Thursday, April 17, 2008

Trusting Hillary

A year ago many including Hillary Clinton saw her as the strong front runner virtually assured the Democratic nomination for president. Many including myself had a certain excitement about the first female president being elected. Six months ago as Barack Obama occurred stronger and stronger, Sirocco and myself and others spoke of a "dream ticket" of Clinton-Obama. I fantasized about a "blue tsunami" that swept away old WWII thinking. Then Iowa happened, and not Iowa, but Clinton and her campaign's reaction to Iowa, turned our heads and started triggering alarm after alarm after alarm.

Instead of responding like a grown up, congratulating Obama, and moving on, she appeared to throw a tantrum. One could almost hear a "What is wrong with Iowa? Don't they get it?" They were shocked.

She won New Hampshire, but as additional losses mounted, state after state going for Obama, she and her campaign entered a state of hysteria, denial, anger, and resentment. Talk of changing the rules in the middle of the game surfaced in January. Statements emerged about twisting the arms of super delegates. Hillary and her campaign staff started suggesting that certain states "didn't count." She mocked Obama as good at "making speeches" and of course the "3 AM" ad suggesting that for some reason (none I can figure) she will fare better in the situation.

Blips exist in the trend, and of course all candidates have ups and downs along the trail, but the trend is clear. She is slipping. Might it possibly be that while they both speak to a vision, his is simply more authentic and heartfelt, while hers is more designed and constructed, and many of us feel the difference?

The poll discussed at Raw Story and also at The Washington Post suggests the twists and turns, as well as the Bosnia sniper story and the increasingly negative attacks on Obama are taking a toll on Hillary's credibility. I think this will accelerate as her efforts occur further in the context of someone who will do what she thinks it takes to win, period.

At Wednesday's debate, the first 40 minutes involved a disgusting turkey shoot where all took shots at Obama in a grotesque display of tabloid "debating" almost certain to infuriate Obama supporters. He held up fairly well but of course had to be a little shaken. The reader can access the abundance of content on the debate, but I considered it one of the most pathetic ever, something one might expect from People Magazine.

The next few days will tell, but this Michael Tomasky story captures my sentiments. They keep hitting and hitting, but they only wound what they cannot kill.

Machiavelli had some thoughts about that.

13 Comments:

Blogger Liza said...

The big loser in Wednesday night's debate is going to be ABC who apparently has been deluged with complaints. They made a very ill-advised decision to disrespect and insult the viewers who expected a serious debate about serious issues. As the economy and the Iraq occupation just continue to worsen, it is incredulous that ABC chose to assume that we are a nation of Fox News fanatics and would find their tabloid show an educational experience. It was a bad, bad call at a time when people are just totally fed up.

All we can do about Hillary is hope that she will be gone soon. She will win Pennsylvania, apparently, but that won't be enough. I can't listen to her and I can't even stand to look at pictures of her anymore. I've come to completely despise her.

4/17/2008 9:43 AM  
Anonymous Art Jacobson said...

What Liza said and...
My judgment is that the tone of the debate will do Clinton more harm than good. We might have had a reasoned debate about the great issues that face the nation. Instead, Clinton insisted that time be wasted on a puerile taunt about lapel pins.

4/17/2008 9:50 AM  
Blogger roger said...

What Liza and Art said...

Hi to the both of you by the way.

Damn I hope this ends soon.

4/17/2008 12:21 PM  
Anonymous new reader said...

I haven’t read blogs. I thought they were a bunch of egotistical losers with nothing better to do but post an online diary like I’m supposed to care about their dog or how their day went. I saw the front page article in the Star last week and decided to check them out. I spent actually a lot of time looking into them, because I was surprised how smart and informative they were. The bloggers barely wrote about themselves at all.

I have learned A LOT reading these blogs that I would have never known. Wow, and I think this blog is terrific. I think x4mr is actually like a blogger poet. Some of it (including the images) is like computer art. I can tell he takes what he writes very seriously and takes time not just to post information, but to do so in a way that is creative and intelligent. I’m not saying the other blogs are not intelligent, but x4mr has a real quality that is above and beyond the others. The images to the left are a good example that there is more going on, although I won’t claim to know what.

I also want to compliment the people that comment here. I don’t think I’ve read a single comment that didn’t have to come from someone bright and informed.

Keep up the great work, x4mr, and I hope your readers keep adding to the value by adding additional insights to your "top level" (or whatever the original posting is called).

Just my two cents on the debate last night. I thought it was shameful and embarrassing, and it only helps the Republicans. If McCain was watching, I’ll bet he was cheering the whole time.

4/17/2008 2:08 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Obama has pretty much declared, "That's it. No more debates."

I agree with him completely. More polls are showing the same. With some luck this fiasco has toughened Obama up for the general.

