Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

From the New York Times, on the escalation in Iraq:
“We know this policy is going forward,” said Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York. “We know the troops are moving. We know that we’re not likely to stop this escalation. But we are going to do everything we can to send a message to our government and the Iraqi government that they had better change, because the enemy we are confronting is adaptable.”

That's what Hillary Clinton is saying on Iraq. And it's pathetic. Welcome to the Kerry campaign, redux, 2008 style.

Contrast this mushy untrustworthy glop to what we heard with Jim Webb's SOTU response, and what a clear-eyed Democratic message looks like. Webb's speech centered on two themes - inequality and Iraq. It shouldn't surprise anyone that the speech worked, since Webb and a whole host of Democrats just won a big election based on that message. If we had a nominee who carried this winning theme forward, 2008 would probably be the reverse Reagan for us, the consolidating roll-up of the electoral map after the 2006 Congressional realignment that parallels the 1980 electoral follow-up to 1978, which delivered us prop 13 in California (among other reactionary electoral victories). A progressive populist message would work in bringing us huge national majorities and a mandate for massive change. Still, if this is so obvious, why are we only hearing populism, or even a pale attempt at populism, from John Edwards (and Tom Vilsack)?

On the face of it, this doesn't make sense. It's a winning message, so why not use it? Well, it's a winning message, alright, but only for the public. And right now, Presidential candidates are tailoring their messages for elite donors, and the rich don't really care about inequality or Iraq. They care first and foremost about preserving the status quo, because in the status quo they are, well, rich. That's a problem, because if your message is targeted towards the top 1% of the country, you're leaving 99% of the country out of the conversation.

By far the worst example of this disturbing trend among 08ers is Hillary Clinton, who is rolling over donors and trying to prevent a primary from even happening by scooping up mindshare among elites before anyone else can organize. When you hear that you aren't credible unless you can raise several hundred million dollars, realize that this is an idea planted by these elites to entrench their power, and not something that is falsifiable. It bears saying that it's quite probable that don't need $100M to run for President - Kerry didn't lose the General because of a financial disadvantage, and he didn't win in Iowa because of a financial advantage. The 'only credible with $100M' idea is another and more sophisticated version of the electable or inevitable meme that hurt us so badly in 2004. It's something that Hillary Clinton wants us to believe is true. Whether it is true is a different story.

In fact, everything that Hillary Clinton is doing is designed to make us think that she cannot be stopped, to pull the plug on money for others so she can get through the nomination without having to be clear on Iraq or populist in orientation. She is desperately fighting against having to do what Jim Webb did so well - spell out plainly the irresponsibility of political and economic elites. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's a strategy. Or maybe, and this is what I believe, she sympathizes with the elite class more than the public, believing that the public are sheep who can be easily manipulated. She herself hasn't lived in anything close to the real world since 1991. She still makes major policy addresses to the DLC on a fairly regular basis.

Hillary Clinton's inevitability campaign is impressive. Her people aren't just hard-selling donors, they put on a full court press on the announcement, even going so far as to pretend she is competitive in the 'netroots primary'.  It's a rather remarkable claim, considering that she got only 4 points in the most recent Dailykos straw poll, which is the home base for Democratic activists. Misleading reporters on netroots support is meant to distract two non-netroots audiences.  One is the large dollar donor base, who will read for instance that Hillary Clinton does internet cool stuff in the Wall Street Journal without knowing that we really don't like her.  And two is the early influential audience, the local politicians who know it's bad to be on the wrong side of a vindictive nominee. The echo chamber of pro-Clinton media, muscle, and money is very strong right now. But Jim Webb just showed us how hollow all that organization really is.

Ironically, though she is popular among some base voters and most progressive elites, few activists, bloggers, or local politicians actually want Hillary as the nominee.  Local politicians are desperately afraid she will hurt downticket candidates all over the country. Progressives know she hasn't dealt with Iraq, and will cripple the Democratic Party badly as Iraq gets worse in 2007 and 2008.  And political junkies know that she has done very little that is substantive in the Senate except grant Bush the power to go to war and pander on flag-burning and video games. Politically, Hillary has passed out enough favors and kept every group atomized and fearful enough to make her seem both unpalatable and inevitable.  That is why her camp is claiming that they are in the netroots primary, when they are simply not.

I believe her tending to an elite audience and ignoring the concerns of various activists explains the loathing of Hillary Clinton within a certain piece of the progressive base.  I've noted before how one slice of primary voters is pretty similar to the netroots.  This loathing isn't based on the right-wing slime machine, though often progressives unwittingly slip into discussions about things like 'electability'.  It's a loathing that is more 'gut', more about conflicting identities.  Chris has noted this with his excellent series of about a year ago on class stratification between the activist class and the elites.  Hillary Clinton is an establishment elitist, and we are opposed to this institutional baggage.

Demographics aside, one way to theorize about our ideology is that we have seen and rejected the triangulating model of politics.  It's not that Clinton wasn't a good President in the 1990s, it's that he failed to enact anything that outlasted him.  He got nothing done on, say, global warming, and failed to establish a firm post-Cold War framework that Bush didn't detonate in five minutes. More relevantly, the Clintonistas performed horribly in the 2000s, acting as lobbyists and warhawks, and just generally working against progressives until they realized they couldn't overtly beat us in the PR game.

So it's not surprising that the Hillary Clinton campaign is working to convince the DLC that she'll do the 1990s over again, only this time with an extra helpings of the strategies that failed.

Former President Clinton has signaled privately that his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), will include aggressive healthcare proposals in her campaign for the White House, despite the debacle of what critics labeled "Hillary Care" 14 years ago.

In remarks to Democratic operatives last month, the ex-president caused a buzz by strongly defending the substance of his wife's 1990s plan, claiming it was a moderate, private-sector approach grossly mischaracterized by its critics.

The former president's statements, delivered during a Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) conference at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Mass., have been interpreted as signaling that candidate Clinton could revive aspects of her 1993-94 approach that was vilified by Republicans and health-industry groups.

The Clinton's still believe that health care lost because the plan was mischaracterized by opponents, and that it is the DLC who needs to know that she will stake her reputation once again on a confusing split-the-baby-in-half plan, using the same insider political tactics that didn't work in 1993.  If you haven't, I recommend you read this article from the Atlantic on Hillary Clinton, which shows why she failed.

Assessing the historical record of how major reform had been stymied in the past, Bill Clinton doubted that even his own Cabinet could fend off such pressure. And so the president and his counselors devised an end run around Washington's normal way of doing business. They chose their good friend Ira Magaziner, a business consultant without Washington ties, to manage the task force with Hillary. The Clintons and Magaziner shared a certain hubris, as well as an often articulated disdain for (in what was then the president's favored phrase of opprobrium) "the traditional Washington views" on health care.

So the Clinton White House made the audacious decision to write the whole thing itself, in a task force shrouded in secrecy, consciously shutting out Congress and the health-care community. They would simply outsmart the Washington establishment.

A secret policy rolled out through the Presidency is basically the opposite of our approach in the netroots.  It's the opposite of open source, the opposite of open debate, and it doesn't work strategically in the current toxic political environment.  Hillary Clinton's assumption that lobbyists won't fight a real universal health care plan is a joke.  They have and they will do so again, and if you don't believe me, you can read the web site of the National Association of Manufacturers or the US Chamber of Commerce.

In my first post on Hillary Clinton this week, I asked anti-Clinton people if there were ways that Hillary Clinton could get your support.  A few argued that if she apologized for her war vote they would consider her, but surprisingly, a number of people said, flat-out, no.  I'm beginning to understand why.  There is almost no common ground between progressive activists and elitists like Hillary Clinton.  Either you are in the elite stream of discourse, the place where health care can be debated without anyone in the room fearing the risks of being uninsured but where the fear of your client losing his business model is real, or you are with the plebes who are worried about their personal health care.  You are either angry about being lied to about Iraq, or you are one of the unapologetic liars.  We're on one side.  The elites are on the other.  We can't handle someone who enabled the war and now won't be straight with us on Iraq after four years of watching our America slowly die.  It just isn't possible anymore for us to be in the same conversation because there is nothing to discuss.

I won't be that surprised if Clinton wins the nomination, but what she needs to fear is if the various entities that loathe what Hillary Clinton stands for start talking to each other.  Right now, there's a reticence to criticize Senator Clinton because of the legacy of the right, and because we don't like to go after Democrats.  I doubt that reticence will continue as the candidates attack each other.  Hillary Clinton is a tragic figure, a brilliant woman, and she's the frontrunner.  But it's very clear that her campaign will be a $500 million attempt to cover for the fact that she has just not been honest or trusthworthy on the most important issue of our time, Iraq. What Jim Webb showed after the State of the Union is that $500M can buy you many things, but it cannot buy you integrity and strength. It can't buy you voter trust. And as the campaign heats up, the Republican nominee is going to run from the Iraq war. We better make sure that we're not stuck with somebody like Hillary Clinton, who is supporting it.

