« The Campos Insurgency | The RCP Blog Home Page | Mitt TV »

Hillary's Tone Deaf Pivot

hillary.gif Judging by the photos and the media coverage, it looks as if Hillary's first trip to South Carolina as a Presidential candidate was a success. Aaron Gould Sheinin of The State reports on the scene at Allen University, the historically black college where Hillary held one of her town hall events:

She was greeted like a star, regardless. People were lined up for more than a block down Pine Street in near-freezing temperatures to get a seat in the John Hurst Adams Gymnatorium. Organizers estimated more than 3,200 people were on hand, many of them in an overflow room.

Sheinin reports that Hillary fielded eight questions on Iraq from the crowd. She slammed Bush for being "reckless," reiterated her position on beginning the redeployment of troops out of Iraq in 90 days, and hung tough on the apologizing for her vote. But, interestingly, Clinton also used one of the questions on the war to make this nifty little pivot:

"To underscore a point, some people may be running who tell you we don't face a real threat from terrorism," she said. "I'm not one of them. We have serious enemies who want to do us serious harm."

Who's she talking about, exactly, and is it smart primary politics for Clinton to be suggesting that "some" Democrats in the race (hint: name rhymes with Osama) are soft on terror? How very John Howard of her.

As Mickey Kaus notes with his usual satirical brilliance, Hillary has already managed to put herself in an incredibly difficult and probably untenable position on the war through "a conscientiously applied mixture of high-minded comity, Machiavellian calculation, stubbornness and bad expert advice." So it would certainly fit the mold of Hillary's campaign thus far that the bright new idea is to defend her position on the war by slagging her fellow Democrats for being soft on terror.

(Photo credit: Tim Dominick, The State)