Monday, January 29, 2007

Hillary: she came too late, she stayed too long

This country is at a grave crossroads. It craves leadership.(...) Americans hunger for a presidency with some authenticity. Patently synthetic play-acting and carefully manicured sound bites like Mrs. Clinton’s look out of touch. Frank Rich NYT
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Antonio Machado, one of Spain's greatest poets once wrote that "The sound of a clod of earth falling upon a coffin, is a sound of perfect seriousness." War, failure, death and defeat awaken people to reality, that is their virtue: they mature individuals and sometimes they do the same for countries. It's not just Hillary, Bill Clinton would also be too slick today. This is not the 90s, that was the "Belle Époque". It' a different, darker world... one "of perfect seriousness". The Clinton's are a happy memory, these are other times. DS
Frank Rich: Hillary Clinton’s Mission Unaccomplished
Abstract: This country is at a grave crossroads. It craves leadership. When Mr. Webb spoke on Tuesday, he stepped into that vacuum and, for a few minutes anyway, filled it. It’s not merely his military credentials as a Vietnam veteran and a former Navy secretary for Ronald Reagan that gave him authority, or the fact that his son, also a marine, is serving in Iraq. It was the simplicity and honesty of Mr. Webb’s message. Like Senator Obama, he was a talented professional writer before entering politics, so he could discard whatever risk-averse speech his party handed him and write his own. His exquisitely calibrated threat of Democratic pushback should Mr. Bush fail to change course on the war — “If he does not, we will be showing him the way” — continued to charge the air even as Mrs. Clinton made the post-speech rounds on the networks.(...) After six years of “Ask President Bush,” “Mission Accomplished” and stage sets plastered with “Plan for Victory,” Americans hunger for a presidency with some authenticity. Patently synthetic play-acting and carefully manicured sound bites like Mrs. Clinton’s look out of touch. (Mr. Obama’s bare-bones Webcast and Web site shrewdly play Google to Mrs. Clinton’s AOL.) Besides, the belief that an image can be tightly controlled in the viral media era is pure fantasy. Just ask the former Virginia senator, Mr. Allen, whose past prowess as a disciplined, image-conscious politician proved worthless once the Webb campaign posted on YouTube a grainy but authentic video capturing him in an embarrassing off-script public moment.

The image that Mrs. Clinton wants to sell is summed up by her frequent invocation of the word middle, as in “I grew up in a middle-class family in the middle of America.” She’s not left or right, you see, but exactly in the center where everyone feels safe. But as the fierce war critic Chuck Hagel, the Republican senator from Nebraska, argues in a must-read interview at, the war is “starting to redefine the political landscape” and scramble the old party labels. Like Mrs. Clinton, the middle-American Mr. Hagel voted to authorize the Iraq war, but that has not impeded his leadership in questioning it ever since.

The issue raised by the tragedy of Iraq is not who’s on the left or the right, but who is in front and who is behind. Mrs. Clinton has always been a follower of public opinion on the war, not a leader. Now events are outrunning her. Support for the war both in the polls and among Republicans in Congress is plummeting faster than she can recalibrate her rhetoric; unreliable Iraqi troops are already proving no-shows in the new Iraqi-American “joint patrols” of Baghdad; the Congressional showdown over fresh appropriations for Iraq is just weeks away.

This, in other words, is a moment of crisis in our history and there will be no do-overs. Should Mrs. Clinton actually seek unfiltered exposure to voters, she will learn that they are anxiously waiting to see just who in Washington is brave enough to act. READ IT ALL


Anonymous said...

This may be a big reason why many voters voters are loath to accept the Evita of the Ozarks back at 1600 Penna.

David Seaton's Newslinks said...

I doubt that this old blood scandal would be anything more than a "Swift Boat" scandal, hauled out of nowhere in order to smear the lady. One point I have to clear up, if there is one thing I *do* like about Bill and Hillary, it is the enemies they have made. I have never understood why people on the right hate such harmless (for their interests) folks.

If Hillary were really the "Evita of the Ozarks", she would have my solid support. I just think that she and "Slick Willy" are a pair of phonies, a sort of "Judas Goat" leftwing of the Tony Blair variety.

Anonymous said...

I corresponded with some of the people who researched the story. It is by no means a bogus story. If anything, it's much bigger than ever made the major news outlets. Only the Economist ran an article, which only touched the tip of it.

But it was more convenient for the Republicans to attack Clinton over sex, where no Republicans were involved, than to delve too deeply into Arkansas and Southern business mores, where neither party has all too many vestal virgins.

As to my politics, I voted Nader in 2000; Bush lost me on the day he said he didn't want to comment on Clinton's antics.