Tags: 2008, Hillary Clinton, Jim Webb, John Edwards, sotu (all tags)



I'm surprised you guys didn't catch on quicker

that her ad buys on the web were never intended to attract voters, but strictly to influence the MSM, so they can say how cool Hillary's "net" presence is

It's pretty clear Hillary went for web visits be it left or right blogs.. so that the MSM types will say she's so cool....

It must be nice to be able to waste money like that.

when will Edwards /Obama combine efforts?  It may be the only way..  

by TarHeel 2007-01-23 11:14AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm surprised you guys didn't catch on quicker
I am so glad you said that.  I have often thought since Saturday that Obama and Edwards need to put the individual things aside and tag team her.
If they teamed up to get rid of the poison then they could resume the race and conduct it in a more civil manner.
by vwcat 2007-01-24 07:27PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm surprised you guys didn't catch on quicker

Great idea. Clinton is the worst likely nominee and the most formidable "bad Democrat" running. Let's beat her first.

Bravo, Matt! Save this one for your "best of" book.

by mildewmaximilian 2007-01-25 01:11AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm surprised you guys didn't catch on quicker
The minimum wage bill gets 80% support from the American people; the Iraq war unites 65% of the people passionately; corruption and arrogance drove stakes through campaigns, racism brought down Allen.

Plain speaking about these issues, and the policies behind them, the crisis they have brought to America, unites, excites and animates activists and voters. Getting excited about these issues, demanding real change on the things these issues represent. "How did we get here?" questions get asked when candidates explain simply, like Web did, just how far we have fallen.

Democrats can win with Webs message, I mean democrats like the netroots, and the poor and women and minorities, because once you get excited about change, you can't just settle for more of the same only less . . . wolfy.

Bill Moyers said in his keynote to the National Media reform conferenece - elections are wolves and lambs voting on what to have for dinner.

Edwards, Obama and Gore could each rally the country with the Web meme, HRC will not. There is a crisis. We are in it, it is of biblical proportions, the next election is just how we start to get out of it, just the first step. Ending the Iraq war -saving those lives -ending it's desrtruction of the econmoy, and leaving the reins of power in the same hands is unfortunately still useless.

Nice article Matt.
by inexile 2007-01-25 05:20AM | 0 recs
Stopping the DLC is priority #1

It always has been and it should remain so.

by Bob Brigham 2007-01-24 07:01PM | 0 recs
What if Hagel gets the GOP nod?

Wow, how shitty a lot of the triangulation Dems who rolled over for the Iraq look?

We should consider the scary proposition that somehow a few of the smarter conservatives with some cover position an anti-war candidate into the GOP nom.  Off the top of my head, I know Hagel is very well positioned.  Gingrich could claim most anything he wants.  So could Huckabee.

A Hillary nomination would look awful standing next to any anti-war Republican.

Don't underestimate the possibility of a full-bore rebellion within the GOP over the next year as the situation in Iraq continues unabated.  Even the dumbest pro-war GOPers are going to see the writing on the wall.

by jcjcjc 2007-01-24 07:09PM | 0 recs
Re: What if Hagel gets the GOP nod?

that's incredibly astute.  an anti-war republican would walk all over an equivocating hillary.  and you're right about the revolt, but that's only if pragmatists take over.  the true core of what remains in the GOP's delegation is comprised of wingnuts.

by beyondo98 2007-01-24 07:38PM | 0 recs
Don't bet on the GOP being stupid

Look how well it worked for them betting the Dems would just stay stupid.

by jcjcjc 2007-01-25 03:56AM | 0 recs
yeah. we could actually lose if that happened

by msnook 2007-01-25 12:46AM | 0 recs
Re: What if Hagel gets the GOP nod?

  Answer: The Democrats are royally hosed.

 The war is the single biggest millstone around the Republicans' necks. If they successfully transfer that millstone over to the Democrats, as would happen with a Hagel (or Huckabee) nomination opposing Hillary, then the Dems are cooked. Thoroughly and completely.

  The war is unpopular. The DLC, which believes the Dems should run away from their popular ideas like health care and income inequality and embrace unpopular ideas like perpetual warfare, is deliberately sabotaging the Democratic Party. And Hillary's their vehicle.

 What a sad, pathetic comedown for a once-respectable First Lady.

by Master Jack 2007-01-25 03:37AM | 0 recs
Re: What if Hagel gets the GOP nod?

And what if Hillary then said, uneqivically, that we had to end the war immediately, and in effect, took a firm stance against the war?  Wouldn't that level the playing feild, and force her into a position that we would like?  Its hard to know in the middle of her posturing what her true feeling is, but I find it hard to believe shes a hawk.  Its the posturing I don't like, but I've been happy with her performance as my senator so far, and would support her in the general, if she starts making some firm statements I can agree with.

by John Nicosia 2007-01-25 06:35AM | 0 recs
Re: What if Hagel gets the GOP nod?

I find it easy to believe she's a hawk.  Most everyone who is tuned into the Israel lobby is a fully qualified hawk.

by jcjcjc 2007-01-25 07:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem


I just want to say that this is a great piece of writing that sums up everything I've been trying to say about Hillary Clinton to my Parents and various other family and friends. Thank you for writing this. Great Stuff.

She will never get my vote and it has everything to do with her position on the war.

Thanks again.


by OsoDelMar 2007-01-24 07:11PM | 0 recs
but one of his hits is to be expected

She still makes major policy addresses to the DLC.

As well she should as a member of the leadership. With Ford at the helm, the DLC is the Hillary shadow campaign.

Everything else rocked.

by Bob Brigham 2007-01-24 07:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem
You are right on.  I agree with what you said about HRC.  She is all about herself, just like Bill was.  If Bill was so great, why couldn't we hold onto Congress?  As much as a POS that Smirk is, they were successful in having their party control Congress for most of his time in the WH.  I will not vote for her in the primary.  If Hagel were to win the Repub. nomination, I would seriously consider voting for him, otherwise I'd hold my nose and vote for her, if she were to win the nomination.
by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-01-24 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

An incredibly powerful post.  It put into words all the doubts I have had about HRC.  I hope we get a candidate for us this time.

And I'm tired of voting for rich white guys.  It's good to see some variety the MSM actually treats seriously.

by reslez 2007-01-24 07:22PM | 0 recs
some people think Hillary is the rich white guy

Hillary IS the most powerful white guy in the race.

 seriously the only supporter of HRC I've found said she's the most masculine with the biggest balls.

by TarHeel 2007-01-25 03:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem
Excellent article. applaud.
I do not want her to be the nominee.  I do feel she and the media need to be made aware of the incredible dislike for her on the left.  Not just the "far left" as they say but, from all of us who make up the blog world.  
They need to know that we are all ages and walks of life.  They need to know we are growing and we make our voices heard.  
She needs to learn that you cannot buy a nomination if you are not liked.
If she gets the nomination it will be a disaster and set the party back 20 years if it survives.  She is poison to us.  
It needs to start with the media and making them learn that Hillary is not loved, our choice and that her inevitibility is in her head only.
It needs to stop.  The crowing her our queen makes me shudder for us.  They need to stop listening to the HRC spin and start listening to us.  And the truth.
Her true record in the senate must be made common knowledge and her strong arm, rovian tactics as well.
An excellent article.  Now lets do something about it.
by vwcat 2007-01-24 07:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

I'm writing a LTE today to express my dismay that after only 3 weeks as a second term Senator, Hillary has already abandoned us to her ambition, flying off to Iowa this weekend.

by adigal 2007-01-25 02:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem
You know who you sound like? Sean Hannity!!!
Matt give it a rest, Obama can't do more than Hillary in the Senate and you know that too. Edwards has no shot come primary time. So you're counting on Obama or Edwards to pull off a grand attack against Clinton?
by bsavage 2007-01-24 07:29PM | 0 recs
No Rest for the Weary

Forget Edwards. He is just an unpopular populist.

Obama, him I like, but issues there as well. Mostly "inexperience".

Mostly we are just waiting for Gore "the perfect candidate for 2008".

by OsoDelMar 2007-01-24 07:32PM | 0 recs
Re: No Rest for the Weary

Unpopular? Edwards is leading Clinton and Obama in the polls when matched against McCain and Giuliani.

by Populism2008 2007-01-24 09:23PM | 0 recs
Re: No Rest for the Weary

Do you think he can beat Gore?

by OsoDelMar 2007-01-25 08:48AM | 0 recs
again with electability

first of all, electability arguments are crap (and i'm glad we're reaching some more consensus on that!) when you're talking about who to support in the primary, and their electability in the very same primary.

