The Corner

Getting to “Yes”

As someone who’s not beyond some rooting when I’m watching a debate and who will want Hillary to lose in the general election, I said to the TV while Hillary was giving her driver’s license answer, “Say ‘yes’!” A Democratic friend of mine who is a big admirer of Hillary’s political savvy laughed and said, “She’s not going to say ‘yes’.” He was right on Tuesday night, but a day later she was forced into–through her campaign–saying “yes” to driver’s licenses for illegals. This does indeed mark, in the cliché of the hour, a new phase of the campaign. Hillary took off earlier this year when she was able to craft a position on the war that placated the Democratic base while not apologizing, lurching into rank irresponsibility, or doing other things that would clearly hurt her in the general election. Having minimized her vulnerability with Democratic voters on the war, she was free to position herself on everything else with an eye to the general election. Now, that positioning itself may become a vulnerability and the chances are she’s going to have to move left to fix it, as she did on licenses. This is a very good dynamic for Republicans, and a self-destructive one for Democrats. Depending on how this plays out and how bad its get for Hillary, they might minimize one of her strengths as a general election candidate: her unwillingness to say things the most agitated parts of the Democratic base want to hear.

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