The Spectacle Blog

Re: Nuancing the Hillary

By on 1.19.06 | 6:21PM

Apropos of that, Mickey Kaus wrote yesterday:

P.S.: The Michael Goodwin NYDN piece linked above ably outlines the Essential Hillary Dilemma: She's supposed to be the candidate who has the base locked up and can appeal to the center. But thanks to her Iraq vote she now has to re-lock the base while simultaneously appealing to the center. An effective politician might accomplish this while projecting an interesting, variegated, forceful identity. An ineffective politician will look as if she has no identity at all, other than her fabled ambitious calculation. Goodwin:
All this zigzagging from left to right and back again on abortion, health care and national defense is supposed to make her look like a centrist.

It's just making her look confused.

P.P.S.: Goodwin suggests the problem is
she keeps her more moderate and leftist tendencies segregated from each other. The result is that she often seems to be two different people instead of one person with a principled coherence.
But that's another way of saying she's scared to explain both tendencies to both audiences. Is that because a) she doesn't have a single, heartfelt, mixed identity; b) she has an identity but doesn't have the chops to present it persuasively to different audiences or c) she has the identity and the chops but is simply too cautious to try? I wouldn't rule out (c).
I uncharitably lean toward (a), and David Weigel picks (b), in a podcast we recorded last night all about Hillary and her discontents on the left. Have a listen.

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