Second, what kind of argument is this? 'Obama's not as powerful a senator, and Edwards can't win the primary, so we should vote for Hillary in the primary'? Read yourself.

by msnook 2007-01-25 12:51AM | 0 recs
i promise i'm not a troll

well, i've been on here a while, so i hope that would be known.  but i am deeply concerned about the stuff i happent to know about fundraising for HRC.  the grapevine indicates that she has the entire new york donor base on lockdown, and there's a weird hush-hush aspect to this.  or at least there was a few weeks ago, before the announcement.  there's a sense that big donors actually can't get out of donating to her.  and it's working.  donors are falling in line, since they don't want to be on the outs when the pay-to-play rules go into effect.  i don't ultimately know what what all of this means.  there is still considerable money being directed to obama, and edwards is eating from the trough of a thousand trial lawyers.  but there is something deeply distressing about the way her candidacy is being handled.  and it should have all progressives and netroots people on their toes and very wary.

haha, i just spread internet rumor, ain't i grand.

seriously, though, matt mentions that the progressives and netroots don't want hillary as nominee.  well, it goes deeper than that, which is what makes this whole thing so strange.  i'm sure the DD boys could provide more examples from their experience, but the people i know who do this whole campaign thing professionally don't want hillary.  the people i know at the DCCC don't want hillary, nor the people i know on the hill.  what does all this mean?  it means precisely what matt implies it means: this whole campaign is being generated by a massive DLC-funded money machine without any regard to what we, the voters and activists--which low-level hill and campaign staff closely approximate--are doing.  there really is a very narrow, tiny group of people who are generating this whole thing.

i, for one, don't give a shit about her position on the war.  every candidate, save for obama, fudged on that, and he was in a dem primary in illinois at the time.  but her support for the iraq war is geared to the money people, the WSJ readers, and that should freak us all out because her audience is NOT us.

now to an extent this should be the case.  she's not of us, she's of another world.  but we can't, shouldn't suppport her, and i won't go so far as to say that we should withhold support for her nomination, but if she gets the nom, we are getting a very bad nominee for our purposes and a total sell-out.

by beyondo98 2007-01-24 07:33PM | 0 recs
Re: i promise i'm not a troll
I've read a few spare sentences on this and am so glad you could give more info.
She is threatening the donors if they give a penny to anyone but her.
However, Soros endorsed obama and doesn't care.  
Obama is getting the money from Chicago and Hollywood.  Hillary is hoping to do a blackout on Chicago as well.  However, don't know if our pol and donors would fall in line as they are quite independent and don't like mafia tactics.
Hillary is trying to knock out the primaries completely.  Shut it down is how I see it.
I have heard that in the Senate they tried to talk her into Reids job so as not to run.  the party doesn't want her to run at all and I agree.
Matt and co. need to look into this seriously..
by vwcat 2007-01-24 07:58PM | 0 recs
weird support/political knowledge curve

The fracture points need to be explored and donors are a great place to look.

It really seems to me that the more you know the less you like her running, unless you are going to profit.

Donors who care about the future, her colleagues, the online news junkies, and almost everyone running down-ticket in 2008 -- they think her candidacy is a disaster of an idea.

Some people support her because they have sold out, some support her because they want to sell out, some want to stay rich, and others are just ignorant. But that isn't a strong coalition. But the ones who "support" her but don't want to deserve the freedom to unendorse.

by Bob Brigham 2007-01-24 08:06PM | 0 recs
Re: weird support/political knowledge curve

There could be another explanation. Have you looked at the other candidates? Kucinich, bless his heart, obviously has no chance. Richardson, please. Vilsack, who? (Although both of them are DLC members.) Edwards, loser..... him and Kerry were both toasted in 04. I am surprised that he is running again, but I guess he doesn't have anything better to do.

Obama. He is throwing a wrench in the works for Hillary.

Before him she is thinking, I need to wrap this up before Gore and/or Clark jump in the race. She is thinking that once they jump into the race some of her fundraising will dry up, and she would be correct.

Obama actually threw a curveball into her campaign making her fundraising much harder.

I hope that Gore and Clark run. That way we will actually have at least 3 good candidates on the ticket, in no particular order: Gore, Obama and Clark. I think they are who we should be looking to this cycle at this point. None are perfect as far as I'm concerned, but they are the best we've got as far as I can tell.

If Gore doesn't enter the race then Obama has my vote. And, everybody should be keeping their powder dry at this point. Don't give money to Hillary she doesn't need. Save it for Obama and Gore when they need it.

by OsoDelMar 2007-01-24 08:22PM | 0 recs
Dry powder

Don't give money to Hillary she doesn't need. Save it for Obama and Gore when they need it.

Very astute. That has been my posture, although early money for your guy (or gal) can help them make up for the loss of the moneychangers sucked into the black hole of a Clinton primary campaign.


by GuyFromOhio 2007-01-25 05:54AM | 0 recs
Re: weird support/political knowledge curve

Clark's a Clinton ally and if he runs, will be their stalking horse.

by jgarcia 2007-01-25 02:46PM | 0 recs
Re: i promise i'm not a troll

Like it or not, Dennis Kucinich IS a candidate, and he NEVER fudged on the war.

by Flynnieous 2007-01-24 08:27PM | 0 recs
Re: i promise i'm not a troll


Are you giving odds on Kucinich winning the nomination?

I wouldn't even bet on him if the odds were 1000 to 1.

And the sad part of that is I mostly agree with him. But I just was looking at his website and they are already completely desperate. They are sending people to vote for Dennis on Obscure DailyKos polls where 400 people voted, etc. You get the idea.

by OsoDelMar 2007-01-24 08:45PM | 0 recs
Re: i promise i'm not a troll

heh, yeah, don't get me wrong. i like kucinich a lot, but every time i see or hear him, i'm actually surprised to hear a post-pubescent voice come out of his mouth.  

by beyondo98 2007-01-24 09:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

A brilliant post. This just serves as a reminder of how far we still have to go to reclaim the political process from the institutional elites of our country and return it to the people.

by who threw da cat 2007-01-24 07:38PM | 0 recs
Fuck you all!

You know what I'm so tired of this shit.  "like Hillary Clinton, who is supporting it."  Saying we should redeploy, never would have voted for the war, and against the escalation sounds like she's for the war!  Doesn't it!  You guys are all so fucking stupid.  I hate it I'm getting ride of my membership to this site.  Pull your heads out of your asses.  Hillary and Bill are the bad guys now?  Give me a break.  It's because of people like you why people in Ohio are so reluctant to vote Democrat.  I really can't wait till she wins the nomination.  And if you guys all sit home and refuse to vote for her then it's your fault we have another Republican president.  You can all go to hell I'm threw with all of you!  GO HILLARY!!!

by Democratsin08 2007-01-24 07:51PM | 0 recs
How the hell do I delete my account?

I want out of this site!  DELETE ME!!!

by Democratsin08 2007-01-24 07:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

I've been keeping fairly agnostic about Clinton, but this piece is by far the most compelling case I've seen against her.

I'm not going to give up on her completely, but you've made a lot of arguments that I can't really come up with a good answer to.

Compelling piece, to say the least.

by Baldrick 2007-01-24 08:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

Thanks for writing this, as opposed to the 110 words that were written about Edwards earlier.  Any reason why there's no Obama tag?  I know he's not mentioned in the text but he's certainly in the subtext.

by gregflynn 2007-01-24 08:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

One last thought on Hillary.

In the Pew Research study I'm a Liberal. We make up 19% of the voting public now, which is DOUBLE what it was in 1999. Basically the Democratic Party is made up of 3 groups: Liberals, Conservative Democrats and Disadvantaged Democrats (Check out the site yourself for more info.)

Basically Hillary is a Conservative Democrat who is trying to keep the votes of the Liberals and Disadvantaged Democrats on her side.

I hope that a bunch of Liberals wake up to the fact that she is not Liberal. Here is the saddest graph to me.

http://typology.people-press.org/data/in dex.php?QuestionID=36&GroupID=11

by OsoDelMar 2007-01-24 08:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

I am not typical liberal, though I identify with liberals on most issues. And I hate the "centrist" Hillary more than every single candidate out there. What I detest about her is she was dishonest on the biggest issue the US has had to deal with and continues to be dishonest and opportunistic. She has always seemed to have that chip on her shoulder like if her husband got elected, she deserves it since she is no less qualified and she had to put up with his shenanigans all these years. I don't like that entitlement attitude she seems to have.

by Pravin 2007-01-24 09:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

you can go and find out where you fit in on the Pew research site. check out the typology they have then take the test yourself and then we can discuss where she falls.

