Sunday, July 08, 2007

More HRC

There's been a discussion in comments (in response to Diane's previous post)about Hillary Clinton so I thought I'd elevate it to the front page.

My own feeling is that it's true that a lot of the suspicion or distrust people have about Hillary is the result of the relentless smearing perpetrated by the right wing of the Republican party during the Clinton presidency. Hillary has made a pretty heroic effort since being elected senator from New York to reach out to her former foes and has impressed a lot of them, including Newt Gingrich and even Tom Delay. While that in itself might make some nervous, the issues Hillary has worked on with her former adversaries are generally limited to the types of things any sane politician would support and, in the case of her work with Delay and Gingrich, focused mostly on issues concerning children.

Still, Hillary's biggest vulnerability in the upcoming primaries is her previous support for the Iraq War Resolution and her attempt at manufacturing a tough on defense image just as Bush was boggling a war in Afghanistan and preparing to invade Iraq. Obviously, Iraq is the single most contentious issue between the various Democrats running for president and its an issue where Obama has a clear advantage due to his fairly unambiguous opposition to the war from the beginning.

To be honest about my own biases, I would say that I'm really impressed by the discipline and the work ethic of Hillary's campaign and her skill as a politician. It makes me pretty certain she could get a lot done as President and she's proven in her time in the Senate that she can work to smooth differences with even her toughest foes. Still, Obama is intriguing and if he can come alive a bit more and really inspire a lot of people to vote for him (something Dean -despite the excitement and money surrounding his campaign never could quite do) then I think Hillary will be in a lot of trouble. At the end of the day either would be fantastic.

Unfortunately for Edwards and the others, with the kind of money and support Hillary and Obama have been receiving, I have serious doubts about their ability to make it deep into the campaign. Still, who can know for sure at this point? Regardless, I'm feeling pretty good about our chances come next November and would urge us Democrats in late voting primary states to keep their eyes on the prize - getting a capitol D in the White House in 2009 - and let the Iowans, the Nevadans, the South Carolinians and the New Hampshirites sort out the primaries as we really don't have a say anyway.

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