(Hillary) Clinton vs. Mark Warner 2008 - U2 Feedback

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Old 12-09-2005, 05:25 PM   #1
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(Hillary) Clinton vs. Mark Warner 2008

This is an excellent analysis.

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Clinton vs. Warner
Will the Virginia governor slow Hillary’s march toward the Democratic nomination?

WEB-EXCLUSIVE COMMENTARY
By Eleanor Clift
Newsweek
Updated: 4:50 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2005


Dec. 9, 2005 - If Hillary Clinton had asked my advice, I would have told her that cosponsoring a bill to make flag burning a crime is one step too far on her journey to the middle. Obviously, she feels strong enough in her appeal to Democrats that she can afford her Sister Souljah moment without endangering her core support.

Clinton learned a valuable lesson during the ’92 presidential race when her husband took on the black rapper for her lyrics, an act of defiance against his party’s entrenched liberal base. Given her history, it makes political sense for Hillary to send cultural signals that she’s much more conservative than her caricature. Still, her tap dance toward the right carries a cost.

It may not be determinative, but she’s got to figure into her calculations an almost certain challenge from the left. Hillary’s pandering on the flag is an open invitation for Al Gore to call MoveOn.org, a ready base of progressive support for the former veep should he decide to enter the race. Gore could be formidable as the vessel for antiwar sentiment in the primaries.

It’s not just the left-right thing that could slow Hillary’s march to the nomination. It’s the transparency of what she’s doing that has even her biggest fans worried. It doesn’t look authentic. If primary voters conclude they need a Red State friendly candidate, Virginia Gov. Mark Warner is the real thing. Why settle for Red State-lite Hillary? Warner is already where he needs to be on the right, and he’s inching to the left, an easier task all around. Warner’s commutation of the death sentence of a convicted killer earlier this month won plaudits from everybody. It was the right move substantively and politically--substantively because a court clerk had destroyed DNA evidence that in theory could have established innocence, politically because it allows Warner to present himself in a more nuanced way to liberal primary voters.

If there’s a formula for electing a Democrat president, Warner is the latest iteration. Like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, he’s a son of the South, although by way of Indiana, Illinois and Connecticut. Warner was not born in Virginia, but his cultural adaptation has been flawless. While national Democrats championed gun control, Warner actually loosened gun laws in Virginia. Fresh from helping elect a Democrat as his successor, Warner was a guest speaker at the Gridiron winter dinner in Washington last weekend, along with Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham. The annual event is an occasion for journalists to size up political talent and for politicians to show they have a sense of humor. Graham, a natural raconteur, got everybody laughing when he remarked that if he lasts as long as his predecessor, the late Sen. Strom Thurmond, his future wife will be born next year. Warner’s introducer joked that the only thing you can’t do with a gun in Virginia is fire it in a library without a silencer.

Warner is an appealing figure in a Jimmy Stewart kind of way--boyishly lanky with a toothy smile that he good-naturedly complained one journalist likened to “mah-jongg tiles.” He made a lot of money in cell phones before going into politics and noted that every time others hear that annoying ring in public places, he hears k-ching, k-ching. Warner is a political novice compared to Hillary, but he’s shown a deft feel for the cultural obstacles that trip up Democrats. A key to his winning the governor’s race four years ago was his sponsorship of a team in the NASCAR Truck Series. It would have been a bit much to present himself as a devotee of stock-car racing, but he let NASCAR fans know he respected their culture. He did not venture beyond the line of authenticity, and it paid off.

The leading liberal blog, Daily Kos, says forget Hillary: “Warner is the one to watch.” It must drive Hillary bats to watch Warner glide seamlessly left while her lurches to the right are cast as opportunism. Hillary risks running the last campaign, or rather four campaigns ago, when candidate Bill Clinton interrupted his travels to go home to Arkansas and preside over the execution of a mentally retarded inmate whose last wish was to save his dessert for later. Warner’s political needs are different than Clinton’s were in ’92, but Warner is also operating in a changed environment when it comes to capital punishment.