I agree with you about her biggest mistake (just like Kerry's, remember Kerry?) was and is supporting the war.

by OsoDelMar 2007-01-25 08:51AM | 0 recs
Pew says I am a liberal

ha ha. I went there. I am classified as liberal straight up. THen again, all my conservative positions were not represented in the questions (death penalty, school choice).

Like I said elsewhere, I pretty much would rather be a liberal than a conservative.

by Pravin 2007-01-25 06:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

Hillary is a Conservative Democrat? That's not what FOX News and talk radio and the right wing think tanks hink of her!! They call her a lefty, liberal and pro choice. Hmm, I think you mean she's not progressive as you are.
On Gore: Anyone who watched Inoconvenient Truth should know that he made it very clear that he is sick and tired of politics.
On Clark: Who the fuck is Wesley Clark? What has he ever done for the Democratic Party? He used to be a Republican until 2004. Has he ever been elected to office? I see you swooning over him like he's JFK! What are his stances on healthcare trade, social issues, energy, environment.

Politics is still about star power. The only person who can really stop Hillary Clinton now is Barack Obama and I hope he does fall short.

by bsavage 2007-01-24 09:19PM | 0 recs
Nice sources...

Hillary is a Conservative Democrat? That's not what FOX News and talk radio and the right wing think tanks hink of her!! They call her a lefty, liberal and pro choice.

  FOX and right-wing talk radio say she's a liberal?

  Well, I guess she's a liberal, then.

  I humbly stand corrected. How silly of me to believe otherwise.

by Master Jack 2007-01-25 03:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Nice sources...

Her problem is not her ideology. Right wingers do hate her for her ideology which is liberal. Let's not warp facts.

Her problem is her insulation from real society. She's got her own people. She has become so embedded in the political process, she has lost any sense as to what compromises are worse than the others to remain true to oneself.

That is why liberals hate her. In the case of Murtha, liberals have shown a great ability to forgive if he conducts himself honestly on a crucial issue. Same with Edwards who has partially redeemed himself with liberals.

by Pravin 2007-01-25 06:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

I followed your link. I looked at the groups most likely to support HRC. I'd put her in the "bystanders" category.

by msnook 2007-01-25 01:00AM | 0 recs
That could be.

OK. That works too. All I'm saying is she doesn't represent the 19% of voters that are liberals and we should vote for somebody else in the primary or risk having another disappointing election for president in 2008.

by OsoDelMar 2007-01-25 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

Brilliant post for sure...

Ultimately it is up to the voters. There has to be a coordinated netroots and grassroots effort to kill her nomination and convince the primary voters that she would be a mistake.

I know you wrote of the electability trap, but it seems to me that that would be a particularly good argument to use against her to convince people not to vote for her under these circumstances. I think her candidacy is so dangerous to the Democratic Party that I would be willing to support a all out nuclear Rove-style effort to bring her down.

I do not support Obama either, and have agreed with virtually all of the criticism on him I have seen on MyDD, but honestly I would reluctantly get on his bandwagon if he seemed to be at the end of the day the only credible alternative (I don't think Edwards has much chance) to Hillary. She is truly a disaster for the heatlh and progress of the party.

by need some wood 2007-01-24 09:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

Reluctantly get on the bandwagon for the only one of the three to oppose the War from the start when in fact he had more to lose than the others? He was running in a primary where looking like a weak on security, fringe-leftist could have cost him his job, something neither Edwards or Clinton faced if they had actually stood up with some convictions.  Or perhaps you're reluctant to side with a Candidate who has the wisdom to realize that our Environment & Energy problems are not an interlocking pair of issues but a triad which also involves jobs.  Any solution to Global Warming and our reliance on Foreign Oil which doesn't take into account the Automotive Industry is doomed to be a solution that is merely talked about and not inacted.  Obama's ability to make the Automotive and Coal Industries believe he is looking out for their concerns while delivering the hard news of caps and enforceable environmental benchmarks speaks to his brilliance in governing, not a weak spine or lack of conviction.  I'd rather get on that bandwagon which invites the Coal industry to come along on the ride to a better environment, than one which, through a lack of vision and honest belief that we can have a better future, blocks the Coal industry from getting on board and lets them sell their outmoded technologies to India and other nations.  

It's one World folks and we're all in it.  We need a leader who understands the problem is too great to put people up against the wall just to appear tough.  The only leader out there with the moxie to bend the Automotive and Energy Industries to become environmental partners with us is Obama.

by dougdilg 2007-01-24 09:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

This is my favorite post from here in a while... I've felt like this about Sen. Clinton for the past few years, but was never really able to verbalize it.

A secret policy rolled out through the Presidency is basically the opposite of our approach in the netroots.  It's the opposite of open source, the opposite of open debate, and it doesn't work strategically in the current toxic political environment.

That's the thing for me... I'm looking for a true "open source," populist movement.  While none of the campaigns have done well in this regard, Clinton's campaign and approach seems the exact opposite.

by whogotthegravy 2007-01-24 09:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

vwcat writes:  "Hillary is trying to knock out the primaries completely.  Shut it down is how I see it."

Now, take a look at this:

Earlier (California) primary could cost $90 million
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg i?file=/c/a/2007/01/24/BAGVANNSP01.DTL

There is a move afoot in Sacramento to "move the state's presidential primary to Feb. 5 and leave the rest of the state's legislative and congressional races on the traditional June ballot."  Think about that.  Three elections in 2008.  I cannot imagine anything that would annoy the voters more.  Putting a primary two days after the superbowl would back the campaign season up to about Thanksgiving.   http://www.calitics.com/showDiary.do;jse ssionid=8508EAB0C6DC8A01E6434572F723DD01 ?diaryId=1689

The Presidential Primary is the big draw and we had low turnout last year.  We need all the help we can get in getting people to the polls, especially for "down-ticket" races (CA-10 primary challenge?) and who knows what crazy propositions the GOPigs will try to sneak through.  We did reasonably well last November because substantial portions of the GOPig base wasn't thrilled about Governor S+13.  We went six for eight in statewide races (all except Governor and Insurance commissioner) and turned down some really nasty propositions.  But fatigue will set in with three elections in one year.  Those of us who pound the pavement will wear out.  People are mentally set for only one primary.  When "off-year" local elections (mayor, city council, etc.) are considered, we will have had at least one election each year since 2002.  We need to keep the regular primary and the Presidential primary together and spend the rest of the time delivering for the people.

I have heard the February ballot would have a proposition to raise term limits.  If passed in February, candidates who would be normally be out could run again because the remaining primaries would still be in June.  And I have heard another redistricting proposal is in the works; this one would not wait for the 2010 census data.  But it gets worse.  Three primaries in one year opens the door to the GOPigs pulling a fast one by timing right-wing nut case initiatives to be too late for a February election but in time for a low-turnout June election.  

The fact that Gov S+13 supports this should suggest this is a bad idea.  It is my understanding it originated with either him or other GOPigs but the idea has been endorsed by the Democratic head of the California State Senate.  I wonder which candidates -- GOPig and Democratic --  benefit from this.

by Airpower 2007-01-24 09:15PM | 0 recs
Kos is on crack about more big primaries

while it's not terrific to have NH and Iowa determining our presidential nominees,,

It's far better than having very safe blue states like CA and NY that are so expensive.

If the big states move early the netroots will not matter at all and the big money candidates will ALWAYS win.

by TarHeel 2007-01-25 03:39AM | 0 recs
The electability issue

There seem to be many reasons for disliking Hillary. For me it's not so much about Iraq or elitism as it is about her persona and how she will destroy the Democratic brand. Basically she is a cold, aloof, flip floping, unlikeable, stiff, antipopulist Senator from the Northeast. We could do better than that... Hillary is unelectable and would hurt our identity brand for a long time.

by Populism2008 2007-01-24 09:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem
I just don't even see how you can think she might get the nomination.  Clinton's candidacy is a construct of the MSM (and we all know they have been wrong about everything) and the Republicans. Rove wants to see her get the nomination because they have already so thoroughly demonized her with their base, and her success as a senator in New York is irrelevant on this score. The Republican who ran against her in New York made it clear that the Republican Party would not finance him.  They wanted him to lay off of Hillary.  They wanted her to have an easy win so they could set her up for the presidential nomination. Nothing could be better for the Republicans.  They only have to hint at  demonization again and in every nook and cranny the base's blood will start to boil.
And as for her appeal to Democrats, I may be prejudiced but she is a terrible speaker.  She is not an orator in any way -- and we need one of those for this job.  She is not presidential material for this reason alone.  All of the money in the world will not get her the nomination if people have to actually vote for her in the primaries.  I have always said, and I still say that she won't win one primary.
Now that she has hired Spitzer's advertising firm that may help her a lot -- but if she can't give a speech, and she is not a leader, what?
I don't think there is a chance that she'll get it.  The DLC represents very few people even if they are rich. And they are sooooo over!  They cannot pull in votes, no way Jose!
by syolles 2007-01-24 09:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Iraq

This is not going to be a popular opinion here, but based on my own personal feelings and discusssions with coworkers and others, most Americans truly are torn about what to do with Iraq. Yes, we want to get ourselves out, yet the people I talk to all recognize we made the mess over there and we have an obligation to try and not just pull out leaving a completely chaotic situation. It is a very difficult issue. That's why the "cut and run" meme works so well; it taps into American's deep sense of moral obligation and exposes the dual desire to both leave and help.

