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August 03, 2007

Clinton Comes Back

After some bad press and a gleeful attack from the Obama campaign ("Why turn down the opportunity to hear from people excited about bringing change to Washington and new leadership to the White House? It is Barack Obama's birthday and he can't think of a better place to be," his spokeswoman said), Hillary Clinton is going to delay her flight to Long Island for a fundraiser and stay for part of tomorrow' breakout session.

This actually strikes me as a bad idea. Having decided to skip the event, it's hard to discern Hillary's upside in staying for half of it -- particularly given that she's leaving to attend a fundraiser. And the bad feelings that came from her original decision will result in an ever-more skeptical crowd. Indeed, my original assumption was that she was skipping town because the possible video of her getting booed tomorrow would've been rough for the campaign. This just appears to make that visual more likely. Given that likelihood, what're the odds that she takes a step towards Sister Souljaing the Kossacks and contrasts her tough answer with what her people will paint as Obama's panders?

August 3, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

what're the odds that she takes a step towards Sister Souljaing the Kossacks and contrasts her tough answer with what her people will paint as Obama's panders?

Magic 8-Ball says: "Outlook good."

Posted by: Captain Goto | Aug 3, 2007 1:34:10 PM

I think you're wrong. I think this is a very smart gesture.

Posted by: Steve | Aug 3, 2007 1:38:17 PM

"what're the odds that she takes a step towards Sister Souljaing the Kossacks"

The odds are low. Instead, she will do what she does best and triangulate. My sense is that she thinks she has the nomination wrapped-up. For example, she came out as the pro-nukes candidate. However, she just doesn't want to piss of progressive too much, so she shows up.

Also, many major blogs are mostly giving her a pass on her "anti-negotiation with extremists" and "pro-nukes" comments. So I sense there will probably not be too many boos.

Posted by: jncam | Aug 3, 2007 1:52:22 PM

I actually think the odds of a Sistah Souljah moment here are pretty low. The Great Orange Satan himself has gone out of his way to say nice things about here. I suspect a polite but tepid reception.

I'm not sure how she will get out of questions like "why won't you say invading Iraq was a mistake", and "what about Iran", and "why the ponyhawk response to the question about Iran/Cuba/Venezuela/etc". It may be some variant on Scott McLellan's "the President's views on this issue are well known".

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Aug 3, 2007 1:55:07 PM

Percentage of bloggers who have any interest in voting for hillary in the primary...crystal ball says...not many.

Posted by: Phil | Aug 3, 2007 2:05:24 PM

No one is challenging her record or that of her husband, which she is using in the primary to convince voters that she should be President based on pulling off an American Thatcher, the good old days and not being sure why other candidates would be better. I blame the other candidates, the media, and the bloggers for this.

Posted by: akaison | Aug 3, 2007 2:09:19 PM

by the way if she does get the nod to me it will rep that the GOP will be back in power by mid next decade.

Posted by: akaison | Aug 3, 2007 2:10:17 PM

Well, she should get points for staying for some of the one-to-many breakout session, but her campaign sure displayed a tin ear in first announcing she'd be there and then saying she'd have to leave after the general forum.

But, she's trying at least - at the risk of some negative 'feedback'. No backdown on here positions will be offered, I'd bet. On the dKos monthly online poll, she's up to 9% support!

I'm trying to get used to the idea she's increasing looking like the probable Dem. candidate, but who knows?

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Aug 3, 2007 2:11:28 PM

the possible video of her getting booed tomorrow would've been rough for the campaign

Maybe. Might actually help her with moderates. And don't underestimate how good she is at dealing with that kind of thing. She might come off looking even stronger. But it does seem risky for someone with a reputation of caution.

Posted by: Sanpete | Aug 3, 2007 2:12:35 PM

by the way if she does get the nod to me it will rep that the GOP will be back in power by mid next decade.

I agree... not in 2009, but probably 2012 (when most of the Senate seats up will be on our side, unlike 2008 & 2010). The GOP machine is too energetic & adaptable, and Dems flatly refuse to lead.

Posted by: latts | Aug 3, 2007 2:16:41 PM

Clinton knows that there's an October Primary in the offing, and she's getting ready to win that Primary, which may well be decisive.

Obama appears not to be aware of the October Primary, and Edwards, being out of office, is just not going to be able to participate.

But, Hillary's letter-writing is just a preliminary to the October Primary.

Posted by: Bruce Wilder | Aug 3, 2007 2:19:05 PM

latts,

I think it is more structural than the Democratic leadership. Leadership is a factor. I think the more fundamental issue for me at least is a failure of the American public to be engaged with what they candidates are about other than the surface soundbites.

Posted by: akaison | Aug 3, 2007 2:56:54 PM

Wasn't the narrative about Clinton supposed to be "least likely to make a mistake"? I don't get this--picking a fight with (and thereby acknowledging) a rival she has a comfortable lead over, then snubbing a group of people who can make her life hell if they choose to do so, then reversing herself and making the campaign look inept. What's going on here?

Posted by: Mike B. | Aug 3, 2007 2:59:59 PM

one word: hubris (b/c they are inevitable). that plus no new ideas is why dynasties are always problematic.

Posted by: akaison | Aug 3, 2007 3:01:34 PM

akaison, I agree that the problems are structural and more the fault of the electorate, but I tend to think that real leadership will mitigate a lot of that. One could say that GWB led pretty effectively for a couple of years there, even though his path was off a cliff... stronger Dem leadership usually makes attentive citizenship at least a bit less uncool, anyway.

Of course, the main difference between HRC & a sizable part of the netroots, at least IMO, is that she accepts the inattentiveness and triviality of the electorate and seeks to use it to her advantage, while a lot of us want to change the game. We've already got a tie without any real effort to state core principles; it seems that the necessary few percent could easily respond to leadership.

