Carol Platt Liebau: Not So Fast

Friday, December 14, 2007

Not So Fast

Political obituaries are being penned for the Hillary Clinton for President campaign. Stories like this one -- "Clinton denies White House run is in trouble" -- are never good.

Clearly, there was weakness and vulnerability hidden beneath the seeming inevitability that the campaign evinced not long ago. The left of her party dislikes her for the centrism she displayed in an effort to reach a general election public. The middle of her party mistrusts her electability. But the fact is that it's way too soon to write off Senator Clinton. She's got a lot of money, what seems like an almost pathological need to win and hold power, a ruthless machine, and the determination to do what it takes. Let her win Iowa, and she'll be the Comeback Kidette, with new momentum sweeping her into the other primaries.

The problem for her, of course, is figuring out how to rough up Barack Obama without leaving any fingerprints on the character assassination. She needs to bring him down, but without making herself any more dislikable in the process. It will be interesting to see whether candidates like Bill Richardson -- very much in the running for a Hillary veep spot -- start to escalate their attacks on Obama, in order to win her approval, or perhaps even as part of an "alliance" that would be of benefit to both.

Hillary's efforts to ingratiate herself with women voters -- ads featuring her mother and daughter -- strike me as obvious and heavy-handed. But then again, that's always been her problem. For someone who is supposed to be such a brilliant, subtle and nuanced thinker, her political instincts always seem to verge on the ham-handed. And, of course, there's her tendency to make rookie mistakes, without her husband's deft touch in explaining them away.

It's remarkable to see pro-Hillary journalists like Eleanor Clift blaming Bill Clinton for his wife's trouble. Without Bill, of course, Hillary wouldn't be anywhere near the White House.


Blogger Ruth Anne Adams said...

A Richardson "alliance"? [Shades of Survivor *shudder*]

'Hillary, the tribe has spoken. It's time for you to go.'

Ah, I can dream, right?

I agree. She's flailing, but 'taint over.

1:55 PM  
Blogger stackja1945 said...

Carol, the Dems have not had a serious candidate since HST. The Dems cannot admit there has been a change in the climate of the world where real democrats exist.

4:28 PM  

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