June 3, 2007

Hillary Clinton and the Iraq war.

The NYT Magazine has an article adapted from Jeff Garth and Don Van Natta Jr.'s new book "Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton." It details the positions she's taken with respect to the war. The most interesting part, I think, shows her forcefully inserting herself into coterie of Senators trying to stop the war:
Late in the afternoon of June 14, 2006... the usual attendees were surprised to discover a newcomer in attendance: Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. She was one of the first to arrive and took a place on a love seat, one of the two couches in the room.... Clinton draped one arm around the back of the couch and chewed gum, a participant recalled....
Snagging the love seat... chewing gum... doing the arm drape....
Two days later, [Levin] introduced [the alternative amendment calling for a phased redeployment] on the floor of the Senate. He was followed by Jack Reed, who said, “I join with my colleague, Senator Levin, and Senators Feinstein and Salazar, to offer this amendment.” Suddenly, Clinton showed up on the Senate floor, wanting to speak as soon as possible. Normally, the speakers go in the order of seniority, with the bill’s original sponsors getting the privilege to speak first. Waiting her turn to speak was one of the sponsors, Senator Feinstein. Senator Levin, who controlled the allocation of floor time for the Democrats, appeared flummoxed, a Senate aide recalled. But he agreed to Clinton’s surprise request to take the floor as the next Democratic speaker.

Clinton’s first words took some insiders by surprise: “I rise in support of the Levin amendment of which I am proud to be an original co-sponsor.”

“We were puzzled,” the aide said, because no one had told them about Clinton’s sudden ascendancy to a leadership role on the measure. Indeed, just a few minutes earlier, Jack Reed, in his remarks, had not included Clinton in his list of sponsors.

The original text of the amendment filed in the Senate read “to be proposed by Mr. Levin (for himself, Mr. Reed, Mrs. Feinstein and Mr. Salazar).” But off to the side, in handwriting, a single word would be added: “Clinton.” Her name was inserted, records show, on June 19, the same day that Levin unveiled his amendment with the other sponsors but not Clinton.
This was odd because, according to the article, Harry Reid had told Feinstein that they wanted her as a sponsor because it was bad to have presidential aspirants as original sponsors.

6 comments:

Tim said...

This is telling.

One of the reasons I steered away from McCain in the 2000 primaries was because of his paucity of endorsements from his Senate colleagues.

If you've been around politicians at all, you understand how powerful the message is when a candidate's colleagues overwhelmingly prefer a candidate 2000 miles away they don't work with every day to their colleague in the cloak room.

It says a lot about their disregard for that candidate; and it told me McCain's colleagues thought him ill-suited for the presidency.

Notwithstanding this report, the Hillary! won't likely have that problem, as the union endorsements trump all in the Democrat primaries, including Senate endorsements, but it is equally telling.

Effective leadership is much more subtle than big-footing oneself into a process or initiative; the Hillary! seemingly has never displayed any appreciation or skill for those kinds of subtlety; should she win, no one should delude themselves into thinking our politics will be any happier than they are today, as they most certainly will not be so. At a minimum, relations with Congress, regardless of which party controls, will be much more antagonistic than they were during the first six years of the Bush Administration.

Zeb Quinn said...

Effective leadership is much more subtle than big-footing oneself into a process or initiative; the Hillary! seemingly has never displayed any appreciation or skill for those kinds of subtlety ...

Those subtle senatorial skills you laud are probably precisely the same traits that keep senators from ever getting themselves elected to the presidency.

Tim said...

"Those subtle senatorial skills you laud are probably precisely the same traits that keep senators from ever getting themselves elected to the presidency."

Possibly; I'm less sure than "probably precisely" though, as the Senate is hardly short of persons over-endowed with ego, including their self-assessment relative to their colleagues. I think it has more to do with the nature of legislating (which is, at root, about advocacy rather than decision making) and the lack of executive experience and skills. However, even if your assessment were true, it isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of the Hillary!, is it?

She may win, but she'll never be liked.

PatCA said...

What really interests me in this negative book about Hillary is, when did she fall out of favor at the NYT and why?

Revenant said...

when did she fall out of favor at the NYT and why?

When she voted for the Iraq war, I'd imagine.

hdhouse said...

this will be my sunday night present to the rest of you...

she has lost my vote. i think she would be good for the country in a number of ways and by god she isn't an idiot...

unless she takes stands, shows some leadership and stops the polling type answers, then the hell with her.

i've had 7 years of a fool run by others. hillary is neither but she hasn't moved into leadership mode and i'm getting very tired of waiting for that ship to come in.