Carol Platt Liebau: Not Just a Test for Clinton

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Not Just a Test for Clinton

As Barry Casselman points out over at Real Clear Politics, whether Hillary Clinton wins the primary, and thereafter, the election is a test not only for her, but for the leftist netroots who largely oppose her candidacy.

As the piece points out, the liberal netroots should largely be part of Clinton's base, but it isn't. Many of the most influential bloggers oppose in particular her more hawkish stance on Iraq, and in general her business-as-usual manipulations and ideological shape-shifting.

If talk radio -- the conservative counterpart to the lefty netroots -- opposed a Republican candidate as fulsomely as the netroots oppose Clinton, it would be big news. The MSM, after all, reported extensively on John McCain's trouble with the base, almost with a note of pity (although the drop in support was repeatedly misattributed to his support for the war). And we're told often that Giuliani's chances of winning the nomination and then the election are severely compromised by his more moderate positions on some social issues.

Interesting that Clinton's issues with the lefties in her base isn't receiving the same level of attention.


Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

I suspect that the real reason that the differences between the netroots and Ms. Clinton do not receive much attention is that there's no real consensus within the netroots as to the alternative. Yes, a forlorn few are insisting they they'd rather vote for a dog than for Ms. Clinton, but a strong majority feel that, if Ms. Clinton is nominated, then they will support her. There was a huge debate on precisely this issue over at Daily Kos recently, and I believe that the pragmatists were much in the majority.

This phenomenon is common on both sides of the political divide. The people who participate intensely tend to be further from the center than the regular voters, and so the parties end up fielding candidates further towards the wings than the mainstream electorate prefers. The classic example of this is the McGovern campaign of 1972, but the Republicans have been more vulnerable to this problem of late.

2:44 PM  

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