Personally, I think Peter Galbraith has the best, most workable solution right now. Leave the country formally in tact, but make it a loose confederation as Iraq's constitution makes possible, separate the Sunni and Shia, let them control their own security within their own areas
and work toward an eventual reconcilliation after
the violence subsides. It's not ideal, but at least it recognizes that the warring parties need to be separated before a political solution is possible.

by phillydem 2007-01-24 09:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Iraq

Good insight. Bush won in 2004 on the basis of taking the attack to the enemy. The fact that it was the wrong enemy was a minor point that people were prepared to overlook. Security is an important issue and unfortunately, pulling out of Iraq can easily be seen as being weak on defence.

Candidates are going to need to project a strong line on defence while saying that the Iraq war was a mistake and that the troops will be coming home. I would have thought more emphasis should be placed on fighting the right enemy, so more troops in Afganistan, more resources fighting Al-Qaida etc etc.

Both McCain and Guiliani are tough guys who give the impression of being able to defend the nation. The same cannot be said of any of the democratic candidates with the exception of Clark.

Being against the war from the start is not enough, not nearly enough. Candidates need to project strength first at times when the country is, or fears to be, under attack.

Of course the war in Iraq was wrong. But how do you say that without managing to give the impression that you are weak on security?

by kundalini 2007-01-24 11:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

Brilliant! Matt, you are way better at this than any TV pundit.Their loss.

Well said for me - thanks - my reluctance about Hillary. A woman I should support for the sake of First Woman - but can't. I don't want the First Woman president to be identified with elites' wealth and power. I want her to be one of us.

This is the best: Beware!
"And as the campaign heats up, the Republican nominee is going to run from the Iraq war. We better make sure that we're not stuck with somebody like Hillary Clinton, who is supporting it."

by mrobinsong 2007-01-24 10:04PM | 0 recs
the whole "first woman president" thing

My feminism professors would tell you there's a difference between "woman" and "female". HRC is hierarchical, power-based, and seemingly emotionless. I don't care if she has ovaries -- she has built her operation and her power by and through maleness. As a feminist, I like John Edwards.

by msnook 2007-01-25 01:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

Why does Hillary want to be president?

by mrobinsong 2007-01-24 10:13PM | 0 recs
That's the question, isn't it?

  What is her defining philosophy?

  What is her vision for America?

  Does she have any?

by Master Jack 2007-01-25 03:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

Good Lord. That's exactly the question, isn't it? Thanks for articulating it.

I hope Stoller or Bowers or one of the Armstrongs write a post on that.

by BingoL 2007-01-25 05:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

She said it herself in the first sentence of her announcement, "I'm in it to win."

The Hillary for President campaign is squared based on the guiding principle of electing Hillary to the Presidency.  

by ATinNM 2007-01-25 07:41AM | 0 recs
Webb vs. Hillary

Does Webb think he and Tester can stop the escalation??

No.  Obviously not.

His SOTU response speech was great.  I liked it a lot.  But it's not in any way shape or form, content or style the diametric polar opposite of Hillary's position or style.

So.  Bunk.

Webb says he wants to bring about the "Proper Conclusion" to the war in Iraq.  If I'm not responding to some lame attempt to spin it into something it's not, I don't have to point this out.  Like I said.  I really liked the speech delivered by Webb.   But since I am responding to a lame attempt to spin one Hillary quote into the polar opposite of Webb's speech, the "untrustworthy glop" counterpart to "clear-eyed" webb, I feel compelled to point this out:  

Joe Lieberman would tell you quite frankly he wants to bring about a "Proper conclusion" to the war in Iraq as well.

Is webb suggesting he supports cutting the funding?

Is webb suggesting he can stop the escalation?

No.  He's not.

As far as Webb is concerned, as far as I can tell, those questions remain unsanswered.

by Stewieeeee 2007-01-24 10:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Webb vs. Hillary

Have to say I agree with your assessment. Webb and HRC appear to be saying the same thing though in very different styles.

by kundalini 2007-01-24 11:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Webb vs. Hillary

Webb says, 'We have to stop this war, properly" while Clinton says, "We have to send a message because the enemy is adaptable."

Webb says that 'the average CEO getting 200 times the average worker's pay is a problem' while Clinton says 'we have to shine a light on CEO pay and increase accountability and oversight over pensions and mutual funds.'

Perhaps those are differences primarily in style: Webb doesn't say how he's gonna address the issue of CEO pay, or what 'properly' mean. Maybe they agree on the details. But style is important. In the most visible members of the Democratic Party, the importance of style can't be overstated. These people frame our national conversation. Clinton and Webb might agree on many issues, I don't know enough to speak to that, but the conversations they lead about those issues couldn't be more different. And one of those conversations is fundamentally conservative, while the other is at least passably progressive.

So saying the same thing in different styles is truly, concretely, and crucially different.

by BingoL 2007-01-25 05:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Webb vs. Hillary

As I pointed out above, Joe Lieberman will look you straight in the eye and tell you exactly what Jim Webb has told you on Iraq:

"I want to bring the war in Iraq to a proper conclusion."

by Stewieeeee 2007-01-25 06:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

Maybe the DLC is into poll-rigging. If so, they would have to have rigged all four of the most recent polls, taken over the past few days.

Below is the ABC/WaPo poll that breaks down the Democrats polled, into factions.

Democratic Primary Preference

Clinton (left column); Obama(middle column); Edwards (right column)
All Leaned Democrats   41%   17%   11%
Mainline Democrats   47   15   10
Dem.-Leading Independents   30   19   14
Liberal Democrats   44   19   13
Moderate Democrats   42   13   13
Men   30   15   14
Women   49   18   9
Whites   35   17   15
Blacks    53   27  4

The ABC News/Washington Post survey tested all commonly mentioned possible Democratic contenders -- a dozen in all -- which makes Clinton's 41 percent support particularly impressive.

by marycontrary 2007-01-24 10:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

I was expecting a pithy rebuttal from you on this topic, Mary.  Has this rattled you as well?

by Shaun Appleby 2007-01-24 10:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

Nice response. Doubt anyone on here will take any notice as they've already got it into their heads that people who say they would vote for HRC are low info voters who either won't vote or will change their minds as soon as they discover how amazing Edwards and/or Obama are.

Primary contests are largely determined by money. If you run out of cash by the end of Jan you can't compete. Of course HRC will want to get the New York money, she's their senator. Why should she help her opponents?

This is a heavyweight contest. Get real guys. You think everyone should play nice. Well Gore and Kerry tried that and it didn't work. HRC is going to be brutal, both in the primaries and in the presidential election, so get used to it.

by kundalini 2007-01-24 11:08PM | 0 recs

What is worrisome to me (and is a basic idea of the article) is that there isn't anybody else in the race that is really competitive at this point. Hillary has it to herself and Obama (a junior senator that is relatively new to the game) is her only real competition. It seems to me that the candidates are even weaker this time then last time. Who will be the next Howard Dean?

by OsoDelMar 2007-01-25 09:10AM | 0 recs
Be Part of the Donation from the Start

So Hillary is playing to the balcony box seats in her political positioning.  Her campaign so far isn't about the primaries, or even politics as we imagine it, but a DLC, centrist strategy to get a lock on the money.  It is her style, isn't it?

And the curveball thrown by Senator Obama which precipitated her announcement was all about her position in the scramble for potential donors, not support in the constituency, the appropriate forum for progressive Democracy.  Yikes!

I am a rank newcomer to all of this but I have seen the word 'netroots' about a zillion times in these blogs, does 'netroots' have the word 'activism' subliminally associated with it like 'grassroots' does?  What kind of action could grab the attention of the MSM and expose the lack of netroots support for her in contrast to the perception she is creating with donors?

