[UPDATED] topmast_hillary.jpgBlogs can be a loyal constituency, but not an unthinking one. Political bloggers tend to be passionate, idealistic about their politics, and less forgiving of the gamesmanship, issue flopping, expediency, rhetorical hedging, “message discipline,” “good optics” and compromise on positions that is part of normal politicking for office.

 

New York Senator and former first Lady Hillary Clinton faces a conundrum in the face of this fact.

As January of 2006 she had the largest war chest, the highest name recognition and topped ratings in national polls of any Democrat in the pool for a possible presidential bid. Normally that would allow a candidate to “play to the middle.” Susan Estrich in her book, “The Case for Hillary Clinton,” argued that she was the perfect candidate because “[W]hich of your safe white men are going to excite the base the way Hillary does, so they can spend all their time in the middle? I’ll answer: None.”

But in fact, the base, as reflected in leftblogs, is hardly cheering the Senator from New York on. fire2vb.jpg

As Mickey Kaus comments on Estrich’s point: “Exciting the base is not something Hillary Clinton has been doing a lot of lately! I doubt that the Democrats’ ‘base’ will forgive her for her Iraq vote even if the war turns into a relative success. Suppose that happens–what’s she going to do, run on a campaign of ‘I told you so’? That’s always a turn-on for the die-hards!”

Indeed Clinton is faring poorly among the left/dem/liberal blogs and partisans precisely because of her consistent attempt to steer a “middle” policy course and win swing voters. As one Washington Post headline put it: “Clinton Angers Left With Call for Unity: Senator Accused of Siding With Centrists.” And Cindy Sheehan, the Goldstar icon of the anti-war left is calling her a “warmonger” and setting up a “camp Casey” outside HC offices. Leading the leftflank’s disparagement was the King of the leftbloglands, Kos himself.

John McCain, the only republican who bests or equals Clinton in current polls faces a similar dilemma with rightblogs that think of him as too moderate and too Washington, and the worst credential of all, too popular with big media.

Politicians have always needed to balance the base and the middle. Blogs make this tension, if not more difficult, more public.

Senator Clinton’s lonely “blog” entries on breast cancer for the American Cancer Society’s “Blogs for Hope” are press releases rather than real posts, and very safely worded at that. Why is she not blogging more? One can imagine why: Should Hillary Clinton give a $1,000-a-plate speech that will be picked up by the networks or post a blog entry that may or may not get any big media attention?

Further, when she gives that speech, her staff can control the crowd to a great extent, organizing a friendly response; that is not possible in the bloglands. Should a frontrunner, well ahead without blog help, risk blogging at all?

Update on Friday, December 30, 2005 at 04:39PM by Registered Commenterdavid.d.perlmutter

Update #1: A Cook Political Report/RT Strategies Poll of December 2005 showed a third of democrats supporting respectively a “classical liberal,” a liberal with “moderate appeal,” or a centrist as their ideal 2008 candidate. Charlie Cook, “Looking For The Right One” National Journal. (Dec. 13, 2005).

Update #2: In response to this post, Bob Kunst, the longtime liberal democratic activist who has led the grassroots “HillaryNow” group since 2003, said to me that blogs represent only one section of the democratic left. He is correct, and he should know: his record as a liberal activist is long and accomplished.

But the five million-visitor DK site gives Kos the largest independent soapbox on the Web. The press and the party take him seriously as a player and one day I think he will also be appreciated as a political kingmaker–a sure sign that the blog has arrived in the circles of power. (Misexpressed this point, see new post). Update 2a: Rather I think he is/will be seen as a sort of party boss. And he is no friend of the Democratic Leadership Council, the “centrist” group of Clinton allies and they, in turn, see him as inimical to the party’s return to power.

And Kos is not alone: Steve Gilliard, probably one of the most prominent and well-spoken leftbloggers writes of HC:

Mark my words. She will never make it out of the primaries if she runs. Hillary Clinton’s instincts suck. They are horrible. Her enemies will ALWAYS paint her as a liberal, regardless of her real stands. Her name is a byword for liberalism and corruption among the right. They will fight her to their last breath. The DLC wants to use the same failed playbook it has always used, run down the middle of the road and lose to the GOP.

