10.14.2007

The Polarizing Senator Hillary Clinton

by Lauren Anderson

It is no secret that the Iowa caucuses are less than one hundred days away – especially to the candidates. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is well aware of the fact that the race to the top is not over yet. The front runner in the Democratic polls is looking to quell any ounce of doubt voters may have about her ability to serve as the next president of the United States. In recent months, her campaign has been undeniably on the offense. She has frequented talk shows (as has her husband, former President Bill Clinton on her behalf) and aggressively asserted her plan for health care, the issue that she considers to be the most important on her agenda.

But now, Sen. Clinton is moving on to the defense. She is speaking out against critics who claim she will polarize the country, which most people agree is the last thing we need right now. While admitting that she has not always been the perfect nonpartisan, Clinton claimed that she has learned from those experiences. She stated that, as president, she would try to build a comprehensive, balanced group to work on important domestic issues.

No matter what you think of her, you cannot deny Clinton is intelligent. She understands that many Democrats are likely concerned that she will not get the independent or Republican support she’ll need to win the general election because of her partisan past. So, instead of campaigning towards the primaries, which would only emphasize her liberalism, she is already campaigning towards the general election. On the one hand, she is alleviating some concern. But, one has to wonder if it will really solve the problem.

As unfair as it may seem, her liberal beliefs might not be the only reason that people dislike her. There is something about Hillary Clinton that just rubs certain people the wrong way. Some argue that she is too arrogant; others argue that she is too cold. Many people are concerned that she will solidify the Bush-Clinton pattern that has existed in the presidency for almost twenty years. No matter how hard she tries to adopt impartial policies and include various policy makers, they are not going to fix her identity.

Hard as she may try, Clinton is not going to alleviate the threat of polarization by eliminating partisan politics from her hypothetical White House staff. By delving into the subject, she may just be getting in over her head.

(Photo of Sen. Hillary Clinton campaigning in New Hampshire from Roger H. Goun of Brentwood, NH via Flickr, using a Creative Commons license.)





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1 comments:

Reverent Reader said...

This is what is so depressing about a Hilary Clinton candidacy. She may be able to get the nomination, but it probably not electable. Should she manage to get elected, the right wing will seize every opportunity to take her down and distract her from the business of governing, just like they did her husband. Sigh.

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