Monday, April 18, 2005

Run Hillary Run!!!

Jay Cost from the opionjournal has a great article. The title says it all: "Everyone thinks Mrs. Clinton is a brilliant politician. That proves she isn't."

Here's a few other highlights:

If her political accomplishments are unimpressive, why is she so feared? Why is she seen to be a political genius? The answer to this question eluded me for a long time, perhaps because it is so simple. The plain fact is that Hillary Clinton is actually one of the worst politicians in national politics today. She is feared as a brilliant politician only because she is such an obvious politician, which is actually the key mark of a bad politician. ...

On the ability of good politicians to gradually move to the center:

Hillary's movement is a big deal first and foremost because everybody notices her movement. Mr. Frist and others do not get noticed because, while one can identify their political movements through systematic evaluation of their voting records, their positioning is more subtle. But not Hillary's. There is nothing subtle about her strategic positioning. Not a thing. Everybody talks about Hillary's political calculations not because they are brilliant but because they are obvious, because everything about Hillary screams "political calculation." There is nothing organic to her politics; it all seems artificial.

This is the sign of a bad politician. All politicians do the same things. They all change their views. They all move with the political currents. They are all flexible and pragmatic. What differentiates the good politician from the bad one is that you never notice that the good one is pragmatic....

This is Hillary's fundamental problem. She is a bad politician because she has a lousy style. She seems, always and everywhere, like an affected, calculating politician. ... People have been talking about her for 2008 or 2012 since the day she announced for the Senate. Everything she does is filtered through that prism. It is an operating assumption for everybody--liberal or conservative--that Hillary calculates in almost exclusively political terms.

That everybody assumes the political when it comes to Hillary is a sign that her style is ineffective. Style is supposed to convince people that this guy (or gal) is one of the "good ones." It is supposed to build the idea that while most politicians act according to strategic calculations and follow the maxims of pragmatism, my congressman does not. Hillary actually has the opposite effect. People think that Hillary is more political than the average politician!


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