We often speak of antagonism between bloggers and traditional mass media. Perhaps a Hillary candidacy will offer a contest between traditional Democrats vs. leftbloggers. That is too simplistic a typology, but there is no doubt that Hillary’s run for the nation’s highest elected office will be a major test of the roles bloggers play in the political media-system.

Update #3a: Bob Kunst of HillaryNow sent me an extraordinary “open letter” that he has written to Senator Clinton. Again, keep in mind, that Kunst is the REAL DEAL. It is is hard to think of anyone who has (a) more solid track record of liberal activism and (b) has been longer–as non-staff outsider–defending Hillary and promoting her as a Presidential prospect. Read this over and you will agree that HC faces a “grassroots fire” on her left. Here are some excerpts. The entire letter is within “DOCUMENTS” section in the left (no pun intended) sidebar.

From: “Robert Kunst” : hillarynow@hotmail.com/ Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2005 13:34:45 -0500

Dear Hillary:

It’s been my pleasure to represent you these last 27 months as President of Hillarynow.com, in 118 cities and doing 730 media interviews, to draft you for President in 2008.

…Two weeks ago, I made CNN, St. Pete Times, Air America, News Max and NY Post, trying to overcome doubts about you, when you were pushing a ban on flag desecration as your priority on the very same day that the ‘9/11’ Commission was giving Bush and ‘f’ for failing to see their recommendations to thwart another terrorist attack with any real urgency or commitments.

While you had a grand opportunity to expose Bush’s failures that is putting this nation at risk, and offer the answers regarding what dangers we are facing….while you could have led an identity missing in the Dem. Party that they even care about national security….while you could have demanded for New Yorkers, what Bush is ignoring….all of this and more was missing, while you focused on a ‘non-issue’ of banning flag desecration.

I’ve been able to fight all of your other battles, but this one is inexcusable, and poorly timed.

Your advisors seem bent on playing you for a ‘centrist’, that might have worked for Bill prior to ‘9/11’, but is flatly making you look bad and irresponsible and exploitive and totally unnecessary, which gives the public a negative image of you, we can’t make excuses for.

If they wanted to sabotage your campaign for 2006 or 2008, you managed to fall into this trap, and we would NEVER have advised this on any level.

…I’m in the trenches. I’m fighting all these battles for you and for this nation, and I know you still are light years ahead of any other candidate in the Dem. Party, and you can win it all for everyone’s benefits.

….We can get you there, for the grassroots is a totally different ball game than those $1000 a plate dinner folks, you have no problem raising monies from.

….Yours Faithfully and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to you and your family.

Bob Kunst

Pres., Hillarynow com

305-864-5110

To repeat: Kunst has been Hillary’s most loyal independent grassroots supporter!

Background: Clinton has so far successfully–by the standards of fundraising, big media handicapping and poll numbers–followed a “pole vault” strategy. Normally in the Democratic Party you run left in the primaries to attract the party loyalists and activists, then run center in the general election campaign to bring in the so-called middle and swing voters. The Senator from New York has been taking centrist and even conservative positions since she took office. Why? Because the Washington/Elite Pundit analysis is that the nomination is hers without much effort or fight: “Hillary and the X Dwarfs” is how the primary run has been projected. If that is the case, then it must have seemed to make sense to jump to the “general” campaign immediately and not wait until May 2008.

But the left grassroots online and offline, in the bloglands and “in the trenches,” is not playing the game. They are not standing by in silence while Senator Clinton takes policy positions that outrage them. Stay tuned!

UPDATE #4a & b: Good comments by Steve Soto of TheLeftCoaster on the Hillary issue. Key points:

Perlmutter’s piece brings up the question of how far the front running Clinton can get in 2008 if the “netroots” are lukewarm if not disappointed in her willingness to chill the base and appeal to the DLC crowd. It is a valid point to raise, given that Clinton has managed to see challengers spring up on both her left (Russ Feingold) and her right (Mark Warner) who both will have significant appeal and much help from the netroots. Clinton may very well feel that boatloads of money and the Democratic machinery behind her will be enough to get the nomination without making an overt effort to appeal to the anti-war portions of the base or the netroots. Some would say that it’s déjà vu all over again, as Yogi would say, with another establishment “electable” front-runner trying to steamroller their way to the nomination without hearing or even reaching out to the base or netroots. As I said, both Feingold, as well as Warner will have help from the netroots, and this doesn’t count John Edwards and Wesley Clark, both of whom are paying close attention to the netroots and have significant support in the country.

