The Corner

Hillary’S Fortunes

Because the conventional wisdom about the former First Lady’s political prospects is a swiftly moving target, let me second Jonah’s opinion about her obvious weaknesses. (See Jonah: Forget Geena Davis in Commander-in-Chief, think Sally Field in Sybil). And I agree with the popular girls that she’s simply not the ticket. Recent criticisms from Molly Ivins and Maureen Dowd are seen as spelling trouble for Senator Clinton’s ambitions. Of course they’ll change their minds multiple times over the next two years (being women and all). The latest gloomy diagnosis that has taken temporary hold in the media was also prompted in part by an analysis in The New Republic that punctured the previous conventional wisdom. It had been widely thought that since Hillary successfully seduced the rubes in upstate New York she would be an easy sell in other unenlightened backwaters. Marisa Katz pointed out that the really cold parts of New York contain some Democratic strongholds, the region should be seen as more purple than red, and overall it gave Hillary Clinton a chilly reception in 2000–she lost upstate N.Y. by 3 points.

Before we’re treated to the next round of stories about Senator Clinton–how comfortable and confident she is on the campaign trail, how she connects to values voters owing to her staunch Methodist convictions, how she’s come into her own as a hawk on defense and moderate on domestic issues, how she is successfully reintroducing herself to the voters–the constants should be noted. She is an unattractive political personality. She is not the deft politician her husband is. There is an off-putting anger just beneath the surface. She’s a strident, dishonest advocate (Her speech on Judge Alito was a particularly nasty performance. See Ed Whelan in Bench Memos). She has a poorly disguised sense of entitlement. (When she contemplates the great historical injustice that has such a superior human being in the political minority slavery comes to mind). Some things about Hillary Clinton never change.

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