2.03.2007

Senator Clinton Reclaiming her lost Hillary

Some readers are disappointed that I'm not a cheerleader for U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton's bid for U.S. President.

Sorry, but I'm about to disappoint some more.

As my U.S. senator, Clinton has accomplished little of any consequence. She can claim no significant legislative victory and there is no signature piece of legislation of the sort that aspiring politicians typically produce. (And constantly complaining doesn't count.)

There is also no record of going against the grain when principle dictates. For example, yesterday she reversed direction on her Iraq War vote now that that issue is cutting against her politically. (And she had a Hugo Chavez-like moment when she called for nationalizing oil company profits.)

I'm fine with her reverting to an anti-war position--many others have as well. The problem is that she's spent 6 years supporting various war efforts, while being muted on the important domestic issues facing the country. With the Bush administration's total neglect of domestic concerns, and with her colleagues confused about what they stand for (e.g., John Kerry), Hillary had a prime opportunity to rise above the pack by simply staying true to herself.

If Hillary had stayed true to Hillary, she'd be a more popular and powerful presidential contender. Unfortunately, Clinton spent 6 years voting for things she really didn't support, and failing to take the risk of leading on the issues she cares most about.

Now groups (including one by her husband's former political strategist Dick Morris) are gearing up to swiftboat her candidacy for what they view as her contradictory positions on a slew of issues.

The good news is that there still a year before the primaries, and 641 days before the presidential election of 2008. Clinton has time yet to reclaim her lost Hillary.

Perhaps, the Iraq vote reversal is the start of something more powerful than we've witnessed up to now.