Is there any possibility of collaborative action among the more highly regarded blogsites that would be effective?  A poll with once-per-user voting that would be common to numerous sites to be consolidated into a single result?  Do you folks do press releases?  What can the netroots do to whistle-blow on this in a credible and honest way?

by Shaun Appleby 2007-01-24 10:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

Maybe, at some point, we have to say the DLC is a glossy organization that Hillary uses to her own advantage; just as the DLC uses Hillary. But Hillary also has Howard Dean's respect (he said so) and she is slated to host a big DNC fundraiser this year. She is accused of trying to be "everyone's candidate" but look at her polling numbers. My support for Hillary is not, yet, set in stone. I also like Obama. I am waiting to hear more about Gore's possible entry. But one thing I do know is that Hillary knows how to win. And the prospect of another 8 years of Republicans in the Whitehouse makes me ill.

by marycontrary 2007-01-24 10:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

Ah.  There it is.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-01-24 10:31PM | 0 recs
Aye, there's the rub

That's something that Democrats of all stripes are going to have to consider - what if she does win the primary?

I don't like Senator Clinton. I do not wish to see her in the Executive Office. But that is a minor wish compared to the absolute horror of a continued Republican nightmare. I'll vote for Zippy the Dancing Ferret over anything with an (R) next to it. Senator Hagel may be darling for his clip on Countdown, but look at the mans' record - he is no friend to progressives, and there is plenty of baggage in his past for a hardy Democrat to exploit.

We (that's a collective "we") were surprised by our own potential in 2006, and we may yet repeat that effort. Iraq is definitely the key - if there aren't plans in the air or on the table for redeployment-withdrawl by 12/07, it's the end for Republicans who still support American military presence in Iraq. Can Senator Clinton escape her inital support and tepid responses to escalation? Perhaps, perhaps not - she's got plenty of time  for an attempt at 'redemption' (real or not).

I dislike polls so far in advance of the real events - self-fulfilling prophecy and all that. But the current level of support for another Clilnton presidency is apparent.

Nevertheless, it is not a futile exercise to consider ways to defeat Clinton in the face of that support.

Niether is it a futile exercise to consider what happens if she does indeed win the Democratic nomination. Do Dems who dislike her style, politics and friends stay home, possibly allowing a Republican win? Or do such Dems consciously overlook her flaws, snap a closepin on the schnoz and vote for her presidency?

If I have to, I will.


by GuyFromOhio 2007-01-25 06:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

Hillary is done in my book.  I was willing to hear what she had to say that might change my mind on her but after watching her on Olbermann I won't be listening to her anymore.  She was pushing the crockpotted idea that she never voted for a pre-emptive war as shown by her statement on the vote blah blah blah.  Does she honestly believe that by following the same strategy that Kerry pursued on defending the war vote that she will be able to gloss it over?  Kerry tried the same tact, claiming that he didn't vote for the war because he said in his statement that only after the President did this and that and the other thing should he invade.  Big deal, Kerry gave a Senate speech on his vote for the official record so he could go back and point to it to say he wasn't for an invasion while ignoring that it was clear what would happen should Congress pass the resolution.  Clinton did the same thing and it is really pathetic.  Aaargh!  Who will rid us of this turbulent candidate?  

by msstaley 2007-01-24 10:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

the HRC staff is chock-a-block with the same bozos who ran the Kerry campaign.  What else can one expect?

by ATinNM 2007-01-25 07:57AM | 0 recs

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/art icles/A19108-2004Sep13.html

Check this Richard Cohen article about that issue and kerry. Sept 2004. I wonder if Hillary has apologized to Ted.

by OsoDelMar 2007-01-25 09:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

Again I lament the fact that so many bloggers believe that Senator Clinton is "the enemy."  

In my own lifetime, I have never known a more politically talented couple than the Clintons, and one more villified by both Right and Left.  

It is precisely because both are very familiar with statewide (in decidedly different regions, Arkansas and New York) and national campaigns, and how to withstand all manner of investigations (no others could possibly have been more savage and protracted in their pursuit of the Clintons than Ken Starr and company) and Fourth Estate vitriol.

The MSM have never been fans of the Clintons; they trumpeted Bill's impeachment and treated his not coming clean under oath about his sex life as if it truly were a "high crime or high misdemeanor." This is the same MSM which aided and abbeted both Bush presidencies, and it is the same MSM which cannot yet appreciate why the current administration's reckless disregard for the Constitution itself is most certainly an impeachable offense.

And the MSM's current media darlings are the badly aging dinosaur John McCain and the charmismatic and brilliant but still very green and very untested--and thus extremely vulnerable in a national campaign and the MSM well knows it--Barack Obama.  Indeed, the only way the bady aging dionsaur Senator McCain makes it to the White House in 2008 is if he can be seen as having "experience and wisdom" as opposed to the brilliant but untested Senator Obama.

It is not, as the bloggers would have us all believe, in the MSM's interest to promote Senator Clinton, but rather to vitiate her candidacy by augmenting an upstart like Senator Obama.  The MSM has been baiting Senator Obama to enter this race for some time now.

The Clintons are all too familiar with the MSM game.  They understand the process in ways that Mr. Stoller, for all his own brilliance, and his many sympathizers, for all their own passion, are rake amateurs in comparison.

Senator Clinton made a grave error in allowing the Administration to take us into the quagmire of factional warfare in Iraq, and indeed she should not equivocate in admitting that error now.  That said, she is merely among a multitude who allowed themselves to be misled, and who yet carefully parse their opposition.

But Senator Clinton's progressive credentials, tested against a reactionary era, remain most impressive.  The Democratic Party is this time blessed with outstanding presidential candidates, each and every one.  And each would make an extraordinary Commander in Chief.

But Senator Clinton is the lesser of none of them.  Should she become the 44th United States President--thus in fact defying the MSM's design for the staid, tired, badly aging disosaur Senator McCain--I have no doubt hers would be one of the most forward-thinking and compassionate administrations in this nation's history.

by lambros 2007-01-25 12:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

They understand the process in ways that Mr. Stoller, for all his own brilliance, and his many sympathizers, for all their own passion, are rake amateurs in comparison.

Thanks, I appreciate the irony. How could anyone possibly be as smart, experienced, nuanced, bruised, scarred and brutalized by the media?

It's that kind of elitist "I deserve to be President" attitude that turns me right off to a Clinton candidacy. Senator Clinton would do well to recognize some of the lessons of 2000, and how easily not paying attention to the Stollers and the "rank amateurs" can cost you in votes. That's not a threat, it's simply a reminder that you need voters to believe you, and want you in that leadership position.

Otherwise they stay home, or vote for someone else, irrespective of your status and experience.

Personally, if Senator Clinton wins the nomination, I will vote for her - not because of the items you stated, rather that the thought of another Republican in the Executive Branch is more frightening than another Clinton presidency.


by GuyFromOhio 2007-01-25 06:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

I wrote about Hillary on Daily Kos yesterday and got smacked around pretty good for it!  

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/1/24/ 17447/1396

What bothers me is it is all about Hillary - always has been. She was our senator in NY for 3 WEEKS when she announced for president. And she refused to admit that this is what she was going to do during the campaign!

I am glad I am not alone out here.

by adigal 2007-01-25 02:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

 Hillary Clinton is a pro-choice Republican. That is all she is.

 I predict that her Republican opponent, should she make the general, will run to the left of her on the war.

 And that will be the end of the Democratic Party. The 2002 disaster will look like a great victory in contrast.

by Master Jack 2007-01-25 03:22AM | 0 recs

And that will be the end of the Democratic Party. The 2002 disaster will look like a great victory in contrast.

Where have you been for the last six years?

Republicans are going to have to scramble and flip-flop-flip to maintain what they have today. Unless the Green's and the American Communist Party got something special for the water supply, the Democratic majority is here to stay or even expand.


by GuyFromOhio 2007-01-25 06:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Whaaa...?

 The war is unpopular. Dramatically so.

 Republicans are jumping ship on the war. Republican LEADERS. They know the public is sick of this Iraq horseshit.

 If the Republicans are smart (no guarantee), they'll run a candidate who has as little relationship to the war as possible, or one who has publicly disavowed it. Someone like Huckabee.

 So if we run Hillary, we'll have a candidate who supports a military intervention most of the public opposes. This despite the Democrats having been voted in last year precisely to STOP the Iraq madness.

 It will be the mother of all bad-faith flip-flops, at the partisan level. The Democrats will have NO credibility in the campaign.

 And the Republicans will be (not inaccurately) perceived as being LEADERS on the Iraq issue. The voters will flock to them. The sentiment will be, "Geez, I voted Democratic in 2006 to put an end to Iraq, and their candidate supports this war? Never again!"

 Hillary Clinton is not a leader. And this will become painfully obvious in the general election, should she make it there. The Dems will be destroyed, at every level.

 One wonders if that's the idea.

by Master Jack 2007-01-25 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Whaaa...?

Huckabee scares me to.  He is affable and funny, the exact opposite of Hillary and is the kind of 'insurgency' that might take off in a muddled Republican field like Dean did in 2004.

