Friday, May 16, 2008

Responding to Michelle Cottle on Hillary's Campaign

THE NEW REPUBLIC | Article: The New Republic
What Went Wrong?
by Michelle Cottle

| Posted by Alan J. Weisbard
103 of 116 | warn tnr | respond
This article provides compelling evidence of why HRC did not deserve to win, and pretty strong evidence that she would make a poor president (albeit a better one than most of her Republican competitors). First, while there is lots of regret that Hillary's campaign did not attack Obama earlier and stronger, there appears to be zero recognition of Obama's strengths as a leader, and of the brilliance of his campaign. It's all about Hillary and her people, and the failure to achieve that which she was entitled to. The circular firing squad is indeed the lasting metaphor for her campaign. Very little sign of that in Obama's campaign. That tells you something, and something important. Second, there is virtually no reflection to be found on the substance of Hillary's positions as a Senator, and during her campaign. It is all political positioning, lacking in authenticity and conviction. Sadly, that goes to much of the substance of her failures as a Senator and party leader (on the war in Iraq, on Iran, and on too much else), as well as to failures of her campaign. Count me as one great supporter (even more of HRC than of Bill) from 1992 who has become utterly disillusioned over the ensuing years. Third, the Clinton campaign offered no serious explanation of how her Presidency would get us past the political deadlock of the past 16 years. Too much about herself, too little about what she has learned, if anything, from the enormous hatred she and her husband have evoked from much of the country (beyond the vast right wing conspiracy alone), far too little on building a progressive movement for change and figuring out how to move beyond her base to win the confidence and trust of a broader swath of the American people. Obama did that brilliantly (despite an all out effort by the HRC campaign to subvert it); the Clinton campaign provided no positive vision. To an alarming extent, the HRC campaign evoked some of the worst qualities of Richard M. Nixon and George W. Bush. That is not the way to win a change election, or to elicit support from those of us hoping, and willing to work, for a better future. It is a sad truth of American politics that by and large, American voters get what they deserve. In this case, the HRC campaign reaps what it has sown. It is a sad end to an American story of once blinding promise--and, I hope, the beginning of an even more promising American story. Alan J. Weisbard (blogging at

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