Some Leadership

In what is quickly shaping up to be the single most significant moment of the night, Hillary Clinton got hammered from both sides by Chris Dodd and Barack Obama on her waffling answer in regards to whether she supported Eliot Spitzer’s push to allow illegal immigrants to be awarded driver’s licenses.

After being embroiled in the battle between the two senators and the moderators, Hillary Clinton succeeded in only one thing, not actually answering the question.  I suppose one could make some sort of argument about how tough and principled she was last night and this morning, kinda like Taylor Marsh does, but even that’s been thrown out the window now.

Why? You may ask.  For all the blustering she did, the fact that today she makes a clear position on the issue points to one thing, she had to check with her advisors to see which answer would be the better one politically.

A day after she appeared to struggle to give her views on the subject, Hillary Rodham Clinton offered support today for Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s effort to award New York driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, as her campaign sought to contain potentially damaging fallout from a what her own supporters saw as a tense and listless debate performance.

Mrs. Clinton’s statement affirming her support of Mr. Spitzer in his office came less than a day after she offered a muddled and hesitant position on the bill, prompting a round of denunciations by her opponents. It signaled the extent to which her advisers viewed that moment as the biggest misstep she made in the debate, and one with long-term potential to undermine her candidacy.

“Senator Clinton supports governors like Governor Spitzer who believe they need such a measure to deal with the crisis caused by this administration’s failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform,’” her campaign said.

(snip)

Still, the wording of the statement was murkier than what many of her opponents have said in either supporting or opposing Mr. Spitzer’s initiatives. Among those opposing it were Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut; Senator Barack Obama of Illinois supported it.

Still, the release of the statement suggested her advisers believed it was politically wiser to embrace a position that could clearly hurt her in a general election rather than risk providing more fuel to what has emerged as a damaging line of criticism: That she, taking advantage of her dominant position in some polls, is not being candid about her views and about would she would do as president.

Hmmm…  You know, there’s been a lot of talk about leadership, and who leads and who follows, and I’m going to definitely have to say that in this instance, Hillary is following, she’s following her political advisers. 

You see, Chris Dodd had the guts to stand up on stage and express his position, he disagreed with Spitzer’s proposal.  Likewise, last night in less than a second, Obama did what Hillary couldn’t do until a day after the debate and say he did support the proposal.  That kinda sounds like Hillary was not really leading much of anything at that point.

At this point, Chris Dodd and Barack Obama could have a solid intellectual debate on the merits of the proposal because each know where they stand.  They could build cases for their arguments, and reason things out.  How is Hillary supposed to be able to debate this when she has to weigh the two sides between Primary mode Hillary Clinton, and General Election mode Hillary Clinton before making a decision?

That’s something I want to know.  Further, since we are seeing two Hillary Clintons, the one who has to be convinced to support Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Immigrants which I guess would represent Primary Hillary, and the Hillary Clinton who votes to label the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, thereby setting in motion similar events that led to the Iraq fiasco which would be General Election Hillary, which one will inhabit the White House?

And a question for the likes of al who left a comment in my final analysis for last night’s debate and Taylor Marsh who oh so nicely have injected gender into this debate.  What does it have to do with anything?  It doesn’t matter what’s between a candidate’s legs, they’re either tough or they aren’t, and I gotta say, the little nugget talked about above is showing that Hillary proved to be a little less tough than previously thought.

She’s a candidate, it’s genderless, drop the battle of the sexes baiting.  Further, as Marsh implies (more than implies to be honest), this is all because Hillary is a woman and with a Latino on stage and a Black man on stage, heavens no the one ceiling we can’t break is the glass one.  We’re Democrats, we’re supposed to be the ones that don’t care about this kind of thing, which means that Hillary Clinton is not getting attacked because she is a woman, but because she is the frontrunner.

Further, she is the frontrunner without, ironically enough, a significant amount of scrutiny.  All the other candidates have had to take stands on issues, put out detailed plans, and the whole time, Hillary has sat back and played the leader of the pack, the woman who doesn’t have to get into the substantive debate because she doesn’t have to fight for the lead.

If that continues on, we’re going to nominate someone untested.

So all of it, playing the gender games, playing the “Politics of Hope” games, they all kinda need to end.  Democratic voters need to insist that she sit down, and level with them and let them know where she stands without the political acrobatics, and if it takes the runners up to force her into doing that, more power to them.

If she’s really that great of a candidate, she would be welcoming the onslaught, not doing everything in her power to prevent it.  After all, the only thing she has to fear are her own shortcomings.

One Response to “Some Leadership”

  1. retro says:

    As much as I’d like to see a woman president, I don’t trust Hillary as far as I can throw her.

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