Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Hillary’s Charm Offensive

Every election cycle poses questions for students of politics to reflect on. One of the 2008 questions raised by Hillary Clinton’s campaign will be whether a repellant human being can be elected president. Or, for those who take a more jaundiced view of American political history, whether a repellant human being, who can’t or won’t conceal that fact, can become president.

David Corn observes, “Candidates are always responsible for their campaigns, and they can be judged accordingly. If the Clinton campaign throws anything it can against Obama – with little regard for accuracy or decency – that will reflect her own character and values.” He reports that the Clinton campaign’s “Defcon 1 assault on Obama” is fueled by hatred. The Clintonistas “can’t stand” Obama. “They talk about him as if he’s worse than Bush.”

What accounts for this hatred, this determination not just to defeat but destroy? “It’s his presumptuousness,” Corn’s source relates. “That he thinks he can deny her the nomination. Who is he to try to do that?”

Haven’t we seen this before – the boundless sense of entitlement, the fury at those who would presume to deny the self-anointed candidate her destiny? Despite all the talk about how Hillary had grown in the aftermath of the health care debacle, the stories about how she had learned to play nice with others in the Senate, the same attractive attitudes and habits that endeared her to the nation 15 years ago are once again on display.

Carl Bernstein’s book, A Woman in Charge, reports that in 1993 the First Lady beguilingly told a group of Democratic senators, who expressed doubts about the political feasibility of passing ambitious health care reforms, that the Clinton administration would “demonize” those who stood in the way of her plan. It was the last straw for Sen. Bill Bradley. “You don’t tell members of the Senate you are going to demonize them. It was obviously so basic to who she is. The arrogance. The assumption that people with questions are enemies. The disdain. The hypocrisy.”

When her task force of 500 members and 34 committees sent the Democratic Congress a bill that was 1,324 pages long, it sank like an anvil. Smaller, simpler measures might have passed, but the First Lady refused to support any plan but her own. Bob Boorstin, a media relations deputy with the task force, told Bernstein that Hillary is “among the most self-righteous people I’ve ever met in my life.”

Her many years in the public eye have given New York’s junior senator ample opportunity to grow in office. She has apparently used them to grow even more self-righteous, more arrogant, more vengeful against those who have the temerity to oppose her. One bumper sticker sums up the situation: “Women Against Hillary: We’ve Waited Too Long To Get It Wrong.”

Discussions - 17 Comments

Thanks for adding some starch to the NLT blog. This is among the best NLT posts on the campaign that I've seen. Some of the others give off the impression of open-mindedness and bipartisanship, which makes for little interest and less clarity.

Wow, somebody should tell Corn and Bradley that they suffer from Hillary Derangement Syndrome!

Where do I get that bumper sticker!? I never put such things on my mommy-mini-van, but that is too tempting, or perhaps deranging.

Obama is "uppity"? I just love this. I was really pleased when I read, earlier in the week, that Senator Clinton was going to "go negative" on Obama, as if she had not been doing that already. Her behavior in this reminds of the caricatures of Richard Nixon that Democrats used to toss about. You know, just when the Republicans seem in disarray, the Democrats are faithful to do something like this to remind everyone why they might not be quite the thing.


Thank you, Mr. Voegeli. This was the best laugh I have had all day.

"Wow, somebody should tell Corn and Bradley that they suffer from Hillary Derangement Syndrome!"

Oh, hardy har.

Well, Corn and Bradley, maybe. But Voegeli's definitely got a case of HDS.

How about "Men for [GOP candidate of your choice - I'm thinking Thompson or Giuliani]: We're Never Wrong - Just Keep Digging!"

Craig, did you laugh?

Kate, Craig is incapable of genuine laughter. He's too busy nursing that case of NLT Derangement Syndrome. But you stole my thunder . . . I was going to ask exactly the same question! If anyone finds that bumper sticker, post a link! I'll order 10 and send one to you.

Hillary is a pretty grim specimen, that's for sure.

William's scary, albeit amusing post, reminds us all what the stakes are in this little showdown, otherwise known as the Republican nomination battle.

Amen to Mr. Voegeli!

In 1993 Hillary and a secret cadre of some 400 acolytes presumed to try to seize US health care, one-sixth of GDP, and shove an utterly egalitarian, no opt-out "plan" down our throats. It happens I knew several of those acolytes once initials and last names were reluctantly released by the White House: marxists. I found it a very scary time, and sinking the Plan took more than a little effort.

I pray and do my best that we dodge the new Hillary bullet, because we will be mortally wounded if it hits us.

At least in some respects, Bernstein's description of Hillary circa 1993 sound like Woodrow Wilson during the treaty fight of 1919--self-righteous, unwilling to compromise, going down in flames. Only Hillary can't claim ill health as an excuse.

Julie, I'm not only capable of genuine laughter - powerful ad hominem, btw! - I relish laughter and laugh frequently. I regularly laugh when reading through this site, although often not for the reasons that NLT bloggers expect.

