Books by Arthur

Social Networks
Article Index [A-Z]

Hillary's Mistake

Hillary was the obvious front runner for the nomination in ‘08. She lost. She’s been the clear front runner now and, frankly, is in danger of losing. She made a mistake in ‘08. She’s repeating it. It’s not an obvious error but it could prove fatal and her goal of becoming the first woman president may crash on the rocks of a brutally honest, self-proclaimed socialist just like it splintered on the shoals of a young, silver-tongued Black Senator who wooed us with transformative visions.

The mistake is thinking that governing has anything in common with campaigning. As First Lady, as Senator from New York, as Secretary of State Clinton was on the governance side of the game. She learned that to govern, legislate, negotiate you must be careful, balanced, nuanced. You need to take stances with firmness and thoughtfulness. You cannot be rigid. Compromise works where bluster does not. Give-a-little, take-a-little works where inflexible demands and lines in the sand do not.

But the primary game is a different game. It’s a game of bluster, of the dramatic one-off, the headline-capturing frozen moment. It is image and press-worthy statements and style, where blatant honesty, forthrightness and an unshrouded “here I am, take me” style is effective.

Yes, of course, the unofficially anointed boring prig in the middle often gets the nod (Dukakis, Bush I, Dole, Gore, Romney) but when these cardboard character types lose they lose to candidates who come across as uncompromising candidates who offer themselves as themselves — even when that self is outside the media-sanctioned mainstream (Bernie Sanders) or outside anything anyone has ever seen on the national stage (Donald Trump).

This is not new. Goldwater won the nomination by being Goldwater, an unabashed conservative who was unafraid to say things that his base believed and loved but others were unwilling to utter. FDR played a similar role from the other end of the political spectrum.

Will Bernie pull off an Obama? I don’t think so but tighten your seatbelts it could be a bumpy ride — especially if Hill doesn’t cut loose from the sandbags that are weighing her down. The “distrust” factor looms large with Clinton. It comes from the sense that she’s always being a bit guarded, a tad removed from the moment. You look at her, listen to the presentation and find yourself ignoring the words and wondering just how much of it is little more than a crafted appeal-to-all cover story. Passion? It a0in’t there and that folks, may turn out to be her fatal flaw.

Could Sanders win the general election? Against Trump, yes. Against Bush or Kasich or Walker? I shudder at the thought.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>