The death penalty is under assault because of technology and the use of DNA evidence, along with growing moral qualms about the way it is applied. Warner’s successor in Virginia, Tim Kaine, turned his opposition to the death penalty into a plus. Warner can have it both ways; he presided over 11 executions in his four years as governor, so he’s no wuss. His challenge is to demonstrate expertise in national security, which he doesn’t have. Democrats want to win, and they’ll abandon Hillary in a New York minute if they think there’s a new more competitive model coming on line.

© 2005 Newsweek, Inc.
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/10401164/site/newsweek/
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Old 12-09-2005, 05:33 PM   #2
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Warner is looking more interesting these days. I agree that he's the one to watch for 2008.

Hillary Clinton really does seem too calculated to seem genuine, sorry to say. She should remain a senator from New York, and if she wants to be president someday, she's going to have to figure out how to be less calculated and more genuine in her platform. I think when she made those comments about pushing more birth control for the 8% of women who have over half of the abortions in the U.S. every year was genuine, but her flag burning law push is ridiculous.

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Old 12-09-2005, 05:48 PM   #3
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Underwhelmed with both.
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Old 12-09-2005, 08:38 PM   #4
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hillary clinton is a senator from new york?

i never would've guessed
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Old 12-09-2005, 08:52 PM   #5
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I don't think Hillary stands a realistic chance. She's far too opportunistic, but not in that charming way that her husband had, so that's why she comes across as very calculated.
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Old 12-09-2005, 09:06 PM   #6
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The South is lost and unfortunately, it will a long time before southerners will welcome a democrat to the White House. The new opportunity lies in the west and midwest, where people are more concerned about fiscal discipline, rather than turgid moral absolutes. The democrates have been the party to actually control government spending, while still casting an eye toward those who need a lift. Democrats can make a legitmate claim as the party of fiscal restraint, which will appeal to disaffected conservatives who have seen their party hijacked by the religiously opportunistic.

Tom Vilsack of Iowa has a compelling story. Moreover, he is from a solid if unexciting Midwestern State which may very well appeal to those in Ohio, Michigan, and maybe even Missouri. In addition, it seems that Colorado, and even Arizona are in play, and those folks are traditionally not interested in electing an Atlantic seaboard politician. Just my two cents.
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Old 12-09-2005, 11:22 PM   #7
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We'll see...there's a lot to happen over the next 3 years. Right now Warner is gaining recognition...momentum...and loads of money. He needs to continue to carry himself the next 3 years and get some foreign policy "experience".
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Old 12-09-2005, 11:35 PM   #8
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Well beware the Kos Kiss of Death.
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Old 12-09-2005, 11:41 PM   #9
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howard dean!
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Old 12-10-2005, 12:37 AM   #10
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Joe Lieberman 4 prez!!!!!!!!!!11
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Old 12-10-2005, 12:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by clipper699
The South is lost and unfortunately, it will a long time before southerners will welcome a democrat to the White House. The new opportunity lies in the west and midwest, where people are more concerned about fiscal discipline, rather than turgid moral absolutes. The democrates have been the party to actually control government spending, while still casting an eye toward those who need a lift. Democrats can make a legitmate claim as the party of fiscal restraint, which will appeal to disaffected conservatives who have seen their party hijacked by the religiously opportunistic.

Tom Vilsack of Iowa has a compelling story. Moreover, he is from a solid if unexciting Midwestern State which may very well appeal to those in Ohio, Michigan, and maybe even Missouri. In addition, it seems that Colorado, and even Arizona are in play, and those folks are traditionally not interested in electing an Atlantic seaboard politician. Just my two cents.
I totally agree with this.
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Old 12-10-2005, 08:12 AM   #12
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Originally posted by U2democrat
We'll see...there's a lot to happen over the next 3 years. Right now Warner is gaining recognition...momentum...and loads of money. He needs to continue to carry himself the next 3 years and get some foreign policy "experience".
Bush proves you don't need any experience in anything at all. Warner just needs to be charming.

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Old 12-10-2005, 08:13 AM   #13
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Originally posted by financeguy
howard dean!
He's tainted. He put his foot in his mouth way too much, and I'm not even talking about his presidential campaign.

I lament what great potential he had, and then wasted it with inane rhetoric.

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