The thought of having a plodding, centrist Democratic candidate like Hillary in that context is appalling.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-01-25 01:12PM | 0 recs
Ah ha!

If the Republicans are smart (no guarantee), they'll run a candidate who has as little relationship to the war as possible, or one who has publicly disavowed it. Someone like Huckabee.

So if we run Hillary, we'll have a candidate who supports a military intervention most of the public opposes. This despite the Democrats having been voted in last year precisely to STOP the Iraq madness.

OK, I gotcha now. I was thinking generic Legislature gains, not just the specific Presidential race.

Good contrast, thank you.


by GuyFromOhio 2007-01-26 11:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

unbeliable amount of anger. I can't believe all the negativity I'm reading about Hillary Clinton. And what was one of your biggest justifications for your rant against her? Your Gut?? Did you learn about that from G. W. Bush?

All this anti-Hillary talk is making me like her more and more I have to say.

I think a lot of this is veiled sexism -- from both women and men. A calculating ambitious candidate who has the ability to raise vast sums of money. Sounds great? Oh, you're talking about Hillary. I hate her.

What if she gets the nomination? Who are you going to help get elected then? Ralph Nader? Mitt Romney? John McCain?

Try, just try to have an open mind about all the candidates. Criticize them all, to be sure. But the hatred that's being spilled about Hillary is disgusting.

Personally of the announced candidates I think that Edwards and Vilsack are the best. Unannounced Gore is the one for me. Clark would be a close second. But keep talking like this about Hillary and you'll drive me right into her camp. Not that you care, but the amount of crap being directed her way makes her seem more and more appealing.

by carrieboberry 2007-01-25 03:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

I am not sure if you are talking to me, but to say that I am sexist because I don't like the woman candidate is sexism itself.

I don't like Hillary because of her take on the war. I don't like Hillary because she is rejecting public funds, so she can outspend the others with money from fat cats and corporate donors. I don't like HIllary because 3 weeks after she is reelected, she announces her bid for President and she would not admit to that during her campaign for Senator. I don't like Hillary because I never hear her talk about the have's and the have not's.

And I'm sexist because I don't like Hillary?? Please.

by adigal 2007-01-25 05:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

No, I don't think that it's sexism to not like Hillary. She's not my pick either -- as I stated.

I think all the venom and anger directed at her may stem from veiled sexism. Is there anyone else on the Democratic side that is causing people that kind of response? Maybe instead just of asking what that says about Hillary, we should also ask what that says about ourselves?

I think it's a good idea to approach each candidate objectively and let them state their case and the voters decide. Then we all need to be ready to support whomever ends up with the nomination.

I hope that person is either Al Gore or Wesley Clark. But I'm realistic enough to accept that neither of them might win -- especially considering that neither is a candidate at this stage. And so if one of my favourites are not picked by primary voters, I'll support whoever is. I just hope that you all will do the same.

by carrieboberry 2007-01-25 07:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

The way I see it, the venom that is being directed at Hillary Clinton is because she has all but come out and told us (the rank and file of the nation) that she doesn't care about us. Furthermore, she has said that no matter what we do, she will win. It's not veiled sexism, if anything, it's a reaction against the candidate of the establishment giving a big "Fuck you" to those without millions of dollars. Just as criticism of Joe Lieberman wasn't anti-semitic, so too is the criticism and vitriol direted against Clinton not sexist

by who threw da cat 2007-01-25 09:10AM | 0 recs
Uh, no

I think a lot of this is veiled sexism

That's almost funny. The Democrats sent more women to Congress this election, and America welcomes the first woman speaker who is (surprise!) a Democrat.

Having supported Victoria Wulsin, Kirsten Gillibrand, Angie Paccone and Francine Busby in last years' primaries and November elections, I resent such a blanket generalization about Senator Clintons' detractors - it's too easy to write off those like me who disapprove of Senator Clinton as the next President, without examining or at least acknowledging the reasons for that disapproval.

If she wins the primary, I'll vote for her, but it will be the choice of the lesser of two evils, in my opinion.


by GuyFromOhio 2007-01-25 06:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

great commentary Matt!

the clincher is in the first statement of hers you cite:
"But we are going to do everything we can to send a message to our government and the Iraqi government that they had better change"

she is a US Senator and assumes she is not part of the government!  she is part of our government and instead of acting for change, she just wants to "send a message."

of course, as you point out, she IS the message.

by joe in oklahoma 2007-01-25 03:35AM | 0 recs
Could someone talk about super delegates

and the impact they will have during this cycle?

Is there a way to keep track separately - regular delegates and another for super delegates?

I will be very upset if it is the super delegates that puts Hillary over the top. The very definition of insider elitist backroom deal

I want this Party to be beyond that;too many are afraid of what happened in '72. Get over it already

by merbex 2007-01-25 03:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

Seems to me Hillary's plan to revive 1990s health care initiatives is a lot like W feeling the need to finish his Bush Sr's war.  We need fresh faces in charge, no more rehashing old regimes with their political baggage!

by alwayslast 2007-01-25 03:49AM | 0 recs
The donors

  I would think that a person wealthy enough to make a high-impact donation to a political candidate, and who chooses to donate to a Democrat instead of a Republican, is probably a serious, thoughtful person who holds his country's best interests at heart. I mean, it's so much easier to just support the Republicans and take the tax cuts, isn't it?

  That's what makes all these early donors committing to Hillary so mystifying. These people aren't dumb -- they contribute to Democrats. What has Hillary done to make a high-information Democratic voter choose her over, say, John Edwards? It's not apparent from her statements or her actions that she's earned any support from any kind of donor who's been paying attention.

  Hillary stands for absolutely nothing. Are high-level Democratic donors really that blind?


by Master Jack 2007-01-25 04:00AM | 0 recs
Let's not forget her husband's previous job

I think we must acknowledge the very human trait to be flattered that a former President and his wife would know you, court you and your money if you are one of the wealthy donors.

The ultimate in name dropping - no-one class or political Party is immune to it

by merbex 2007-01-25 05:05AM | 0 recs
I guess I'm different

 If I got a phone call from Hillary, I'd confront her on Iraq. I'd point out that Republicans aren't afraid to oppose Bush on his escalation plan, so what is she waiting for?

 I'd be polite, of course. I'd make it known that without a firm stance on Iraq, she could not count upon my support.

 I don't do celebrityhood. Hillary's auditioning ME to employ HER as a public servant. She's the one who has to impress ME.

by Master Jack 2007-01-25 09:07AM | 0 recs
Re: The donors

I don't think it is too much of a stretch to assume that rich donors want a return on their investment and will only assess the issues in respect of the likelihood of their candidate winning.

They don't care what colour the horse is.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-01-25 01:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

after listening to Jim Webb and reading beyondo's reference to the MSM (and especially the WSJ)
that  gave me an idea...

a liberal USA Today, a progressive newspaper could be called

The Main Street Journal

by joe in oklahoma 2007-01-25 04:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

I wrote to the woman who wrote the wsj piece that featured this lead:

Soon after Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton announced her bid for the presidency on the Internet, her campaign was boasting of its success in one of the most important new presidential battlefields: the Netroots Primary.

I noted that Clinton has not been successful in this regard.  The reporter's reply was that boasting about it didn't make it true.  This is, of course, correct, and the lead is in fact accurate.  But to really follow the story, you have to realize that their internet strategy does not involve the netroots.

by jayackroyd 2007-01-25 04:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

As I watch the netroots forget how we have been vilified and/or ignored by the DLC(linton), I am very discouraged.

On Dec. 12, 2000, I logged onto the Salon forum, Table Talk. The roots have been my second job and my sanity. The Hillary Clinton's of the party have consistently worked to undermine our efforts, and now this. I try not to bash, and I don't participate in threads with the words "spineless Dems" in the title; but just as I suspected, we are still the enablers.

I'm sick of the entire matter. $500,000,000. Oh sure "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy." Well, I'm not buying, and guess what Terry McAuliffe, I am not an ATM.

If we permit this travesty, then we will surely loose.

Thank you Matt.

by Donna Z 2007-01-25 04:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

 Ahh, I remember Salon TT fondly. Need to swing by there again and say hello.

 I remember how in the summer of 2003, when Dean's campaign was in full ascendancy, someone posted that the Dem establishment was going to sabotage Dean because they were punting the 2004 election to keep the field clear for Hillary, and Dean would muck that up if he won the nomination and beat Bush.  

 I laughed at that farfetched idea.



by Master Jack 2007-01-25 04:55AM | 0 recs
Astroturf on the netroots

We need to come with a word for fake netroots support, like astroturf for fake grassroots support.

Along that line, check out Clinton's  blog contest.