I had a good laugh here, for example, in the thread about the prison ministry case.

But NLT still only accounts for probably less than half of my weekly laugh intake. I have a whole shelf of comedy records and CDs at home, which are played frequently, and I enjoy comedy - yes, much of it non-political - in many forms...

Where can I get that Bumper-stcker? It's Terrific!!

But, Craig, did you laugh at the last line of Mr. Voegeli's post? I can see that you laugh at things I would not laugh at, but I wondered if you laugh at this thing which does make me laugh. I laughed at that silly Christian discount store website or the other site with the awful T-shirts that you offered us a couple of weeks ago. I was laughing even though that pinched as it was embarrassing to me, as a Christian.


I wondered if you laughed at this.

Golly Kate, I didn't realize that this had to work on an even-steven trading scheme. You laugh at something I post, and then I must laugh at something that you or an NLT blogger posts - is that how it goes? (Do you also think that if one laughs at The Daily Show that one must have to laugh at that "comedy" news show that Fox tried a few months back?) And if I don't then I've proven Julie Ponzi correct, that I have no sense of humor and have "NLT Derangement Syndrome"? (Perhaps now would be a good time to laugh at how the Right - nicely represented in this case by NLT - seems to be particularly good at noticing others' eye-specks while themselves having a record-setting Douglas Fir jutting out of their eye. Think the rabid hatred that's widely exhibited for Gore, both Clintons, and even Kerry still! Personally, I'm all for the overdue retirement of the "derangement syndrome" label if political correctness dictates that it can only be applied to those to the left of say, Lieberman. Unless Mrs. Ponzi is comfortable with NLT being a completely insular cloister-site for a niche market of right-wingers, she should be pleased that she's getting attention from a wider audience than just those who stray in from an NRO Corner link or something.)

Did I laugh at Mr. Voegeli's quote from the anti-Hillary sticker? To use a favorite line from the current administration, I can't recall (it was some time ago, after all). Reading it now, it strikes me as a fairly serious sentiment. Something tells me that a lot of people sporting such stickers might be more in line with Ann Coulter's strange brand of feminism. You know, Ann Coulter might be okay in the White House, but still not so sure whether women should be allowed to vote or not. Something tells me that these folks haven't really been hoping for a female president in the first place, but it sorta makes it sound better to put a light feminist (lip) gloss on one's distaste for Hillary - because it would just be too revealing to have a "No Bitch in the White House!" sticker.

Speaking as a man who would like to see a woman in the Oval Office at some point, I actually agree with the sentiment of the sticker, at least to some degree. Although it doesn't seem to bother men that they've put more awful presidents into the White House than stellar ones; we don't seem to feel much collective shame for having gotten it wrong so much so far, and we have always pretty much been guaranteed the Oval Office - we don't have as much riding on it for our gender. But anyway, are you so sure that the sticker is intended to arouse laughter? What DOES amuse me for sure is the way the Right works themselves into a real lather over her (you know, "The Bitch"!), that she is (literally or otherwise) a sign of The End Times. That she is a true, hardcore Communist, Marxist, leftist, radical feminist, or (depending on which right-wing militia blog you favor) even a participant in a murder and subsequent cover-up. Now that sort of thing usually does bring on the laughter from me...

I am actually for that sentiment, "No Bitch in the White House!" This does not have to refer to Mrs. Clinton; just in general terms, "No Bitch in the White House!" works for me.


I just do not like the senator's politics. I do not care much for the ad hominem stuff and think it does harm in the long run. Yes, this the kind of place where such attacks are likely on Democrats. I read blogs by Democrats that are at least as vicious, and have had mailings from the DNC that are really unbelievable. "Stop the Clinton Socialist Machine!" in some Republican PAC's fund-raising letter really seems tame in comparison. Maybe I just receive the mild Republican stuff.

As to women in the White House. I just don't care. I agree with what you say about some of the men who have been there. It is not their maleness, necessarily, that has been the problem. Nor, for most conservatives that I know, is Senator's Clinton's femaleness the problem they see with her. She talks about "fixing" America. While I don't like some things about America, I do not like the way she says she wants to "fix" things. Compared to the people (yes, I know some of them) who say those things you cite in your last paragraph, she IS those things, but only in relative terms.

Ever since she made that big gaffe in Philadelphia trying to defend Elliot Spitzer's plan to give drivers licenses to illegal aliens in New York, Hillary Clinton's air of invincibility (among Democrats) has been steadily eroding. Suddenly, Barack Obama has crept up on her in Iowa and New Hampshire polls, he gas gained the endorsement of pop star Oprah Winfrey (as if that should mean anything-but it does), and now, Democrats in general are getting nervous about her candidacy. Of course, she still leads her rivals in national polls, but one state loss could snowball into another. Democrats also must realize that if she gets the nomination, Republicans will be mobilized like never before. Remember that something like 40-50% of the population in this country would crawl out of their deathbeds to vote against her. That could mean not only a crushing defeat for Her Nibs, but also a defeat for a lot of other Democrats in the process. It seems that Hillary is getting nervous. And When Hillary gets nervous, somebody gets hurt.

