aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Friday, July 15, 2005
On the road again
We’re heading for Provincetown, MA, summer home of Andrew Sullivan. With 2 video cameras, a digital still and a couple iPods (for “research"). If I spot him I’ll snap a photo and post it. Hopefully, I’ll get some better video than that.
Driving and taking our sun-worshipper dogs (they’re real “man magnets"), we’re visiting friends and family along the way. We arrive Sunday. So posting will be necessarily sparse.
I hope you will take the time maybe to visit some of my favorites, or my struggles with videoblogging, or just snoop around. But please do keep visiting. Ego compels me to want to hang on to my Marauding Marsupial ranking, even as I consider blogging more hobby than sport.
President Supreme Court
In a Kevin Drum comment on the debate focusing on Hillary’s improved media persona ("one thing that’s struck me during the past few years is that she’s gotten way better at dealing with the press") he notes that Carl and Amy agree on many points:
They agree that Hillary’s poll numbers are pretty decent. They agree that she can win the Democratic nomination but it’s the general election that will give her trouble. They agree that the big unknown is whether she can appeal to married white women. And they agree that there’s a big chunk of the electorate that won’t vote for her no matter what.
Daffy thinks Hillary’s “a mediocre hack who grandstanded [her] way through the decades, lurching from one outrageous statement to another, and never actually running anything.” He believes her victory in New York, “a state she had never lived in her life,” was “procurred for her by her hubby’s election team.”
I haven’t seen evidence that upstate New Yorkers are feeling bamboozled. More, I think, Amy gets it right:
One of the unexpected benefits of being demonized and attacked by conservatives for more than a decade turns out to be that voters are surprised and relieved when she doesn’t fly into town on a broomstick… many voters-weaned on a diet of conservative talking points during the 1990s-expected Clinton to be a liberal of the bluest sort, to the left of Ted Kennedy and unable to understand their concerns. What they found was that her positions on welfare, crime, and foreign policy, among other issues, were far more centrist than liberal. In addition, while most professional political observers dismissed her “Listening Tour” as a stunt, Clinton actually used it to query New Yorkers about their problems and obsessively study up on local issues.
But Daffy’s swipes at Hillary are not the point. What Daffy says that makes much sense is, “Bluntly put, senators are simply not elected president” becuase “A senator is...not single-handedly responsible for “governing” any large governmental organization” and “a senator is a deal-maker… that is, a compromiser. They do not decide, they debate; they do not govern, they negotiate, they cut deals, they sacrifice one principle for another.”
So how about this? Hillary Clinton for the Supreme Court!
I bet the Captain’s Quarters crowd would consider that idea, well, Daffy.
Hillary’s mythical move to the center
Media Matters in May, on the Clintons’ liberal branding. It’s from the conservatives:
The idea that both Bill and Hillary Clinton are extreme liberals has been a conservative staple since the early 1990s. Newt Gingrich even referred to the Clintons as “counter-culture McGoverniks.” This notion persisted despite Bill Clinton’s leadership of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council and his relatively conservative positions on issues including welfare reform, the death penalty, missile defense, and the North American Free Trade Agreement—positions that Hillary Clinton shares. So where does the idea come from? Those most likely to describe Bill Clinton as extremely liberal are extreme conservatives; National Election Studies data show strong conservatives rating Clinton more liberal than any other Democratic presidential candidate, including Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale, George McGovern and Hubert H. Humphrey. This feeling is probably more a translation of generalized antipathy into an ideological assessment than a realistic conclusion based on issues. Put simply, conservatives say they don’t like the Clintons because they believe they are too liberal, but in reality, they just don’t like the Clintons.
As she gears up her re-election campaign for the United States Senate, Hillary Rodham Clinton is presenting a side of herself that might have given some of her supporters great pause just a few years ago. Nothing captures this new face of Hillary Clinton better than the Web site her campaign started this week: It portrays her robust stand on national defense and her desire to reduce the number of abortions, among other positions.
I visited the website and didn’t note the same emphasis the Times found. The article’s examination of her positions on abortion, immigration, health care and national security didn’t expose a giant shift. Rather, I think they show a politically savvy maturing that I find attractive in an elected official.