Sunday, October 21, 2007

But Will It Play in Skaneateles?

Snow Pond, NH -

Or for that matter, Punxsutawney.

For this Sunday's must-read column we're taking a break from Frank Rich and heading south to the Washington Post. They have a great feature this week on the Hillary Clinton upstate New York theory, and its potential flaws. Whenever I have seen the Clintons on the stump, Bill has always talked about Hillary's overwhelming victories in Republican-leaning Upstate New York. Taken at face value, it is a pretty convincing argument that Hillary moved from a 3-point deficit in 2000 to at 61% take of the Upstate vote in her re-election bid.

What the campaign doesn't say is that Gore outpolled her Upstate in 2000 before she was able to pork barrel her way into their favor, and both Chuck Schumer (72%) and Elliot Spitzer (69%) have won their recent statewide elections with more votes than Hillary (67%).

In other words, she's hardly the rural juggernaut her campaign is making her out to be, especially since her 2006 opponent was, in the words of Dick Vitale, cupcake city, baby! Dennis Kucinich probably could have been elected Senator in New York in '06 if he was facing John Spencer.

In fact, the article quotes same backyard Upstaters that Clinton has so cheerily adopted have the same concerns about her character that everyone else has.

"I don't like her. I don't think she's honest," said Jim Morelli, a construction equipment salesman.

"I'm not a fan at all. She shifts a lot of her policies depending on what the question is," said Wendy Leffler, a development officer with a hospice care agency. "I don't feel her values are consistent."

Wait, do you mean shifting policies like voting for Kyl-Liebermann one day, and then latching on to Jim Webb to water it down the next?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying she's unelectable. I think she can do it if she makes the general. But it won't be by winning over kindly dairy farmers and GOP-leaning rural business leaders. She'll win it by doing things like raising nearly five times more from military contractors than any other Democrat, and almost double any Republican.

But its not just her, they've given more to Dems this time than to GOPers. And if there is one thing we know about the Military-Industrial complex, it is that they like to win. And if there is another thing we know about them, it is that they resemble Borat's sister in they both a-like to make MONEY!

I understand that people who work for weapons makers and lobbyists are "real people" who have the right to make political donations, but if I was a Democrat I would do my darnedest to make sure that my candidates would actually be able to distinguish themselves from the "real people" who pull the purse strings in Washington to the "real people" in the rural swing states who make the decisions to put the candidates in office.


Peace Czar said...

A great slogan there!

"Hillary Clinton, the Military-Industrial-Complex's
candidate of choice!!!

...Now with more unilateral preemption!"

Nice post, BTB. Summarizes many, but not all, of the reasons why my intact soul prevents me from voting Hillary. And you didn't even touch on her tryst with Blackwater's PR people. She and Bill are just soooooooo cute though!

My favorite Ralph Nader quote of '08 politics thus far:

She doesn't even have the minimal political fortitude of her husband!

Julie said...

but don't underestimate...her victories in the Republican leaning counties in NY are significant specifically because she is a polarizing figure, unlike Spitzer or Schumer. Her re-election campaign included hundreds of thousands of dollars spent "micro-targeting" voters in these counties. All practice for the 2008 general, not to mention providing the talking points you are questioning. And whatever Nader says, she's got Clinton and Mark Penn manning the controls.

o said...

BTB, you continue to impress with your insight. i must admit that the more attention i pay to this campaign season the more i find myself leaning towards Hill.