Can Hillary walk the line?
By Lisa Fabrizio
web posted March 6, 2006
All does not seem rosy in the world of those supporting the nascent White House aspirations of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Many have noted the rumblings of some on the far left of her party toward certain of her stances, if you can call them that. In response, she has begun to tiptoe the tightrope between the moderate and leftist camps of the Democrats' big tent.
You may remember "Governor" Charles Durning's rendition of "The Sidestep" in the otherwise forgettable movie version of The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. To be kind, let us say that Mrs. Clinton is not nearly so nimble as was Mr. Durning.
Her conflicting statements on abortion and the Iraq War are indicative of the huge rift within her party. On one side are the self-proclaimed New Democrats of the moderate Democratic Leadership Committee, while on the other stand the dark forces of George Soros and his MoveOn.com minions.
The DLC, founded in 1985 in response to Ronald Reagan's landslide re-election, pioneered the doctrine of triangulation as practiced by its guru Bill Clinton, himself a former chairman of the group and its most illustrious star. Indeed, his wife now chairs its "American Dream Initiative," a vague program short on details, but a typical, patriotic-sounding, third-way slogan so typical of the DLC.
Though no friend of President Bush, the DLC supports the Iraq War and most recently opposed a filibuster of the Samuel Alito nomination. They've also been vocal in opposition to radicals like Michael Moore. Will Marshall, a DLC founder, framed it this way: "Democrats need to be choosier about the political company they keep, distancing themselves from the pacifist and anti-American fringe."
As can be imagined, these expressions from the "vital center," as the DLC likes to call itself, are not music to the ears of the more vocal wing of the party, the far left. So much so, that the Reverend Jesse Jackson has called them, " the Democrats for the Leisure Class."
Though a minority, the radical leftists--as personified by organizations like United for Peace & Justice who are planning to storm the White House on the Ides of March--pack a punch at the campaign cash register; so much so that MoveOn now claims to own the Democratic Party. If they don't have possession outright, their down payment resulted in their darling, Howard Dean, ousting longtime DLC bagman Terry McAuliffe as party chairman.
A quick search of the liberal blogosphere will give you a hint of how a typical leftist feels about the vital center: "There is a cancer in the party, and it is the DLC. We must do all we can to get rid of this neo-fascist tumor, starting by insuring state members of the DNC are not members, better, to insure we elect progressives true to the party's core values."
Can you imagine? The DLC; launching pad for Bill Clinton, co-founded by Al Gore with members such as John Kerry and John Edwards, a neo-fascist tumor? But such is the divide facing Hillary's run to the top if she persists in using the DLC as her platform.
But this is not her only problem. Most senators who have contended for the presidency have gone down to defeat because their voting record follows them around like so much toilet tissue trailing from their shoes. John Forbes Kerry learned this lesson the hard way in 2004.
Yet Hillary knows how to change the subject and go on the offensive. Her recent claim that Karl Rove, "spends a lot of time obsessing about me," harkens back to the halcyon days when the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy served as her nemesis. This ability to attack, in the minds of some, cemented her image of toughness needed for higher office.
But like it or not--and America's feminists decidedly do not-- women in this country prefer manly men while men prefer feminine women. Contrary to Hollywood portrayals, powerful gals like Martha Stewart may be admired, but are seldom loved, unless they're ready to shed some girlish tears à la Oprah Winfrey, a feat not yet attempted by New York's junior senator.
However, Mrs. Clinton knows that she is never more admired then when she is a victim, especially of her husband's excesses. So, I look for some kind of domestic problem to necessitate Hillary's withdrawal from her upcoming senatorial defense in order to minister to her family, thus killing two birds with one stone: shortening her voting record and polishing up her feminine side.
And, in what may be a coincidence, it looks like Bill Clinton is rounding up interns. Stay tuned.
Lisa Fabrizio is a columnist who hails from Connecticut. You may write her at firstname.lastname@example.org.