In a bitterly divided and partisan nation, is there anything conservatives and liberals can agree on? Yes: Hillary Clinton, please don’t run for president. Lone Star liberal Molly Ivins kicked off a wave of anti-Hillary commentary with a column last week that began, “I’d like to make it clear to the people who run the Democratic Party that I will not support Hillary Clinton for president.”Oh, wait, Suellentrop didn't take a position anyway. He's really only collecting links -- to Ivins and Goldberg and also to Arianna Huffington and Josh Marshall. I guess I should just copy his links and talk about the same subject myself. If so, should I put a "via Suellentrop" link? It's kind of screwy to do that if it doesn't get people to the post but just gives them a little experience of exclusion. And the main reason you do a "via" link is to send a fellow blogger some traffic. How can I be guilty of denying a blog something it's already denying itself?
Sen. Clinton’s primary shortcoming? Ivins believes she isn’t liberal enough: “Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone. This is not a Dick Morris election. Sen. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her. Her failure to speak out on Terri Schiavo, not to mention that gross pandering on flag-burning, are just contemptible little dodges.”...
Conservatives are delighted about liberals’ newfound anti-Hillary animus. National Review’s Jonah Goldberg attributes the sentiment to Sen. Clinton’s recent moves to the right. “To be honest, I never understood what they saw in her in the first place,” he wrote in his weekly Los Angeles Times column. “[T]here’s something oddly satisfying in the possibility that Clinton being herself is politically disastrous. And, if she’s really just playing one more role according to some classically Clintonian political triangulation, there’s something equally satisfying to the prospect that even her fans aren’t falling for it anymore.”
A TimesSelect blog doesn't function in the blogosphere, but maybe that makes some sense for TimesSelect folks. They aren't really ready to read blogs, and it's nice to have a trusted voice to categorize and summarize what's being said by various commentators on the web, some of whom might actually even be bloggers. Look, I found Josh Marshall and Arianna Huffington for you!
Anyway, what do I think of these voices on the left and the right who are saying Hillary shouldn't run? Is the opinion trustworthy because it's on both sides? Not at all!
Those on the left don't like her -- as Suellentrop acknowledges -- because she's not far enough to the left. They ought to know that an excessively left candidate is doomed, but they don't want to face that horrible reality. These people were against Bill Clinton too, back before he actually did that thing that Democrats seem almost never to be able to do, win a presidential election. On the right, you've got folks who've loathed Hillary all along and who, of course, don't want the Democrats to win an election.
So how should Hillary hear these voices on the left and right who don't want her to run? As strong encouragement! But she's got to find a way to keep her hawkish credentials, or we'll be stuck once again with a Democratic candiate with an incomprehensible attitude toward national security who will push those of us who vote almost entirely on that ground to go with the Republican again.
But maybe it's already too late for Clinton. She's already lost too much credibility catering to the Ivins crowd. Being the front runner, she's got them at her all the time, making demands -- demands that she sacrifice all her potential to win in the end. Poor Hillary! If she finds a way through this ordeal, maybe she is good enough to be President.