The obvious target is Obama, who is mounting a serious challenge to Clinton in Iowa, New Hampshire and now South Carolina, where Winfrey organized a huge rally for Obama this weekend. Hillary thought she had the Palmetto state in the bag after buying off local black leaders and candidates with her support. Not so anymore. I may be naive, since, after all, I am no political guy like Dick Morris, for example, but where does Hillary's campaign stand if she loses those 3 states?

So how does Hillary's campaign fight back? How about this week's low blow? It now seems that the Clinton operatives, already legendary, have now come up with the "devastating" piece of information that, when Obama was in kindergarten, he wrote an essay stating that he wanted to be president when he grew up. (I think I wanted to be a cowboy when I was that age.) Next they'll discover that he wet his pants in class one day.

Well, that should do it! I can see Obama's poll numbers dropping through the basement now. First of all, let's set aside the pure pettiness of this charge. Let's also set aside the laughable claim that anybody writes an essay in kindergarten. Just think about what kind of people go digging back to when their opponent was in kindergarten, for crying out loud. What kind of people go looking for grade school classmates to dig up dirt on a candidate. Clinton's people, that's who. People like John Podesta, Harold Ickes and Sid (Vicious) Blumenthal. This is the same crew that collected FBI background files on some 900 Republicans during the Clinton Administration (a bureaucratic snafu). Remember Craig Livingstone, the barroom bouncer that wandered down to the White House one day and became a security supervisor? We still don't know to this day who hired this character. (He doesn't even know who hired him.) Yet, here he was, the "evidence custodian" for all those FBI files that had no business being in the White House.) On second thought, wasn't his mom a Hillary acquaintance?

This is also the same "organization" that went out and dug up dirt on all of Bill's various "female acquaintances", who were coming out of the woodwork with their stories of encounters with Huggy Boy himself.

But I am digressing. Let's get back to the childhood "skeletons" in Obama's closet. Wasn't it young Bill Clinton that decided when he was in high school, that he wanted to be president? Interesting how the Clintons delight in charging their opponents with the very things that they have been documented doing themselves.

It's going to be an interesting primary after all. I hope Obama can give as well as he can get because, as he is starting to learn, nobody gets in Hillary's way. I have a feeling that more substantive charges are coming. Can you say Tony Rezco? If you don't know who he is, you might Google him. Give you a hint. He lives in Chicago and is under indictment.

Hey, wait a minute! I'm starting to talk like a Clinton supporter. After all, the Clintons have hundreds of Tony Rezcos.

gary fouse
fousesquawk

I'm confused, Kate. You said that you are for that sentiment and that "No Bitch in the White House!" "works for [you]". Yet, at the same time you say that you "do not care much for the ad hominem stuff and think it does harm in the long run."

(Let me quickly clarify that the aspect of the sentiment that I agree with is that getting the right PERSON in the White House is more important than getting A WOMAN in the White House)

Saying "No Bitch in the White House!" is effectively an ad hominem attack on Hillary Clinton. "Bitch" is an insult almost exclusively used to denigrate females, as you know, and when it isn't it's used as a hyper-machismo insult to emasculate a man. He's not a true man, a manly man, he's a "bitch", etc. You know this. So, considering that there's only one female candidate for The White House at present, saying "No Bitch in the White House!" is saying Hillary Clinton is a bitch. That's ad hominem.

If you simply don't like her politics, and you don't like ad hominem attacks, then why not distance yourself from the sentiment of the sticker? It could just as easily say "Keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House!" or whatever. Or maybe that wouldn't be as "funny"?

I still like MY suggestion for a bumper sticker:

"Men for [GOP candidate of your choice]: We're NEVER Wrong - Let's Just Keep Digging!"

What I was saying was that the phrase you employ does not have to be an ad hominem attack on Hillary as far as I am concerned. I agree with your clarification. A bumper sticker with "No Bitch in the White House!" is seasonless, classic, suitable for campaigning far into the future. I could get it engraved on my car's bumper and have the letters enameled in bright colors. I could get a magnetized, stainless steel plate with one to match saying, "No Bastard in the White House" for the left bumper, too. To me the sentiment is the same.


That is my clarification. I didn't think you would need it. From my first line I was pretty clear.

Your bumper sticker is too long. It is the kind that is unreadable, tempting other drivers to stay too close to the rear of your car. I would find that unnerving, like when men, as one is driving on the freeway, pull up beside, ride that spot steady and flash bright smiles. I expect it is a tribute to the MARINES sticker I have on my car, left over from when my son was in that service. Bumper sticker slogans must be short and snappy. Even the one suggested in the original post is probably too long for bumper comfort.

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