Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Hillary's Moment

The Moose argues that the presumptive '08 Democratic front-runner has an opportunity.

Since the '04 election, Senator Clinton has done virtually everything right in her potential quest to seek the Presidency. Unlike much of the national Democratic Party, she has absorbed the lessons of the defeat. Senator Clinton deeply realizes that in order for the party to win the White House they must be credible on national security and not disparage the values of traditionalist voters.

Meanwhile the national Democrats (as opposed to the Governors) have highlighted the weaknesses of the party. In the past week, the Senate Judiciary Democrats celebrated the type of annoying political correctness that has alienated so many traditionalist voters. On the national security front, the Pelosis and Deans have reminded voters why they distrust the party on the issue of national defense. And Al Gore has done no favors for Democrats who are attempting to project a centrist and sensible image.

In contrast, Hillary has not back-tracked on her position on Iraq and she continues to decry the coarsening of the culture. Of course, sometimes she is guilty of rhetorical excess, but what politician isn't (the Moose would prefer the term "bordello" to describe the House)? And now, she has an opportunity to further convince voters that she is a "different kind of Democrat."

Senator Clinton should seize the issue of Iranian nukes to draw a line in the sand. While she should embrace a multi-lateral solution to the problem, she should not make UN support a fetish. Nothing hurt the previous Democratic nominee more in the last election, than the somewhat unfair perception that he would be dependent of international support to defend American interests - the "international test" controversy. Senator Clinton should make it clear that while force is the last resort, she would never take it off the table in dealing with the madmen mullahs and the psychotic leader of Iran.

Moreover, Senator Clinton can harshly criticize the Bush Administration for failing to undertake a massive effort to promote energy independence. Her husband, President Clinton has been particularly eloquent and focused on this issue. In sum, Senator Clinton should move to the right of the Bush Administration on Iran. Like JFK, this would clearly put her in the position of a progressive hawk in the public's mind. And if that stance upsets the lefties, so much the better. If she is truly fortunate, Al Gore will run against her from the left and enable her to establish that she is truly a centrist.

Senator Clinton, this is the right thing to do and the right thing to do politically.
-- Posted at 8:37 AM | Link to this post | Email this post