July 29, 2005


Planting Her Flag: Hillary Clinton is carefully positioning herself as a hawkish centrist. How proving that she is tougher than the boys could work for her in 2008. (Eleanor Clift, 7/29/05, Newsweek)

Ultimately an antiwar candidate will also emerge on the Democratic side, and it could be Al Gore. He hasn’t done anything to advance his candidacy, but he has universal name recognition and is a favorite of Internet activists through MoveOn.org. The Bush administration may be venal, but they’re not stupid, and they’re beginning to lay the groundwork—at least rhetorically—for a pullout from Iraq beginning next year. Gore has the luxury of waiting and seeing whether there will still be a war left for him to oppose by ’08.

Five years ago, when Clinton first ran for the U.S. Senate in New York, she had to overcome resistance among women who thought she was too hard and calculating. She was trying then to soften her image, but now the premium is on toughness. And Clinton has one advantage over other Democrats, she has been under fire from the other side for 15 years; she understands how they operate, and she’s got the war-room mentality to fight back. It’s not personal for her anymore. She’s not going to feel bad if they call her names, or portray her as something she’s not. She’s going to respond.

Just as Karl Rove eviscerated Gore’s ethics and John Kerry’s patriotism, the line of attack against Clinton will be to question her strength of character and portray her as a calculating, ambitious woman who will do anything for power, including staying with a husband who humiliated her. It’s a game she’s played before, and she’s getting pretty good at winning.

She's so easily the toughest guy among prospective Democrats that she's likely to come out of the primaries too untested for her own good, just as John Kerry and Al Gore did.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 29, 2005 8:38 PM

i am guessing oj has a mc cain poster and a hillary poster in his basement. hillary is so completely unfit to be president it isn't funny. she makes jimmy carter look reolute and competent.

Posted by: cjm at July 29, 2005 10:22 PM

Eleanor Clift: still as delusional as a Harry/Hermione shipper.

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at July 29, 2005 10:53 PM

Perhaps John F. Kerry will try to prove his toughness by taking her down. After all, he can always claim that he has received more votes for President than anyone, except one.

And Hillary won't top him.

Posted by: ratbert at July 30, 2005 12:50 AM

Hillary will stomp him. Republicans give guys a second chance. Democrats haven't since Stevenson.

Posted by: oj at July 30, 2005 12:55 AM

If Hillary is so tough, how come she couldn't keep Bill in line?

Posted by: AllenS at July 30, 2005 5:59 AM

He made her First Lady and a US Senator.

Posted by: oj at July 30, 2005 7:05 AM

I didn't say it right, but what I meant was that Hillary will not get 58.8 million votes. And if the best she can do with the electorate is 46-47%, then will the Dems try to suppress the vote in 2008?

Sweet irony, eh?

Posted by: ratbert at July 30, 2005 9:53 AM

Re: "will ... portray her as a calculating, ambitious woman who will do anything for power"

Because, um, she is exactly that?

This is what kills me about the media. They constantly refer to attempts to "portray" politicians -- especially by evil Republicans against noble Democrats -- as opportunistic, but the question of whether they actually are opportunisitc doesn't even enter their mushy little brains.

And the media wonders why the public has contempt for them.

Posted by: Jeff Brokaw at July 30, 2005 10:34 AM

A fawning piece about Hillary by Eleanor Clift? what a surprise.

In a straight race I don't think Hillary can win - her negatives are too high even before the GOP gets going on her. That said, once again the MSM will be in full force for her and a flawed GOP candidate/poorly run GOP campaign could put her in the WH.

Bob - is that a Harry Potter reference?

Posted by: AWW at July 30, 2005 10:42 AM

karl will take her down, no trouble. her head won't exactly look nice on his wall, but it will be a prize none the less. this isn't bob dole's party any more, this is a killing machine.

Posted by: cjm at July 30, 2005 10:51 AM

I cannot ever think of Eleanor Clift without thinking of the Mallard Fillmore cartoon in which she threw her panties on stage at the DNC while Clinton was speaking.


If Tremaine could have the salt-eating beast from Star Trek, stuffed in his hallway, why can't Karl have the Hildebeest?

Posted by: bart at July 30, 2005 11:31 AM

bart: i can remember staying up late, thursday nights (i think it was thursdays) watching star trek episodes first run. your reference to the tremaine episode having the salt beast demands that i go rewatch that episode a little more carefully :) i bet billc has nightmares where he is harvy mudd and is surrounded by multiple hillary bots.

karl should have hillary posed and garbed in a recreation of salome' dancing.

Posted by: cjm at July 30, 2005 1:02 PM

"Squire of Gothos" is the title. You can see it as they walk down the stairs.

You are right about that Harvey Mudd episode. Lord only knows how many American nerds they swore off of marriage after that one.

Posted by: bart at July 30, 2005 7:14 PM

She will never win; she is the female Richard Nixon who polarizes half the country. Unless (heaven forbid) there is a crisis in this country, she will win, just like Nixon. Let's keep praying.

Posted by: at July 31, 2005 9:30 PM

If Hillary is the D candidate, Jeb is the R candidate. There is no nepotism/dynasty issue.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at August 2, 2005 12:41 AM