Will it matter if Clinton is supported by the netroots by 2007? Is Clinton staying distant for now until after her reelection, only to embrace the netroots and the base in 2007 when her full-fledged candidacy kicks in? Perhaps. But will any late-arriving embrace of the netroots and the anti-war base by Clinton work, if Edwards and Feingold have already spent over a year working with them, and Warner and Clark have likewise done the same from the right?

And Bob Geiger offers the following:

our need for true leadership is immediate and, despite her de facto status and power as one of the perceived leaders in the Democratic party, Senator Clinton has not shown the courage or leadership required to maintain the enthusiastic support of people on our side of the political spectrum.

Not that she needs to go begging for grassroots support right now. Hillary Clinton could strangle a kitten on prime-time television in Times Square and still win back her Senate seat next year and, unless the Republicans find a way to swift boat her beyond recognition, she’ll be reelected by a wide margin.

While I will immediately come to her aid if the GOP puts a serious dent in her candidacy, I resent the lack of a strong voice coming from her office right when we need her most.

And she has no excuse.

Originally posted January 29, 2006 at PolicyByBlog

One Comment

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    Original Reader Comments (32)

    One point I noted in Mr. Kunst’s open letter is:

    “as well as the organization that will prevent another Gore/Kerry fiasco”.

    I am a bit confused about what he is saying here. Is he talking about the failure of the party/grassroots during those campaigns and after, or is he chastizing the candidates? If the latter, then he’d both be incorrect and self-contradictory in the case of Gore in 2000. In his own words, “Gore Won, Bush Stole The Election, Democrats covered up and gave it away” (link: http://www.hillarynow.com/kunst.htm)

    Hope to hear a clarification from him on it.
    December 31, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterNL
    Good point…I believe most leftDems that I have spoken to assume that a “real” left candidate in 2000 (or 2004) would have (a) won with a wider margin or (b) fought tougher legal battles to prove voter fraud.
    December 31, 2005 | Registered Commenterdavid.d.perlmutter
    hi dp,

    “(a) won with a wider margin”:
    Clinton’s impeachment/scandal made Rove’s “Restoring honor and integrity” theme stick. There is quite good statistical evidence to show that Gore’s primary achilles heel was indeed the scandal.

    “(b) fought tougher legal battles to prove voter fraud.”:
    You mean before the SC verdict or after?

    nl
    January 1, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNL
    This is a non-partisan site, so I don’t want to go too far in taking sides in such matters. I’m reporting what many leftbloggers tell me.

    …but as a historian like me would put it: the “proximity cuase” of why the Dems lost in 2000 was because Gore could not win his home state; and they lost in 2004 because Edwards did not help the ticket carry his–or any place else.
    January 2, 2006 | Registered Commenterdavid.d.perlmutter
    This agonizing about what the “netroots” will do after Hillary has spurned them for two years is wasted energy. She is very much aware of what clout the “netroots” had in 2004.

    I don’t recall *any* netroots enthusiasm for Kerry in 2004. Perhaps someone can tell me why Kos (Mr 0-13) gave up so quickly on Dean when he was so “passionate” about him in the first place.

    Get over yourselves. All those orange beanies with their “netroots passion” did nothing but piss off people who actually work for a living. So you wound up with Mr Electable and the ensuing debacle.

    The netroot Democrats will do just what they did in 2004 — once the adults have spoken, they’ll hold their noses and get behind “their” candidate. Passion will, once again, be nothing but a way to make yourselves care long before anything actually happens.
    January 2, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersmilink
    The strongest argument against Hillary in the primaries will be that she can’t win the general election. This very real and reasonable fear will cause a kind of accidental alliance between anti-war left liberal activists (ie, Kos and the Dean kids) together with what I call “electoral realists” (upscale moderates and centrists who may admire Hillary but don’t think she can win). This coalition will form a blocking force that could allow somone like Mark Warner (never had to vote on Iraq war resolution) to gain real momentum.
    January 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJustwin B. Aby
    The dichotomy between Washington elites and bloggers in relation to Hillary Clinton is nonsense. Democratic elites are very suspicious of Hillary Clinton and have been for years. During the last round of Hillary hysteria, there were plenty of quotes from Washington to the effect that Hillary didn’t have a “winning personality” and that Democrats weren’t looking for a replay of the Bill Clinton administration. I haven’t seen any evidence that the DLC likes Hillary any better than they like Al Gore either.

