Wednesday, October 03, 2007

This is the kind of thing

that makes me seriously uneasy about handing presidential power over to Hillary Clinton.
    From the American Freedom Campaign, via email:

      Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) signed the American Freedom Pledge yesterday, expressing his commitment to protecting and defending the Constitution. With Senator Obama's pledge, all of the Democratic presidential candidates except Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) have now either signed the pledge or have provided the American Freedom Campaign Action Fund with a detailed statement addressing the issues described in the American Freedom Campaign Agenda . . .
I agree with the general sentiment that the celebrated New York Times opinion writers Dowd and Rich pretty much always favor snark over substance, but I did agree with this comment Frank Rich made last week:
    ...None of this would matter if the only issue were Mrs. Clinton's ability as a performer. Not every president can be Reagan or J.F.K. or, for that matter, Bill Clinton. But in her case, ...the performance too often dovetails with the biggest question about her as a leader: Is she so eager to be all things to all people, so reluctant to offend anyone, that we never will learn what she really thinks or how she will really act as president?

    So far her post-first-lady record suggests a follower rather than a leader. She still can't offer a credible explanation of why she gave President Bush the authority to go to war in Iraq (or why she voted against the Levin amendment that would have put on some diplomatic brakes). That's because her votes had more to do with hedging her political bets than with principle. Nor has she explained why it took her two years of the war going south to start speaking up against it. She was similarly tardy with her new health care plan, waiting to see what heat Mr. Edwards and Senator Obama took with theirs. She has lagged behind the Democratic curve on issues ranging from the profound (calling for an unequivocal ban on torture) to the trivial (formulating a response to the Petraeus ad)...
Just think what a public service a talented writer like Rich could provide if he would cut back on the snark and just talk straight.

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