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Hillary -- loyalty or ambition?

By jardinier ·
Please note .. The highlighted portion of this article is the topic for discussion.

Breaking from

By Susan Estrich

Just who was Hillary Clinton talking about when she summarized a question about her ability to deal with America's enemies with: "What in my background equips me to deal with evil and bad men?" She raised her eyebrows.

The crowd exploded in laughter.

It certainly wasn't about Osama. It had to be Bill. Asked later whether she was in fact referring to her husband, Hillary denied it: "Oh, come on. I don't think anybody in there thought that. I thought I was funny. You know, you guys keep telling me, 'Lighten up. Be funny.' You know, I get a little funny, and now I'm being psychoanalyzed."

Hillary's joke on Bill overshadowed the questions and answers about George Bush in the coverage of the senator's first trip to Iowa in three years. With reason. The big question about Hillary, for most Democrats, is painfully personal. Of course she's smart. Of course she's tough. No one argues that. The question is: Do you "like" her?

There are still many conservatives who view Hillary Clinton as the embodiment of liberal evil because of her role in the debate over health care early in her husband's administration. In the stick figure caricatures of the Clinton White House, she was perceived as the liberal one, the flat-out feminist, the supporter of bigger government.

Even after six years as a more mainstream moderate in the United States Senate, they still rant about Hillary Rodham. But that is the least of her problems in the months ahead, where the ideological question will be whether she is liberal enough, especially on the war, to suit those who dominate Democratic primaries and caucuses, especially in Iowa.

The challenge for Democrats in dealing with the Iowa caucus has always been not to go so far to the left that you can't get back to the center when you need to. The anti-war Hillary was out in full force in Iowa, criticizing the president's war in terms just as forceful as those of any of her opponents, even if the next day did find her smiling with John McCain, the current scourge of the anti-war left.

Hillary still has some convincing to do among liberal Democrats, but even on the war, the challenge for Hillary may ultimately have less to do with substance than motivation, less to do with policy than with character. Did she support the war because she thought it was right, or because she thought it was the right thing to do? Was it a substantive decision that turned out to be wrong, a mistake many people made or a political miscalculation?

It is, in those terms, simply another version of the same question you hear about her marriage: Did she stick with her husband through the Monica Lewinsky mess out of loyalty, or out of ambition? Loyalty is understandable, acceptable, sympathetic. Ambition points to a person who is hard to like. It is, in other words, a question of character.

The caricature of Hillary Clinton among liberals is not about her ideology, but her personality; not about her positions, but why she takes them. The reasons Democrats don't like Hillary are totally different from the reasons conservatives don't. For Democrats, it's all about what kind of person she is.

For Hillary, the Iowa campaign is a chance to begin showing a different face than most people have ever seen. As her friends know, the real Hillary Clinton is very funny. The caricature isn't. The real Hillary Clinton has a sense of humor about herself. The caricature doesn't.

More than any other candidate, Hillary needs to use the months ahead to address the questions of character that plague her candidacy. Hillary's "evil joke" was an important step in that direction. It was human, which is what those who don't like her think she isn't.

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I'm curious!!!

by sleepin'dawg In reply to Hillary -- loyalty or amb ...

Not being an American or even living on the same continent, why on earth would this interest you, in the least.

Dawg ]:)

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Perhaps it has escaped your attention

by jardinier In reply to I'm curious!!!

but Australians fought in Vietnam and there are Australian troops in Iraq.

The leadership of America is of great interest to all Australians because many political decisions made in America have a direct impact on Australia and Australians, including and especially participation in these two wars as an important ally of America.

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Very long and boring

by sd support In reply to Hillary -- loyalty or amb ...

but either way democrats will do the better job

Collapse - really don't matter

by jmgarvin In reply to Very long and boring

The Dems won't do any better at all. The 2006 election was more about getting the Repubs out, than about getting the Dems in.

In 2008, the Reps don't have anyone to run, so the Dems will win by default.

Oh, and just to squash it all...There are too many ignorant morons in the US, so we'll get another white male as a president....

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by puppybreath In reply to Very long and boring

even if the Dems win in 2008, it isn't going to make things better because they don't have a plan to accomplish anything other than remove Republicans.

Look at their first hundred hours. They crammed a bunch of bills through the House even though they knew the bills would never get through the Senate. But it gives the perception that they actually want to do their jobs. And makes excellent press for the liberal media.

If actually elected, by the time they actually come up with bills that may pass both houses, Congress will want to debate their plans in committees and then will never make a decision or take a vote.

So four years will go by without any meaningful legislation except for the raise they'll vote for themselves.

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by willda In reply to Hillary -- loyalty or amb ...

I found this an interesting topic but, I wonder why I found US politics on TechRepublic?
Just curious.

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After you've been around a while you'll understand!! 2001?? You're kidding!

by sleepin'dawg In reply to ensightful

At one time this section used to be called Miscellaneous but now it's referred to as Off-topic. That's slightly more accurate but the unofficial name for this forum is much more apt and illustrative if not more accurate; "The Water Cooler"


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