It looks like they're going to filter content from internet contributors.

by jayackroyd 2007-01-25 04:35AM | 0 recs
here's the question

How do we avoid this becoming like Dubya's coronation in 2000?  Let's not forget that at the start of that cycle, a lot of interesting Republicans were in that race -- Lamar!, Elizabeth Dole, former VP Quayle, Steve Forbes, John Kasich and Orrin Hatch -- but by the time NH rolled around, only John McCain was left in the field, as everyone was scared off by Bush's inevitability.

Which is not to say that I don't want Hillary to win, necessarily, but that I want her to earn it.

by Adam B 2007-01-25 04:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards is a Genuine Populist

The guy ran around the country getting minimum wage raise propositions on state ballots -- and all 6 won.  Heck, without the overwhelming majorities for the proposals in Montana and Missouri, we'd be looking at a Republican senate (Tester for sure would have lost and maybe McCaskill too).
See the latest TNR story ( https://ssl.tnr.com/p/docsub.mhtml?i=200 70122&s=zengerle012207 ), Edwards has been on dozens and dozens of picket lines over the past two years.  He's pushed hard for the Employee Free Choice Act.  And he's been a leader with Wakeup Walmart.

And he formed a pilot program called College for Everyone which gives HS grads a free year's tuition if they volunteer in their communities -- yeah civic virtue.  That was part of his 2004 platform and will be part of 2008.

He's for universal healthcare and came out in his video blog last night with the strongest statement yet that he won't be doing half-measures.

He's renounced the Concord Coalition's constraining deficit hawkism that has infiltrated the Party and has come out squarely for Keynesian investment first.

He's got dozens and dozens of proposals to "eliminate poverty" among the working-poor in 30 years.

He's called for a Marshall Plan for Katrina's Gulf.

He's formed a volunteer movement engaged in community service: OneCorps.

And ... on top of all that ... he's got the personal history to "understand people like me," afterall he is a "son of a millworker."

by philgoblue 2007-01-25 05:02AM | 0 recs
So what do we do?

Impeach Bush?

Cut Funding and be destroyed along with many regular soldiers?

What are actual options?

by MNPundit 2007-01-25 05:13AM | 0 recs
Re: So what do we do?

Two weeks ago I was utterly convinced that cutting off the funding was a trap for Democrats come 2008.

After listening to Hagel, of all people, angrily demanding a moral stand on Iraq from fellow Senators and reading the Rick Pearlstein piece I have changed my mind.  McGovern-Hatfield failed but changed history.

Ted Kennedy is absolutley spot on, we should pay more attention to his stance on issues.  Haven't we the right to expect our leadership to act with morality irrespective of perceived political advantage?  Well, then we need to act similarly.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-01-25 01:47PM | 0 recs
7 Questions, Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

"I'm beginning to understand why. There is almost no common ground between progressive activists and elitists like Hillary Clinton. Either you are in the elite stream of discourse, the place where health care can be debated without anyone in the room fearing the risks of being uninsured but where the fear of your client losing his business model is real, or you are with the plebes who are worried about their personal health care. You are either angry about being lied to about Iraq, or you are one of the unapologetic liars. We're on one side. The elites are on the other. "

I think you've got it. I have to admit to getting a bit of a tingle the weekend she 'announced' -- A little thrill that a woman not too much older than me was actually going to run a real campaign.

But then I read about her Health Care for Some plan -- children first & gradually expand to more. And I realized that she doesn't represent me. Not at all.

I've got 7 questions for our elitist leaders:

1 Do you support health care for everyone?
2 How?
3 Do you believe that access to health care should be controlled by employers?
4 Do you think insurance companies are the most appropriate bill paying service for health care?
5 Is everyone in your family currently covered by comprehensive insurance?
6 What would you advise those of us with uninsured adult children? Cancer -- Diabetes (such diseases) can hit anyone at any age.
7 What would you advise if an uninsurable adult wanted to go into business for herself?

I think that honest answers to those questions would explain a lot about why we might never Cover Everyone in this country.

by katiebird 2007-01-25 05:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

Nice to feel like I'm on the same page as you again, Matt. My one question, you write you would "not be surprised" if she's the nominee; I would be, although the prospect of a superprimary on Feb 5th that would be too costly for anyone else to compete seems to her best chance.

Still, I fail to see how she wins Iowa, Nevada or South Carolina in a primary environment in which most of the voters are 1) more progressive-leaning 2) more likely to be activists and 3) party regulars more concerned with electability.

Thats a different question from the point of your piece, but I draw the conclusion that its time for liberal activists to get organized and get active and not buy into the big money/ inevitability rationale for Clinton.

by desmoulins 2007-01-25 07:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

I have been solidly in the Edwards camp and thenI read and heard his rants on Iran. I find this disturbing, since I viewed him as the most viable alternative to the Clinton's DLC elitism and Obama's intent to campaign as an inspirational cypher. I don't know what kind of dynamics are at play, but if were John Edwards I'd start courting Webb and even Chuck Hagel.  There absolutely has to be some kind of pressure from the netroots and other activists on Edwards to cure his Iranitis.

by Retired Catholic 2007-01-25 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

Larry Sabato hits on some of the other issues with Hillary.

"Still, in the past two years, we've visited several dozen states, most of them repeatedly, and had a chance to discuss Hillary with thousands of people. Her fairly consistent lead in the polls is far more fragile than most observers appear to realize. Democrats undeniably like and respect her, but they also sense that she will have a difficult time winning in November, absent an irresistible Democratic tide. Her cold, aloof persona, combined with the dozens of major controversies that have enveloped her since the 1980s, are off-putting to a significant slice of the electorate, including the critical independents and moderates who produced the 2006 Democratic victories. And then there's her husband. Wildly popular among Democratic activists though he is, Bill Clinton has a history of scandal almost unparalleled in modern times, save only for Richard Nixon. Since he would be moving back into the White House, presumably, with his wife the President, he will be fair game for journalists and opponents on the campaign trail. Everyone instinctively knows what this means, so it needs no elaboration here. Do Democrats need to burden their campaign of restoration with Clinton scandals, old and new? Does the country want to revisit and extend the muckraking for four or eight more years? And don't forget about the small-'d' democratic argument. Should only two families supply all the U.S. Presidents between 1989 and 2017? This is the American Republic, not a banana republic (look it up kids, it's not just a store...) "

by sndeak 2007-01-25 08:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

I posted this on another thread -- I am afraid HRC is the ONLY Democrat who could actually lose in '08.  I agree with Sabato above -- another Clinton presidency would feel like going backwards.  We've had Bush, Clinton, Bush -- now another Clinton?  Does that mean another Bush after that?  What is this, Groundhog Day?

by LY of Brooklyn 2007-01-25 09:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

I feel the only good Republicans have already died.

I would never vote for a Republican in 2008.



by rikyrah 2007-01-25 12:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

Almost half of the information about Hillary that has been posted in this discussion is inaccurate or false and in many cases, it represents dishonesty by ommission.

I am not calling out anyone in particular, but there is an atmosphere of hatred that is really stunning.

Hating Hillary is a billion dollar industry. When supporting a candidate I ask one question ... what kind of President will he/she be?  I get my answers by doing the research and cutting through the b.s.

by marycontrary 2007-01-25 01:58PM | 0 recs
Read It And Weep

Almost half of the information about Hillary that has been posted in this discussion is inaccurate or false...

Even if that were true, which I don't accept, the other half of the information is convincing enough to create a reasonable doubt about her credentials and aspirations as a 'progressive' as opposed to 'centrist' Democratic candidate.  Never mind the elitism argument.

What it seems you are really upset about isn't the information but the subjective opinions expressed, hopefully as a consequence of analysis of this information by an unusually well informed group of observers seeking the truth and championing progressive Democracy.

I include your statements in this category, incidentally, but that makes them no less subjective.  What kind of President do you 'think' HRC will be?

by Shaun Appleby 2007-01-25 04:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem

I'm curious to know who it is that participates in an online straw poll, especially in terms of gender.  I don't want to offend any females on here, but I see an excess of male names.  I wonder to what extent women play a role in this "home base of democratic activists."  While I am not implying that all women are supportive of Ms. Clinton, I suspect that including more women in this netroots group you speak of would sway the numbers of these straw polls...and perhaps add an interesting, or at least a fresh opinion to these discussions.

by livia 2007-01-25 04:21PM | 0 recs

I always assumed that the one of the major strengths of the netroots was the inherent inclusiveness of the forum.  In what respects are any demographic group, assuming you still prefer to think of issues in respect of those divisions, excluded from this process?  

by Shaun Appleby 2007-01-25 05:06PM | 0 recs
Clinton Loses Her Star Billing

Maybe old news by now but here is an intersting story in the London Times on the fundraising scramble in Hollywood.  Don't you just love Tinseltown?

by Shaun Appleby 2007-01-25 05:36PM | 0 recs


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