    The left-blogs and Democratic elites can nibble at Hillary Clinton all they want, but they can’t beat her down because they can’t create an opponent of equal stature. Right now, Hillary is the heir presumptive Democratic nominee in the same way that Ronald Reagan was heir presumptive for the Republicans in 1980 and George Bush in 1988. However, she doesn’t have that status because she’s been annointed by the elites. She has that status because of the credibility she built up by her conduct during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, her successful run for the New York Senate seat, and her conducting herself as a “national leader” while in the Senate. Hillary is going to be a heavy favorite for the Democatic nomination because there is nobody of comparable stature in the Democratic Party. Likewise, she’ll be a formidable contender in a general election because the Republicans lack a heavyweight contender among the “true conservatives.” Right now, John McCain is the only candidate out there who can give Hillary Clinton a run, but he’s far more questionable in the Republican primaries than Hillary is going to be among the Democrats.
    January 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRic Caric
    Democrats don’t do “heir apparents” the way Republicans do. All the gravitas Hillary has put in the bank over the years will do her no good if people are afraid she would lose in November. It’s going to be all about electoral math more than ever before. One of the great things the blogs have done is educate activists about electoral reality. They will end up backing the best November horse. Advantage Warner…
    January 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJustwin B. Aby
    “(b) fought tougher legal battles to prove voter fraud.”

    You mean like in Wisconsin, where the number of fraudulent votes (from “same day registration voters” in Milwaukie) was greater than Kerry’s margin of victory? Or in New Mexico, where 500 votes were “discovered”, giving Gore his 364 vote margin of victory?

    Or Washington, where teh Dems had the vote “counted” three times, and kept on “discovering” new votes in King County until they finally got the result they wanted in the Gov. race?

    Oh, wait, those were all examples of Democrat voter fraud.

    Which is the reason why no intelligent Democrat will ever make vote fraud a serious issue (i.e. try to do anything to prevent it). Because the Democrats ARE the party of vote fraud.
    January 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGreg D
    Kos a “kingmaker of sorts”? BWAHAHAHAHA! Kos is a legend in his own mind. Mark my words, a couple more humiliating electoral defeats and Kos will end up ranting and raving on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory, Alex Jones, Bev Harris, and the rest of the alien anal-probed left.
    January 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterI Heart Moonbats
    It is an interesting question: can political blogs create a leader as well as destroy one? I would say that one thing to watch for is, like in previous cases, where blogs have fanned the fires under a politician’s (or a journalist’s) feet is whether big media pick up the story of “Clinton alienating base” and then it can become a perceptual snowball that accretes reality.
    January 2, 2006 | Registered Commenterdavid.d.perlmutter
    This is a very interesting discussion. (I was linked here by Instapundit having never seen the site). I believe the comments about Hillary’s poor political instincts and the hatred of her by the Right that cannot be assuaged by any amount of triangulation are correct. I still think she will win the nomination and needs but one state Kerry did not win to be President. Remember the Democrat primaries are plurality based, not winner take all. It is hard to imagine any scenario where she is not amassing delegates early. She will have the bulk of New York’s and Illinois winning by wide margins. She’s perfect for the Philly suburban Dems and will likely take Pennsylvania as well. She is strong in New England even if she loses a few to a Feingold insurgency (vt?). She may be weak in the South but a divided field will not stop her from getting a third at worst in every primary there, piling up delegates. I think she will win Arkansas and Florida outright. Florida because of the condo commandos and Arkansas because Bill is Bill and if he can’t do it for her he’s not the pol I think he is. She will win California because she is a Star and perfectly attuned to the Hollywood zeitgeist and they love Bill. Where will Labor go? Most to her because they back winners. I see no candidate in this race to excite the African-American vote, Bill does and that will rub off on her to some extent. In short, she will have the power to lose some big ones and keep going and no one else will. Warner will have done well and hold out the possibility of flipping Virginia. He’s the veep and the race is close no matter what. If McCain is not the Republican nominee she is competitive. What state will the Republicans take they did not last time? New Hampshire? Minnesota? Wisconsin? She has a shot at Ohio and Virginia. BTW I’m a pro-Bush conservative and have tried to be clear-eyed about a prospect I can only rue.
    January 2, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjjv
    “What state will the Republicans take they did not last time?”