Posted by: latts | Aug 3, 2007 3:24:14 PM

that's faith that I've begun to lose

Posted by: akaison | Aug 3, 2007 3:40:30 PM

I think the mistake here is assuming that she's Bill Clinton; Mr. Clinton needed the "Sister Souljah" moment because he was perceived, mostly wrongly, as yet another in a string of adherents to "fringe-y" leftist radicals and any old thing they had to say; in order to win moderates in 1992, it was necessary to confront someone who seemed too "radical" for the mainstream, and Souljah - at best, a marginal figure in the scheme of politics - presented a perfect opportunity to take something a litle extreme and distance himself from it.

This isn't 1992 - thanks, in part, to Bill Clinton - and we're not in that same dilemma. The way to win moderates now is to seem not George W Bush, and Hillary Clinton doesn't have that problem. What she has is a perception that she can't take the heat from the left and the way to do that is to... well, take some heat. Remember too that from Rick Lazio to Ann Coulter and dozens in between, Mrs. Clinton looks best when she can appear to be guilelessly under attack. My bet is that some more immoderate voices at Kos will happily take her to task for every perceived misstep and make her look... well, like a victim. She doesn't get angry, and then she gets sympathy, and the Kos folks look like mean bullies.

It would all work, of course, if it didn't seem so calculated. But then, for a lot of people, it won't look that way.

Posted by: weboy | Aug 3, 2007 3:50:56 PM

That's because people have come to think of the gloss and calculated as authentic and a part of the narrative much like people now think action movies require special effects (See Bourne Ulimatum for how this isn't true). They assume everyone is playing by those rules even if they aren't.

So Hillary gets to be as fake as she wants to be because people think they "really" know what she is thinking unlike those other voters out there, which I'm assuming is what weboy means by "moderate."

Of course, the jokes on you who think Hillary, Inc. is going to be anything other than cautious and calculating even as President. Which translates into nothing getting done. That translates until we have another Bush in office (whatever form that will take)2012 or 2016, and in which case the next set of Democrats will be reactive to what HRC failed to do and left doors open for the GOP to do.

Hey- maybe weboy is wrong- maybe she is much more like her husband afterall.

Posted by: akaison | Aug 3, 2007 4:04:08 PM

By the way OT: this is to the gay folks out there. Anyone expecting something better than what they got with Bill is delusional.

Posted by: akaison | Aug 3, 2007 4:09:54 PM

The fact that she's staying for at least part of the breakout tells me that the screwup was the campaign's, not the YKos organizers.

Comforting that they weren't rashly handing out wristbands despite no confirmation (like the episode about the desperate booker -- Janeane Garafalo -- on "The Larry Shandling Show").

Posted by: Nell | Aug 3, 2007 4:17:04 PM

one word: hubris (b/c they are inevitable).

Phooey. There's no evidence she feels any inevitability.

As for no new ideas, Bush II was very different from Bush I, unfortunately.

she accepts the inattentiveness and triviality of the electorate and seeks to use it to her advantage, while a lot of us want to change the game

I think there's something to that. She's more realistic, perhaps, or maybe less idealistic; possibly both.

That's because people have come to think of the gloss and calculated as authentic

My impression is that there is less certainty about her true state of mind than for the other leading candidates.

Of course, the jokes on you who think Hillary, Inc. is going to be anything other than cautious and calculating even as President. Which translates into nothing getting done.

No, it really doesn't. There are various styles of effective leadership, and being cautious and calculating doesn't rule out getting a lot done. It can be quite helpful.

this is to the gay folks out there. Anyone expecting something better than what they got with Bill is delusional.

She's already called for ending don't-ask-don't-tell. What is she less likely to do than Edwards or Obama?

Posted by: Sanpete | Aug 3, 2007 4:32:38 PM

hillary is a classic politico and all that implies.

her hard stance on using nuclear weapons only two weeks after she incredibly claimed she was "agnostic" on the subject of nuclear energy reveals a very "inevitable" mindset.

actually, her arrogance and willingness to sell out actual progressive ideals makes her the perfect fit for the yearlykos crowd of libertarian, chevron-pimping, ahnold praising, anti-purity purity concern trolls.

Posted by: christian | Aug 3, 2007 5:20:17 PM

Um, is nuclear energy progressive or not progressive? A fair number of environmentalists want to know.

Posted by: Sanpete | Aug 3, 2007 5:36:35 PM

I can't speak for the general population, but the number of liberals who I know who are voting for her they all inevitably say "Well, she's got to run like this to convince the moderate." They say that as if with a wink and nod that there is some hidden Hillary that will say "gotcha" to conservative and moderates when she enters office. I have no idea how widespread this belief is because I haven't seen anyone poll on these type of deeper questions. Most of it is horserace- who is up and who is down- not why are they voting for her. I think someone posted something similar here as well. That people think she is just running a stealth campaign. That they , these Democratic primary voters who say this, are somehow smart than the rest of the electorate when in fact to me they see the least aware of the form a Clinton presidency would take based on "her dancing with those what brung her." If anyone thinks she is getting all that money from the healthcare industry because they really want healthcare reform- well lets just say gulible is the nicest thing I can say on that point.

Posted by: akaison | Aug 3, 2007 5:46:17 PM

"Um, is nuclear energy progressive or not progressive? A fair number of environmentalists want to know."

most actual progressives would say that nuclear energy is dangerous -- as the leak in japan proved. or chernoybl. or three mile island.

how close would you like to live next to a reactor given the disastrous safety ratings on them?


hillary might want to ponder that one. she's only had 30 years to think -- or triangulate -- a position.

Posted by: christian | Aug 3, 2007 5:55:50 PM

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