Sunday, June 05, 2005

Andrew Sullivan and Hillary, Sitting In A Tree

Andrew Sullivan pens a positive mash note to Hillary, and I find myself in agreement with his conclusion, but precious little of his reasoning. Sullivan looks over the world's easiest-to-read set of tea leaves and finds the following:

You can tell it [that Hillary is running] from what she's saying: supporting the Iraq war and touring military installations, reaching out to anti-abortion advocates, keeping a low profile on the filibuster kerfuffle, arguing that religious people should be able to "live out their faith in the public square".

And you can tell it from what she's not saying. Last week her advisers let The Washington Post know that if she is re-elected to the Senate next year, she will not pledge to serve a full term without running for president.

Well, yeah, we all know she's running. Here's Sullivan on why he thinks the lay of the land is beginning to favor her:
The second piece of good fortune [his first was that she has proven to be a capable senator] has been the behaviour of the Republican Congress. Its obsession with ideological issues - such as the Terri Schiavo case, stem cell research, or civil marriage for gay couples - has helped her own pragmatism to stand out.
Well, that's typical Sullivan - take your own pet issues, find someone in agreement, and pretend that's the conventional wisdom. Schiavo and stem cells, he may be right on, but poll after poll has found the majority of the country in broad agreement with the Republican stance on gay marriage.

Sullivan also assures us that she appeals to Republicans and Democrats. Oh, really? Is that so? Can you name a Republican, any Republican, ever, that has said, 'You know, that Hillary Clinton really appeals to me?' I can't...but plenty of Republican observers such as myself have noted that Hillary has been surprisingly effective in the Senate, that she has said the right things regarding religion and the military, and that she is a real threat in 2008. That's a far cry from saying she has Republican appeal, though...

I continue to find myself in the somewhat odd position of saying both that Hilllary is the front-runner, and that she faces almost insurmountable obstacles in gaining the nomination. Notice I said 'almost'...

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