    New Hampshire was decided by a couple of thousand votes. If Everything were to break the same,but the Repubs got NH and the Dems got Ohio, the Repubs would still win. Wisconsin was likely “won” by vote fraud. If the Republicans get serious about that, it could easily go Republican. Minnesota is a harder sell, but it’s a pretty purple state.

    Edwards couldn’t get his home state for Kerry, I see no reason why we should think that Warner will get his for Hilary.

    The only thing that’s going to get the Democrats national wins is if they change their positions on enough issues so that they stop making the American people gag at the thought of the Dems winning. The Dem base isn’t desperate enough, yet, to do that, and no one’s going to believe Hilary if she claims she HAS changed her positions.

    I don’t know who the Republican candidate will be in 2008. But it would take a sudden discovery of intelligence by the Democrats, or great stupidity by the Republicans, for any Democrat to win in 2008. Because the majority of Americans still remember that there’s a war on, and that only the Republicans want to win it.
    January 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGreg D
    Thank you for all your thoughts: Can we all get you guys/gals in a room for CNN? I am going to refer your comments to my students as good examples of “accretive wisdom.”

    I think one important question is “who do bloggers represent?” See a new post above on this, and also “Are Bloggers ‘The People'”? in BLOGWARS section.
    January 2, 2006 | Registered Commenterdavid.d.perlmutter
    Greg is right. Democrats are the party of fraudulent voters while Republicans are the party of complete and total election fraud. It is no longer enough to have two hundred people vote twice. Republicans disenfranchise thousands at a time. After purging the voting rolls and rejecting voter registrations because they are not on the correct weight of paper the use Diebold to take care of the rest.
    Democrats need to move from cheating on the individual level to cheating on the institutional level if they want to win.
    January 3, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMark
    i am a hillary supporter all the way. i think she is the one to really bring this counrty back to where it was when she was in the white house before. i think why she is staying low right now is because of the fact that she has to present the image that she can when the general election. kerry was too liberal for the majority of voters. and hillary will be painted just that and when people look back at her record its not so. and according to recent polls she is still poised to when the nomination. i dont see the decent as much as others do. just like every other politicion….everything she doesnt is not gold…..this flag burnning issue is not something i agree with her on….but in a board scope she repersents what i believe….and i think she will win the nom and the general election…peace
    January 3, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkev
    Wow, Mark, that’s a really ammusing claim. Got any facts at all to back it up?

    “Purging” the rolls of people who aren’t allowed to vote (you know, like Felons), isn’t vote fraud, it’s anti-vote fraud. We need a hell of a lot more of it, starting with getting rid of all those people who’ve registered to vote (and then vote) in two states at the same time (i.e. NY “snowbirds” also voting in FL).

    Then there’s the absentee voter fraud, and all the other fraud encouraged by the Democrats “Motor Voter” law.

    What we really need is to require every voter to show valid State photo ID in order to vote. Of course, teh Dmocrats hate this idea, because it makes vote fraud so much harder to do.

    If you ever want to know what groups are benefiting from vote fraud, there’s a simple and foolproof way to find out: look who opposes measures that would decrease vote fraud.

    In the US, that’s the Democrats.
    January 4, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGreg D
    i consider h.”rodham” CLINTON a bigger threat to this country than bin laden. just remember that not too many years ago women weren’t even allowed to vote. there was a very good reason for this. our ancestors were much wiser than the people of today.in my opinion {which i am suppossedly allowed to” women deal in emotions rather than logic.this woman again my opinion is to much in love with herself to even be in any political office.
    January 19, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterj. thompson
    I wouldn’t exactly describe Hillary as “laying low” right now and remaining out of the public eye. Almost every time I turn on the news I see her being interviewed or hear people make comments about her running for president. She is a huge interest in the media and is definately in the spotlight of the public eye. If I were her, I would avoid the use of blogs because of the sole reason that she cannot control what other “bloggers” comments will be in return. There are definately Hilary lovers, but on the other hand, there are many Hillary haters as well. She should stick to the thousand dollar speeches with a controlled audience where she will receive a positive reaction no matter what.
    January 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterM. Stewart
    I think that Hillary Clinton is still very much in the spot light, but not necessarily because she wants to be. It would be hard for Clinton to get out of the spot light because she is in such high rankings of becoming the first woman to be the democrat nomination to run for president. I also agree with M. Stewart who said that Clinton should stick with her 1,000 dollar plate dinners instead of blogging because not only do you know know who it is that is making the comments, but with the dinners there will be ne negative feedback. If Hillary Clinton is to become the first women president then so be it, it will be the majority of Americans that vote her In and have the say of whether or not she gets to take the position. Whether Clinton is lying low or out in the spot light, she will be talk about because of who she is.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermarandon

