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Clinton vs. Netroots

Brian Faughnan of the Weekly Standard picks a fight with the Netroots:

Hillary Clinton, you'll remember, has staked out a nuanced position on the surge. In a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in late August, Clinton declared of the surge, "It's working." And now, O'Hanlon has been named as a foreign policy adviser to the Clinton campaign.

Clinton, of course, is no friend of the antiwar left, and at least one lefty blogger is calling on the Senator to "renounce O'Hanlon's support." But, despite her grandstanding during the Petraeus hearings, it isn't at all clear that the senator's position on the war is all that different from the president's. By putting O'Hanlon on her team, she's let the netroots know that she doesn't need their support, and more to the point, she doesn't want their support. How can she afford to be so dismissive of this powerful constituency? Maybe because they aren't as powerful as we'd thought.

Ouch. I mentioned the importance of foreign policy staffing yesterday, and this will no doubt be important for the next president. Our global standing is in question, and the next administration could set the tone for the War on Terrorism. Will it be Bush's legacy, or America's legacy?

On Clinton and the Netroots--I think Faughnan may be on to something. Hillary Clinton needs to account for all of the voices in her party, not just the loudest. Now is the time to distance herself a bit from them, as they would no doubt turn on her in a heartbeat were she to get elected. With their Republican muse gone, they'll need something to charge the outrage-o-meter. If she panders to them now, she'll only fuel such outrage upon being elected. It would be nearly impossible for any president to fully appease them, so why do it at all?

Belay their demands now, and she can maintain her independence in the general election, preventing the GOP from pigeonholing her as an extremist.

Kyle Moore disagrees:

O'Hanlon has been pimping the Iraq war with regularity, and even adopted the Orwellian overtones of the pro war movement when he not so subtly hoped the highly critical GAO report leaked before the Petraeus report would be "improved" before official release.

That Hillary would pick this man as a foreign policy advisor is highly disturbing, and just about eradicates any hope that she would even engage in a significant change of strategy in Iraq. In other words, should she be allowed to attain the Democratic nomination, we voters will be faced with a simple, though depressing, choice.

Vote for more war in Iraq or vote for more war in Iraq.

My only hope at this point is that she has played her hand too early, and is currently in the process of destroying her own prospects at nomination.

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