December 12, 2006

What's really bugging the Hillary doubters.

Per E.J. Dionne:
In public, the doubts are dressed up as substantive concerns -- she's too cautious, she didn't stand up against the war in Iraq, she mishandled that health care reform in the 1990s, she's perceived as too liberal or she's not progressive enough.

The doubters are ashamed to say what really worries them: that Americans don't want to relive the supposed psychodramas of the Bill Clinton years; that her association with her husband will mobilize his enemies more than it will energize his friends; that their relationship is just too complex for those critical swing voters to understand or accept.
He goes on to natter about how Barack Obama is good for Hillary because he'll keep the race from being all about Hillary, theorizes that somehow Obama will turn us toward the future, and ends with the starry-eyed hope of helping "Democrats recover the best, most forward-looking aspects of Bill Clinton's legacy."

31 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Only two more years of incessant and inane navel gazing by political writers.

Great will be my disappointment if the Democratic Party nominates yet another Senator.

Henry said...

However the contest turns out, the debate about the future that Obama is encouraging ... might also help Democrats recover the best, most forward-looking aspects of Bill Clinton's legacy.

Can I hope that Dionne is talking about free trade and welfare reform? Take those away, and what legacy are we talking about?

Paul Zrimsek said...

I met a Democrat once who was actually excited about the idea of a "bridge to the 21st century". I wouldn't be that surprised to learn that Dionne's another one.

AJ Lynch said...

MM said : "only two more years of navel gazing by pundits".

Hate to tell you this but now they never stop- the cycle is ever ongoing.

And Ann- is this the first time you ever linked to Dionne? Please refrain in the future.

WV= bitwyt (I think that is a great new word to describe a blogger)

knoxgirl said...

Great will be my disappointment if the Democratic Party nominates yet another Senator.

Amen to that! -- and it goes for the republicans too.

Revenant said...

Democrats recover the best, most forward-looking aspects of Bill Clinton's legacy

The election of a "Contract with America" Republican majority? :)

reader_iam said...

I met a Democrat once who was actually excited about the idea of a "bridge to the 21st century".

"Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even when there's no river."
--Nikita Kruschev

Paul Zrimsek said...

My theory at the time was that Bill wanted quick access to apoint in time when the statute of limitations would have run out.

Seven Machos said...

Is there a more annoying and convential hack than Dionne?

Mike said...

I second AJ Lynch's request.

"...their relationship is just too complex for those critical swing voters to understand or accept."

Dionne is one of the most condescending pundits around (and that's saying a lot).

"The doubters are ashamed to say what really worries them: that Americans don't want to relive the supposed psychodramas of the Bill Clinton years".

Ashamed? I'm not ashamed to say it. 8 years is enough of "The Clintons", thank you very much. It isn't about "complexity" or "acceptance". It's about fatique.

Paul Zrimsek said...

A hack is a cynic. Embarrassing earnestness is more Dionne's style.

Seven Machos said...

"hack. a journalist (writer for newspapers or magazines) whose work is low in quality or lacks imagination."

That's the definition I am going for.

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?
key=35147&dict=CALD

Jake said...

What has the Demopros scared is that 14 people were convicted for being on the other side of criminal transactions with Hillary in Arkansas. All of these crimes are well documented in court and Congressional testimony. About 100 bloggers will be sifting through those records within a year.

Pogo said...

Dionne is one of the reasons I quit reading newspapers.

And what happened to the other 4 Dionnes? Are they all writers, too? And weren't they female? Something's sure fishy here.

Revenant said...

I don't think Hillary's past associations with criminals will hurt her. People heard about that stuff while it was actually happening and they didn't care *then* -- they're not going to start caring now, eight years later.

What really hurts Hillary is the existance of a large block of "anybody but Clinton" voters on the right. This will free up whoever the Republicans nominate to focus on wooing moderates and swing voters, without having to do much to retain conservatives. Add in the fact that she's got none of her husband's charisma and I don't see how she'd pull off a win.

Seven Machos said...

Bill Clinton was the most amazingly gifted retail politician any of us will ever see in our lifetimes. He has pimp-like charisma, and I mean that in a good way. Sadly for Hillary, charisma is nontransferable. That's the problem for her. It's no more complicated than that.

I will be shocked if she becomes president.

dearieme said...

Cattle Futures, why does no-one mention the Cattle Futures?

Anonymous said...

It's hard to hate Hillary in the wake of the Bush fiasco. The US could do worse. She's actually pretty moderate/centrist when push comes to shove - not as out there as some on the right like to believe.

As for importing Billworld ... well yes I agree could be problematic. He's been up here in Canada a few times over the past year, and worryingly, seems to have a new lease of life. It's frightening to think of him running loose in a White House with no executive burdens to curtail the party mood. I guess they could always post warning signs for female guests who are unaware of lurking dangers.