    In my opinion, Hillary has a chance of winning the election, because she would be the first woman to run for President. However, it has been shown that more men vote than women, so unless she can reach out to those women voters, I do not think she will go far in the election. Also, I think her safest bet is to stay away from blogging. I agree that blogging may not be the best or quickest way to get one’s point across to the people and that it may be harmful in the end. No one has control of what bloggers write. It seems to me that it would be beneficial to not participate in blogging so as to not get discouraged about running for Presidency. Especially after j. thompson’s blog, I can see why it would be best to resort to public speaking rather than blogging.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersmg11
    I agree with many people that Hillary Clinton could definitely win the upcoming 2008 Presidential election. She has made a lot of people in the Democratic Party angry by becoming too centrist, but has also swayed many moderates who would normally vote Republican to vote for her. I also believe the Mrs. Clinton should stick to her 1,000 dollar plate dinners and avoid blogging all together. She is definitely put herself in the position where people will criticize her because she has not stuck with her traditional liberal stance. By only giving speeches, she has more control over what people will say about her. In my opinion, blogging is way to risky for someone in her position because she has no control over what is being said about her.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterChrissyT85
    I believe that Senator Hilary Clinton has a very good chance of not only running for the 2008 election, but also winning it. She has several things going for her. Not to mention the fact that she would be the first woman president. I do believe that this is one of her crucial elements to winning the election. However, one may think that a lot of women would vote for her simply because she is a woman, and I have found this not to be so true. Some women believe that the country would fall to pieces if it were in the hands of a woman. I am not necessarily convinced. I feel that she would have/has strong issues, and a fighting chance. Now, whether or not a political blog could be beneficial to the Senator, absolutely not! I feel that by blogging, she could change many people’s opinions based on what other people write in response to her blog, and not in a good way. Because there is no control over what people say, it could be detrimental to her credibility if someone were to write something that could sway their vote. Hilary should stick to old fashioned campaigning and a “$1,000-a-plate speech” and I feel that she will make out just fine.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKSM2386

