Poor Hillary Clinton. She can’t seem to win a single news-cycle. Let’s review:
David Geffen spouts off in Maureen Dowd’s column, and Team Hillary picks a fight for no good reason. “Most people in this country,” Camille Paglia correctly notes, “have never heard of David Geffen and don’t give a damn about whether or not he defects to Barack Obama.” The ensuing press-release battle helps cement Obama’s place as the candidate no one can stop talking about.
Then Hillary gets caught on tape putting on a ridiculous drawl in a speech before a black church. Lots of people have accents that change with their surroundings (the technical term is “code-switching”), but Hillary’s Southern-speak is so inept it makes her a cable-news laughingstock for days.
Most recently, she invokes the old antagonist of her fever-dreams, the “vast right-wing conspiracy.” While Obama promises to move beyond divisive and rancorous politics, Hillary promises… a return to the 90s. Small wonder that an Obama supporter’s spoof of the classic 1984 ad that introduced the Apple Macintosh — casting Hillary as the PC — has clocked 2 million downloads on YouTube.
For most of Hillary Clinton’s career, I’ve been delighted at her missteps and dismayed by her successes. Yet as she seems to be squandering her lead and making an upset look more plausible by the day, I’m filled with an unfamiliar feeling of concern.
I have little doubt that when November 2008 roles around, I’ll find both major candidates unsatisfying, and I’ll end up preferring the Republican. Given a presumptive partisanship, it’s normal to feel conflicted when observing the primary campaign across the aisle — should you root for the candidate who would make the least formidable general election candidate, or the one who would make the least-bad president? I’ve always favored the latter approach, since anyone who can get a major party nomination has some chance of winning. (I found the National Review cover featuring Howard Dean with the label “Please Nominate This Man” a bit disconcerting.) Hillary provides a rare combination of political weakness and policy appeal.
Obama — along with, to a lesser extent, John Edwards — has the campaign chops and likeability that ought to fill Republicans with dread. Hillary, with her unfavorable ratings in the 40s, is clearly a less formidable candidate. Couple that with the fact that she seems much less inclined than her fellow candidates to pursue a disastrously protectionist trade policy, and, the knots she ties herself into when discussing the war notwithstanding, she seems unlikely to oversee the irresponsibly precipitous withdrawal from Iraq that other Democrats are eager for. The flagship right-wing Hillary-hating effort, Arthur J. Finklestein’s Stop Her Now PAC, seems radically misconceived. Stop her in the general election sure. But don’t stop her now.
Indeed, the real worry should be that Hillary Clinton could stop herself.
John Tabin is a Maryland-based writer.
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Jacob Hayutin
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Hadley Heath