18 February 2007


Three little words.

That is all it would have taken for Hillary Clinton to have traversed her first major bump in the campaign trail.

Those three little words -I was wrong- have long stood between Clinton and the left wing of her party. She continues to take a beating from the Daily Kos and other liberal blogs. She's used to that by now.

But Clinton is facing anger on the campaign trail as well over her refusal to repudiate her vote to authorize President Bush to go to war in Iraq. And the depthts of that anger has apparently come as a surprise to both the candidate and some on her staff.

The New York Times reports today Clinton herself late last year ended debate among her advisors about whether or not to admit making a mistake with her vote.
The paper says many Clinton staffers, on both sides of the issue, consider that decision to be perhaps her most important of the campaign.

Clinton, the paper reports, felt that an apology or repudiation would look disingenuous. (Not unlike her call a few years ago for a ban on flag burning).

So now, at every campaign stop comes at least one call from the crowd for the Senator to say she blew it in 2002. And this issue becomes a larger hurdle every day.

Clinton's pat response has been the "if-I-knew-then-what-I-know-now" defense. But it isn't playing well. And do you know why? Because it sounds disingenuous.

And for every day she refuses to say those three little words Clinton is coming off to many in her party's base as if she he uttering three different words.

Go to hell!

(photo credit: Associated Press)

1 comment:

Sam said...

Hillary's issue with saying she was wrong is not a matter of personal pride (as it seems to be with Bush and the Republicans). Rather, it seems to be strategy: The Democrats may be happy if she says what they want to hear, but she knows the Republicans will clobber her with it in the general election, assuming she gets that far.

Of course, she never should have voted for it, but given the political repurcussions of the time, she obviously felt she had to. Precious few in Congress had the guts to say no on Iraq, even though the evidence (which said there was no evidence) was plain as day in all the newspapers and from the statements from all the other nations.

But as far as Hillary's answers on the campaign trail, it's not a matter of right and wrong. To paraphrase another famous campaign: It's about the winning, stupid.