    I think that Hillary Clinton has a very good chance to win the election in 2008. The only thing that really scare is that men vote more than women here in US and that maybe will be negative unless the women will take an action and all of them vote for her. I like her because she admit that the voting for iraq war was a mistake and as i see it that no body like admitting that in the media but she was brave to say that and i agree with her. This thing will give her a positive point to let the people to vote her to win the election. Another thing when she gave a speech on TV she is well organized in talking and she has the ability to convince people. I think we need Hillary to bwe the first women president in US because I believe that she will change a lot of what is now in the world like the war in iraq.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterthe gentry
    How can writing in a blog be any more of a gamble for Clinton than trying to portray herself as a moderate democrat? It certainly is not as glamorous as appearing on the evening news, but writing in a blog could be beneficial. Just the acknowledgement to the blogging community should win her some votes. Such discussions in a public forum will draw heated criticism, but not more than her recent “plantation” comments. Maybe a blog could be just the thing for Hilary, as see could actually think before she speaks.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterPlankRoad
    I strongly feel that Hillary Clinton has the best chance to win in her party but far from a presidental victory. I can not see her winning middle votes. I think the $1000 plate dinners do a lot more for her presidential hopes than blogs. I think someone is more likely to watch the coverage of the dinner than find a blog about her on the internet. I do not think blogs are going to determine whether she gets elected or not. In my own opinion i think Hillary Clinton is to extreme for the average voter no matter what side you are on.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCoffey
    There’s no denying it is not a challenge for Hillary Clinton to make herself known as a front runner for the 2008 Presidential Campaign. With already serving as the First Lady to her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and currently serving as a Senator for the state of New York, Mrs. Clinton has nothing to worry about in the areas of publicity and recognition. But despite her publicity, Senator Clinton is far from being considered everyone’s favorite Democratic candidate. She hurt herself by voting in support of the War in Iraq, which has not been favorable in the eyes of Democrats. It seems that she has key advantages in being a realistic candidate for the first woman President. Although writing a blog can produce much needed publicity during campaign season, it seems that it could hurt the Senator more than it could help her. It could give democrats a more detailed insight of her views that could cause her to be considered more moderate or possibly more extreme than she appears.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMLH85
    Hilary Clinton is doing what every other successful politician has done, that is trying to get elected. Clinton is well aware of what effect her positions have on each constituency but apparently she, like many others, feels that the greatest support will be gained by taking the middle ground and avoiding being categorized as an extremist. It is impossible to please everyone, so Clinton is merely doing what she (a.k.a. her advisors) thinks will get her enough votes to win. Whether or not this policy will actually lead her to victory in 2008 is another question. Basically every election comes down to a numbers game between the republican and democratic candidates. Can Clinton possibly get everyone to support her? Absolutely not. Can she get enough people to support her to win the election with her current “mid-ground” strategy? I don’t see why not…
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commentergreen43
    Hilary Clinton, for president, are you joking me? Blogs or no blogs that will never happen. There are many reasons that Hilary will not win the election. There are too many males in the U.S. to ever let that happen. The gender issue, though, is secondary to the party issue. If John Kerry could not beat one of the least approved Republicans in history, how will Hilary Clinton beat any Republican. The Republican party has overtaken Washington at all levels of the Federal government. I believe it will stay that way for at least two more presidential elections. Also, the War in Iraq is not showing an end anytime soon. There will be no way anybody would make a woman with no military experience our Commander-In-Chief during a time of war.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdatdude21
    Politics and media are ruled by perception. Hillary Clinton is doing all she can to overcome the almost simultaneous association Gilliard mentioned of her name with “liberalism and corruption” hence her recent courting of the military. Perception can be very tough to change once it is accepted by the general public, the popularity of the perception makes its resemblence to fact become irrelevant. Therefore her attempts to court the middle are misguided; instead she should use Bush’s return to Nixon-like politics to eschew the bright, shiny, political machinary (or at least the appearance of it) and promote a return to civil rights and individualism. By opposing Republicans where they’re ideology does not match their governing – big government- Hillary could draw conservatives frustrated with their party, libertarians who want out of the role of world police, and liberals who have fought for civil rights all along. The key to that strategy would be to take some chances in order to change the public’s perception of her. Blogs give a venue for this type of change. If Hillary Clinton started blogging, or even guest blogging – a troll war would ensue but… it would make news, with a perception of her, and possibly a reality, reaching out to people who can’t afford the $1000 dinners but still participate in the political process, and that, btw, is great publicity.

    Perhaps a bit idealistic,
    g. aldrich
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterg.aldrich
    I also believe that Senator Hilary Clinton has a very good chance of not only running for the 2008 election, but also winning it. she might be the first woman president. I do believe that this is one factor might make her to win the election. However, one may think that a lot of women would vote for her simply because she is a woman, and I have found this not to be so true. Some women believe that the country would break to pieces if it were in the hands of a woman. I am not necessarily convinced. I feel that she would have/has strong issues, and a fighting chance. Now, whether or not a political blog could be beneficial to the Senator, absolutely not! I feel that by blogging, she could change many people’s opinions based on what other people write in response to her blog, and not in a good way. Because there is no control over what people say, it could be detrimental to her credibility if someone were to write something that could sway their vote. Hilary should maintain her method of campaigning she will get enough votes to be president.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterfarhan razzaq
    Hilary Clinton can be for sure the next president of the United States. He has every political skill and experience which candidates need. Lots of people are willing to vote for Hilary Clinton in the 2008 elections. People remember her as the first lady, who supported her husband in the bad times and stood next to him, and they look at her as a politically experienced senator. She has a good agenda regarding the middle class issues. She will also discuss the women rights in the sates and in the world. Women will vote for her as well as the most people in the middle class. I believe she will make lots of good changes if she won the 2008 elections.
    January 26, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWS81

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