Sloanasaurus said...

I think it is Clinton/Bush overload. There is going to be a certain segment ready to vote against any Clinton or Bush. Also, there are too many skeletons in the Clinton legacy - especially 9-11, which most people know in their hearts was able to occur because of Clinton foreign policy failures.

Obama is too much of a novice to run for president. At some point you need to say "trust me because I have been successful at this before..." Obama has nothing to point to other than 4 years in the U.S. Senate.

I have now been hearing Obama being compared to RFK (young and energetic, etc...), except that people leave out the fact that RFK had 4 years of being the in the White House under his belt. RFK was no novice and Obama is no RFK.

Simon said...

It's always amusing when pundits arrogate to themselves the authority to say what's really on people's minds. "These people say that they're concerned about A, but that's dumb; they're clearly really concerned about B."

Simon said...

"Obama is too much of a novice to run for president."

There's that, and there's that he's an empty suit. The best argument that David Brooks - unashamed Obama fan - has mustered is that Obama really thinks things over, but that isn't, in itself, a recomendation. That should be a necessary, but not sufficient, qualification. Granted, I want a President who reads books, but that doesn't mean just any idiot who's managed toopen "my pet goat."

Ghlade said...

Do we really have enough information right now to declare Obama an "empty suit"?

The man is clearly very inteligent. President of the Harvard Law Review; taught Con Law at the University of Chicago. His striking turn at the last Democratic Convention shows that he has real charisma and can write a damn good speech.

However, I don't think he's had enough time on the national stage for anyone to draw any firm conclusions about him one way or another. How exactly should he have proved his substance by now?

I think Obama has a lot of promise, but I don't think he's right for the nomination in '08 because of his substantive and political experience both. From a purely tactical standpoint, running a candidate who has never won a real race in his life simply does not make sense. (Alan Keyes? Please.)

dick said...

ghlade,

He might have actually accomplished something in the senate. Obama has not done that yet. He might have accomplished something with executive experience outside of his political life. Obama has not done that either. Actually he has done nothing to prove that he deserves to be president at all. The same holds for Edwards. He was in the senate for 6 years and did nothing. He ran for president, was selected to run as vice president and got demolished by Cheney in the debates. Now he is running for president again - based on what?

Simon said...

Ghlade said...
"Do we really have enough information right now to declare Obama an 'empty suit'?"

If you don't have enough information about him to declare him an empty suit, how can you have enough information about him to fill a suit? What are his ideas? His solutions? What does he think are the pressing issues we face as a nation, and even if he understands the question, does he have the right (and I do mean "right") answers? Presumably not, since he remains in the Democratic Party.

And that he's taught ConLaw is supposed to be a recomendation? So what? That doesn't necessarily mean that he understands or has any particular love for the Constitution. For pete's sake, Sandy Levinson, who wants to flay the Constitution alive, teaches ConLaw!

Anonymous said...

The problem with Hillary is that people hate her. Now people love her too, but she had very few people like me who are indifferent to her. Love or hate. Not the kind of response that gets you elected.

Trey

R C Dean said...

the supposed psychodramas of the Bill Clinton years

No denial there, eh, Dionne?

I have a distinct recollection of multiple "psychodramas", including a number of out-and-out scandals involving violations of a wide range of laws, and contempt for an even wider range of customs.

Most candidates I am basically indifferent to. The Clintons I regard as a cancer, and will actively work against.

R C Dean said...

Obama really thinks things over, but that isn't, in itself, a recomendation. That should be a necessary, but not sufficient, qualification.

Or not. Analysis paralysis is a fatal flaw in an executive. The right decision, too late, is the wrong decision.

jult52 said...

It's revealing that the Obama supporter, ghlade, lists academic accomplishments exclusively.

Simon said...

R C Dean said...
"Analysis paralysis is a fatal flaw in an executive. The right decision, too late, is the wrong decision."

Wasn't that reported to be a problem with Clinton?

Ernie Fazio said...

And I guess deciding without reflection thought or analysis is desirable. After six years of incompetence, inarticulate drivel, lying and corruption and the worst foreign policy in American history, and you people revile the Clintons? Who are you, and why do you comment on the blog of a centrist Democrat?

Anonymous said...

Ernie asked "Who are you, and why do you comment on the blog of a centrist Democrat?"

I am a psychologist working in Tennessee. I have 4 kids and a wonderful wife. I like to play golf, I volunteer at a program for sexually abused kids, I go to Church twice a week, and this last election I voted a straight Republican ticket for the first time in my life.

What am I doing posting here? Expressing my opinion.

Now, your turn. Who are you and why do you comment here?

Trey