Saturday, January 15, 2005

Hillary v. Condi

Who's the lamest pundit in America? My vote goes to Dick Morris. Morris is a political hack who worked both sides of the street until he deftly used his association with the Clintons in order to become a professional anti-Clinton fear-monger. I guess it would be tough to swallow being fired by Bill Clinton for sexual improprieties. In order to be effective, he must continually whip up fear of another Clinton presidency.
To that end, in late December 2003, he published a column in the New York Post (no longer online) stating that, "Howard Dean may turn to Hillary Rodham Clinton to be his vice presidential candidate. And, especially now that Al Gore has un-retired, Hillary might just accept. . . The Clintons have done everything they can to stop Dean's momentum. At the race's start, they sent their A Team - pollster Mark Penn and media guru Mandy Grumwald - to work for Sen. Joe Lieberman in hopes of putting one of their faithful in the winners circle."
Note his casual assumption that everyone (except himself) who ever worked for the Clintons are perpetual lackeys to be dispatched at their whim. Just a few months later, in David Horowitz's nutty Frontpage, Morris stated the following:
the demise of Howard Dean's candidacy opens the door to a Kerry/Clinton ticket in 2004. As long as Dean was favored to get the nomination, Hillary likely wasn't interested in the second slot on the ticket. With the Vermont governor almost certain to go down to a massive defeat, Hillary probably wanted no part in the ensuing carnage. But now that the Democrats have a real chance to win, it makes all kinds of sense to offer her the nomination and for her to accept it.

Of course, this flatly contradicts what he wrote the previous December. But hey, who checks these things anyway.
Now, he is talking up a 2008 matchup between Hillary Clinton and Condoleeza Rice, at Newsmax and, again at Frontpage. He cites a poll showing that many Americans believe the New York senator to be qualified to be president and winning match ups against some prominent Republicans. Big deal. A poll at this point measures little more than name recognition, but he goes on to say:
Ultimately, the only Republican who may be able to beat Hillary is Bush's nominee for secretary of state, Condeleezza Rice. Able to appeal to black and female voters without sacrificing support among whites and men, Condi could be the only figure who stands between Hillary and the White House.
And, unlike Rudy--and also unlike Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)--Condi can probably win the nomination. A social conservative who will elaborate her largely traditional views on important values issues as an inevitable part of her service as secretary of State, Rice can win primaries where Guiliani cannot and beat Hillary where neither Frist; nor Sen. George Allen, R-VA; nor Jeb Bush; nor Pataki can.
Will Condi run? It is very important that she does. But it is very important to end the Republican complaisance about a Hillary candidacy. The assumption that she is radioactive among moderates and will self-destruct is comforting but completely untrue. Hillary will be the strongest Democratic candidate since her husband ran.

This nonsense falters on several grounds. On what basis can he state that Rice will be able to appeal to black votes without alienating whites? Black conservative politicians, who are few and far between, have won by appealing to white voters in offices far below the presidency.
There is also the issue of gender. Maybe Morris hasn't noticed, but the U.S. has an unbroken record of electing men to the presidency; and usually men who have succeeded in executive/leadership positions such as governer or general. Clinton bombed as "co-president" early in her husband's first term, and salvaged a political career after public sympathy rose for her when she Stood By Her Man. Rice is an academic who has risen through appointments. On top of that, both have other handicaps. Clinton represents a region that hasn't elected a president since 1960. She would have been better off if she were a senator from either her adopted state of Arkansas or her home state of Illinois. She is also one of the most polarizing figures in American politics with a habit of making flip remarks that energize her enemies. Rice, on the other hand; is a brittle, unpleasant person who stoked bogus fears about being nuked by Saddam. The Iraq War would hang heavily on her head in 2008.
Of course, none of this matters to Dick Morris. Next month he might peddle Dan Quayle, or Rush Limbaugh or even himself as the only way to stop the Clinton Menace. When you are flexible enough to have worked for the Clintons as well as Jesse Helms and Trent Lott, I suppose it is easy to say almost anything.


Tex MacRae said...

If Steve Gilliard is at all representative,and I think he is, Morris is all wet about Rice appealing to blacks, too. From what I've read, she is widely hated.

Anonymous said...

Nice Blog

Best Wishes

I have a site 80 million Down Loadable Movies If you have the time stop by.