Abstract Musings

Documenting the random thoughts of a cluttered mind

Hillary Makes Her Move

Hindrocket links to a Washington Times article noting Hillary Clinton’s move to the right regarding immigration. She is beginning the advance work for her Presidential ambitions in 2008.

I don’t, however, think she’s only doing this to take advantage of a perceived weakness in the Republican party. Hillary is positioning herself to be able to say, “I warned you; I saw this coming” in the event of another attack on American soil. Peggy Noonan wrote last week that Hillary was positioning herself to the right of the Republican party on key issues for this exact reason.

Why does she want to get to Mr. Bush’s right on these issues?

Three reasons. The first is that she knows another attack on American soil is inevitable and wants to position herself politically as The Wise One Who Warned Us.

Second, she knows that a woman perceived as a liberal has no chance at winning the presidency while a woman perceived as a tough, pragmatic moderate does. So she is tough where Mr. Compassionate Conservative is soft (immigration), or is vulnerable, after a coming attack, to charges that he was soft (homeland security). She can’t lose on this one. Security can always be better, and after America is attacked again anger and finger pointing will be widespread.

Third, Mrs. Clinton knows the Democratic Party as a whole is to the left of the electorate. She is used to this. It is the story of her life. The electorate in Arkansas were always more moderate than Gov. and Mrs. Clinton, and President and Mrs. Clinton for that matter. She knows how to operate in such conditions. She does not intend to go down in flames as a leftist when she runs for president. This will take guile. She has guile.

As Hindrocket notes, how this will play out depends, to a large degree, on how successful the Bush administration is in preventing terrorist attacks domestically and prosecuting terrorism abroad.