April 18, 2005

Is Hillary Clinton a political genius?

Jay Cost, in the WSJ, is convinced everyone takes it for granted that she is. I disagree with that. Anyway, he assures us she's not:
Where do her political credentials come from? It seems to me that she was a great supporting player to a good (though highly overrated) politician. She played the part of the forgiving, intelligent, driven wife with great effectiveness. When she takes center stage, however, the results are quite mixed. She botched health-care reform so badly that President Clinton got absolutely nothing from a Democratic Congress. She coined the term "vast right-wing conspiracy"--guaranteeing that conservatives everywhere would curse her existence until the end of time. She did win that New York Senate seat, but that, to my mind, was pretty unimpressive. She beat latecomer Rick Lazio, who was not a formidable candidate, to say the least (the word "sophomoric" comes to mind).

If her political accomplishments are unimpressive, why is she so feared? Why is she seen to be a political genius? The answer to this question eluded me for a long time, perhaps because it is so simple. The plain fact is that Hillary Clinton is actually one of the worst politicians in national politics today. She is feared as a brilliant politician only because she is such an obvious politician, which is actually the key mark of a bad politician.


Eric said...

It's cool to see Jay Cost writing more stuff. I followed his posts on The Horserace Blog, and I have to say that his analyses were head and shoulders above just about everything else in the media. And he predicted what would happen in Florida and Ohio well ahead of the election.

jinnmabe said...

That article reminds me of a saying I heard once. "When Cicero spoke, people said, 'what a clever speaker is Cicero.' When Demosthenes spoke, people said, 'Let us march against Alexander.'"

dax said...

In my opinion Hillary will get the "nod" because of one, and only one, reasons. Everyone in the LibDem party is scared to death to speakout against her let alone post a challenge.
The only one that may have an outside chance, and I know he doesn't have the cojones to run again, is Leiberman.
He is the only one that has an ounce of wisdom and credibility.
The big question is: Do the LibDems want someone that's credible and wise??
Before you answer that, I submit Exibit A.
Al Sharpton, Al Gore, Nancy Peloci, and John Edwards.

Justin said...

How often is it that the candidate him/herself is the political genius?

dax said...

Justin, I believe that you are trying to say that other people are responsible for the "success" of candidates and it's their "genius" that should be credited. Maybe so however; a candidate is only as good as the people he CHOOSES to be surrounded by. So maybe there is genius is choosing the right people.

REG said...

If she's a genius, I'm Einstein! If she weren't married to Bill she'd be a total unknown. Totally ineffective, totally pathetic, totally a "victim." Poor Hillary...she's always the victim. She, frankly, makes me sick.