December 28, 2005

The sturdy popularity of Hillary Clinton.

"Frustration Over Iraq Vote Unlikely to Trouble Clinton" is the headline of a piece that, in the paper NYT, is headed "Clinton Can Handle Left's Frustration." Make of that difference what you will. The paper headline is shorter, but it also includes more information. It's not just a big, amorphous cloud of frustration that's vexing the ambitious lady. It's the Left.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's support for the war in Iraq has outraged many liberal activists in the Democratic Party, who are warning of retribution, including a primary challenge to her re-election campaign next year.

But the activists are in the same sort of political bind that liberals found themselves in a decade ago when Bill Clinton defied liberal orthodoxies: struggling to bring meaningful pressure to bear on a politician who is cherished by many traditional Democrats....

The senator has defended her vote to authorize military action but has harshly criticized President Bush's handling of the war and has called for a plan to begin withdrawing troops next year if the Iraqi elections earlier this month yield positive results.
No mention of HC's silence about the domestic surveillance controversy the Times seems to want to keep well-stirred. The piece is mainly about her sturdy popularity and the political strategy learned from her husband.

11 comments:

Bruce Hayden said...

As I have indicated before, despite Hillary being one of the most politically opportunistic politicians around, I am starting to see her position on Iraq and the WoT coming from her heart.

The problem that most of the Democrats would have getting elected president right now is that a lot of people don't view them as serious about terrorism and the WoT, and, thus, that they can't be trusted in these perilous times with national security.

The two exceptions on the national level are probably Joe Lieberman and Hillary Clinton.

If she can get the nomination, I think that she has a chance at being elected, for this reason. And I see her with a greater chance at that than her anti-war colleages, like John Kerry, have at winning the national election.

miklos rosza said...

Invoking Margaret Thatcher in some respects without ever uttering that dread name.

Goesh said...

- then let her bring it on, and 4 more years of a Republican administration

Dave said...

Kurt Andersen has an excellent article about Hillary Clinton and what he dubs her "unelectability," here.

Sean said...

As politics is increasingly about culture wars, it is not surprising that politicians function more as cultural symbols than as expositors of ideological positions. So it's not surprising, who perfectly encapsulates the life of professionals and suburban women (troubled marriage, her own rather secondary career etc.) would remain popular whatever her particular positions. Of course this phenomenon frustrates the dwindling number for whom politics is about ideological positions.

But the flipside is, her conservative positions won't automatically win her lots of votes in the heartland. But standing by her man might. It's not clear to me that the Clintons' marriage is currently real enough to be spun that way, but we'll see.

vbspurs said...

If she can get the nomination, I think that she has a chance at being elected, for this reason. And I see her with a greater chance at that than her anti-war colleages, like John Kerry, have at winning the national election.

That she has a chance to be elected, sure.

And it's been proven that just hating a person enough to vote against him, doesn't win a presidential election -- so those of us who really really dislike her and her husband POLITICALLY, will not shoot down her candidacy just because.

But she has a lot of baggage that a mere stance on the war, which will be of reduced importance in 2 1/2 years time, will not help her with.

And if the economy stays strong...it's hard to see that become a talking point, unless she wants to tangle with the paper tiger of the deficit.

Cheers,
Victoria

Goatwhacker said...

But she has a lot of baggage that a mere stance on the war, which will be of reduced importance in 2 1/2 years time, will not help her with.

The thing is, her baggage will also be of reduced importance. In 2008 her national health care stumbles will be a fifteen year old memory and she will have been saying pretty much the right things for 8 years. If the GOP puts up a weak candidate, she could easily win. She conceivably could have a tougher time in the Democratic primaries than in the general election depending on who gets nominated.

I'm not trying to come across as a big Hillary supporter - I'm not. I just think there is a misplaced confidence on the conservative side that she is easily beatable.

Jonathan said...

The problem with the Clintons (plural, since they function as a political if not domestic partnership) is not so much one of policy or ideology as it is of character. They cannot be trusted in anything. I expect Hillary to continue to move to the Right on the war, but I don't see that as any reason to vote for her. Obviously a lot of people disagree with me, and I think that she has a fighting chance to be elected.

Gahrie said...

We underestimated Bill Clinton and look what it got us. Do not underestimate Hillary. The Republicans need to nominate a quality candidate against her. Not "someone whose turn it is" like Bob Dole (despite his flaws an American hero) or a RINO (McCain, Warner et al) I think Condi would be the perfect choice, but I believe her when she says she won't run. Jeb Bush would be a good candidate, and probably the only Democrat he would beat would be Hillary (thus pretty much negating the dynasty card...notice that's never been a problem for the Kennedys?) but that would be a tough and tight race. I'm hoping someone not currently obvious, but with good conservative credentials, emerges in the next year.

I don't see any current national Democratic figure with a chance to beat her.

Gahrie said...

"Invoking Margaret Thatcher in some respects without ever uttering that dread name."

This country would be lucky to get a leader as great as Baroness Thatcher, and Hillary isn't a tenth the woman or politician she is.

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't underestimate Hillary at all, and would not vote for her for president if she were running against a yellow dog. She has some personality traits that I think would be disasterous as president, most notably, a paranoia probably as great as, if not greater than the president she helped bring down, Nixon. Also, she is one of the most ruthless politicians out there, and displays this in her zeal to totally destroy her opponents.

That said, as I noted above, I am starting to question whether she truly is faking it with her support on the WoT. She was taught by her father to hit back twice as hard when hit, and her stance on terrorism seems to fit right in there.

As to her silence on the NSA issue - just remember that her husband's administration probably did similar things, and she is sure to want that power should she get elected president. So, I don't see her hamstringing her presidency through actions she takes as a Senator. Much better to just sit on the sidelines on this.