Thursday, June 7, 2007

Book Report: What Hillary Has to Fear

From Newsweek Politics -
[Carl] Bernstein’s book, in particular, offers a harsh recounting of [Hillary] Clinton’s disastrous turn running her husband’s 1993 effort to provide universal health care. In this portrait, she is politically tone deaf, secretive and polarizing—and alienates Senate allies she needs to get the bill passed. Bernstein argues that many of the non-Monica scandals of the Clinton White House, like Whitewater and the firings of travel office staff, were exacerbated by Hillary’s weak executive impulses. The books provide an early glimpse of a key Republican critique of Clinton should she win the primary—the notion that she lacks the instincts and experience to competently run the country. ...

On the trail, Hillary has so far been quick to underscore how much she learned from the health-care debacle. Her positioning is shrewd: by proving that she can acknowledge mistakes, and learn from them, she frames herself as the kind of leader that, critics say, George W. Bush has not been.

But without much primary practice defending herself against charges she’s a weak executive, Clinton may prove vulnerable on the management question in a general-election fight.

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