Carol Platt Liebau: What "Competence"?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

What "Competence"?

Writing at The Politico, Roger Simon suggests that a new focus on "competence" might help Hillary Clinton, who certainly has trouble projecting the warmth and likability that -- so conventional wisdom holds -- has, up to now, been a sine qua non for winning the presidency.

Not so fast. Where, exactly, are the indicia of Hillary Clinton's dazzling competence? Certainly not in her 1993 health care plan -- and though she has done yeoman's work on constituent matters as the senator from New York, it's pretty tough to point to any impressive legislative achievements that would cause one to marvel at her legislative prowess, ideological consistency, or administrative ability.

As for a simple partisan appeal . . . well, given the approval ratings of the current Congress, it's tough to argue that Americans have decided that Democrats are superior to Republicans when it comes to managing the government.

Finally, there's one other factor that Roger Simon overlooks: Ideology. What we've seen with successful Democratic presidential candidates is that they've found a way to reassure the American people that they're not "typical" Democrats . . . primarily because they're more conservative southerners -- and then they hope that this assurance, coupled with general dissatisfaction with the status quo, will be enough to carry them over the finish line.

The more conservative southern Democrat card is one that Hillary simply can't play. Large numbers of voters distrust her ideology, and next to someone who has actually held an executive post (such as Giuliani or Romney), she has little evidence to prove that she, above all, can get things done capably.


Blogger stackja1945 said...

HRC is a woman. She is a Dem.
So according to the MSM she can walk on water, and fly.

8:44 PM  

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