I'm with Liza at this point in that I can barely stand to even see a photo of the woman, let alone listen to her talk. I'm praying that Pennsylvania is close and North Carolina is a slam dunk. Then they need to TELL her it's over.

Her smart move would have been to resign after the math showed she could not catch him.

New Reader,
Thanks for the kind words. I try to make the place worth reading.

4/18/2008 10:06 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

Pennsylvania has the power to end our misery, but will they? For the most part the polls in recent days have been showing a single digit lead for Clinton. How that horrible, obnoxious, despicable woman could still be ahead is beyond my understanding.

The Obama campaign has done a fine job of managing expectations about Pennsylvania. We know Hillary will win and anything under a ten point lead should finish her. She will landslide Kentucky, but that's about all she's got left after PA. Everything else is dead heat or goes to Obama.

What I pray for now is that enough Hillary PA supporters are ready to concede even if she isn't. More people seem to be seeing Hillary's campaign as extremely negative and diminishing the Democratic chances in November. Let's hope that a lot of those people live in PA.

Otherwise, if she wins big in PA, she just keeps going like that Energizer bunny.

She's become grotesque, almost a parody of herself.

4/18/2008 3:42 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

I should probably give West Virginia to Hillary, but not a landslide.

Even so, it's not enough.

4/18/2008 3:54 PM  
Blogger Sirocco said...

"Pennsylvania has the power to end our misery, but will they? For the most part the polls in recent days have been showing a single digit lead for Clinton. How that horrible, obnoxious, despicable woman could still be ahead is beyond my understanding."

Perhaps she has more going for her than simply being horrible, obnoxious and despicable? I mean, such sterling qualities will only carry you so far with the electorate.

No matter how you slice it, her policy positions tend to be well thought out, more detailed and more substantive than any other candidate's, including Obama's ... and I say that while being an Obama delegate.

I, too, wish she would bow out. She's not going to, however - this is likely the only chance she will ever have to make a serious Presidential bid, and she's going to fight to the bitter end.

I didn't see this last debate ... but I gather I am better off for it.

4/18/2008 4:57 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

Oh, Sirocco, why do you do this to me? Can you not just allow me to have my rant?

Alright, you have forced me to state the obvious. If her policy positions are so good, so well thought out, and so substantive, then perhaps she should have run her campaign based on that RATHER THAN TRASHING OBAMA and exaggerating what she did while Bill was president and outright lying about her support for some of Bill's failures.

I have read both their websites, BTW.

We will have to agree to disagree again. Her "gutter" campaign and her widely publicized "kitchen sink" strategy to not only defeat Obama but destroy him, is enough justification for my description of her - horrible, obnoxious, and despicable.

She is not a Republican, at least not a registered Republican, and she is trashing the likely Democratic nominee. That is pretty despicable, Sirocco.

Anyhow, one of the current theories out there is that she knows Obama will get the nomination but she is trying to prevent him from winning so that she can try again in 2012 as the "I told you so" candidate at age 64.

I wouldn't know, but I also wouldn't be surprised if it were the case.

4/18/2008 6:40 PM  
Blogger Sirocco said...

Oh, I am not saying there are elements of her campaign which are odious. I was simply pointing out that isn't _all_ there is to her campaign.

She did try emphasizing her policy points back early in the year, and lost ground ... obviously she's switched tactics, which makes sense (whether we like it or not) as other approaches weren't working.

I actually don't believe the 2012 thought. I really do think she sees this as her only real shot, and as such is willing to do essentially whatever it takes to try and win.

That willingness to do whatever it takes to win this year, however, is one (of several) reasons I don't consider her the best candidate. Understanding her strengths, though, explains why a number of Democrats still consider her their pick.

4/18/2008 6:53 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

I'm not so sure that always fighting to the death to have it your way is a good quality in a world leader. That is what she did with national healthcare in 93/94 and, of course, she set the concept back more than a decade.

I don't really agree with 2012 either. I very much doubt that Hillary could get nominated in 2012and I doubt she would run against an incumbent. If McCain is president and doesn't run in 2012, whoever is vice president is likely to be the GOP nominee.

Obama supporters are hoping that PA is not a huge win, Obama wins North Carolina for sure and maybe Indiana. Indiana might be evenly split. Even so, that really should finish Hillary mainly because her funding should dry up.

4/18/2008 7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the Raw Story article,
"Advisers argue that her positive ratings [for honesty] have dipped as she has been defined by her opponents -- a normal campaign occurrence -- and that her honesty problem reflects the pounding she took from Republicans in the 1990s."

BS! Hillary's "honesty problem" is entirely her own doing. She can't blame this one on the vast right-wing conspiracy.

4/19/2008 9:46 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

Hillary has an honesty problem because she is not honest. Sooner or later, it catches up with you.

4/19/2008 1:04 PM  

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