a woman perceived as a liberal has no chance at winning the presidency while a woman perceived as a tough, pragmatic moderate does. So she is tough where Mr. Compassionate Conservative is soft (immigration), or is vulnerable, after a coming attack, to charges that he was soft (homeland security). She can't lose on this one. Security can always be better, and after America is attacked again anger and finger pointing will be widespread.

Third, Mrs. Clinton knows the Democratic Party as a whole is to the left of the electorate. She is used to this. It is the story of her life. The electorate in Arkansas were always more moderate than Gov. and Mrs. Clinton, and President and Mrs. Clinton for that matter. She knows how to operate in such conditions.

[What about the big difference between Red and Blue states being values and Religion. Doesn't she know that democrats are often perceived as being hostile to Religion?]

Yes. And she knows it. And she is about to get very spiritual. She knows it's not enough to run around quoting scripture on the stump, as John Kerry did. On the other hand she cannot speak as Bush did of Christ as the center of her life because that would not be credible: She has never spoken that way and strikes no one as born again.

But she can go about it in her own way. She will begin giving interviews in which she speaks of the importance of the teachings of Christ in her thinking about policy issues. She will also begin to emphasize as never before her Methodist youth, and her hometown pastor's emphasis on public service. Something tells me a big black Bible is being put on a coffee table in her office even as I type. And there will also suddenly be more media availabilities after Sunday church service.

Always remember what Bill Clinton did after he lost re-election to the governorship in 1980. He joined the choir in the only local church whose services were broadcast on television throughout Arkansas every Sunday morning. You could turn in every Sunday and see him in his robe, with his music book, singing spirituals.

[Does it matter that she "plays" moderate]

Sure. It's at the heart of things. Americans want to know the deepest beliefs of their president. Mrs. Clinton is no doubt correct that the first woman president will be a conservative or a tough moderate. But maybe the American people would prefer a woman who actually is a conservative or a moderate, such as Sen. Kay Baily Hutchison, as opposed to one who plays one on TV.

But wait a second, she can't win her party's nomination that way. The primary voting base of the Democratic Party is leftist.

Yes, but in her case it doesn't matter. The base of the party will be with her, for two reasons. First, they know her history and know her. They believe she sees the world as they do but does certain things to survive. She was woven into the left and knew everyone on the left for 25 years.

Second and just as important, after the trauma of the Kerry loss, after the morass of doubt and depression in which the party now finds itself, she will seem to be one thing they really want: the person who can win. Because she is a winner. She always has been. The base will make a calculation not unlike the one she has made: We can play moderate to win, no problem.


At 9:04 AM, Blogger kevin said...

I can't even imagine life in America with Hilary in office. I would be very scared.
What is the thought on Rice being groomed as the Republican Candidate in 2008. I don't know too much about her, but I have a feeling that the radical right would not support her. Though I have heard that her views are as far right as some of those ultra conservatives. It would be fun to see the cat fights at the debates. If Hilary does become the democratic candidate, would having Rice as the republican ticket be good in offsetting the female votes that might be swayed to the left?
I think the next four years will be the most exciting in politics as we shall see who will be placed in position for the new presidency.

At 9:19 AM, Blogger J-Red said...

I think putting Rice up as the nominee will only be viewed as a cheap ploy to out "minoritize" the left. Although I respect, Rice, I have no idea how she'll do as an elected figure. (I feel the same way about colin powell). As for who the nominee should be in 08, I haven't the slightest. Of course, it would be comical to establish a Bush dynasty and have Jeb run.


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