November 22, 2005

Hillary! Throws Murtha Under Bus

Last week's Senate brainfart over the war has given Hillary Clinton a hole that William Perry could blast through without a hand on him:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that an immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq would be "a big mistake."

The New York Democrat said she respects Rep. Jack Murtha, D-Pa., the Vietnam veteran and hawkish ex-Marine who last week called for an immediate troop pullout. But she added: "I think that would cause more problems for us in America."

"It will matter to us if Iraq totally collapses into civil war, if it becomes a failed state the way Afghanistan was, where terrorists are free to basically set up camp and launch attacks against us," she said.

Thanks, Bill Frist; you've let Hillary! outflank you on the right.

Posted by Mitch at November 22, 2005 06:51 AM | TrackBack

Hillary may be many things, but foremost amoungst them is a calculating politician. When she was campaigning in NY she made sure to woo the upstate voters. As a group, they are populist and somewhat conservative, but she made the necessary noises, said the right things, and actually showed up there and campaigned. Her opponent didn't maintain his base by campaigning and in general ran a terrible campaign and frankly deserved to lose. She's also shown a very high level of constituent service, for which she should be commended and which has made her very popular (and is relatively uncommon in NY political circles).

This maneuver of hers is fairly typical: take reasonable positions on relatively isolated but weighty matters, while maintaining her overall very liberal philosophy. She will then telegraph these positions as signposts to peel off moderates to support her. It's actually a very good strategy and works well for her. She may have more trouble with it in less generally liberal areas than NY, but in the blue Northeast it works very well for her.

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