Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Is Hillary running or is that Amy Poehler?

By Edward Copeland

Obviously, I've been on the record quite often as being against Hillary Clinton, partly because I don't believe she stands for anything other than political expediency and her own ambition, but mostly because I don't believe she can win the 2008 General Election, an election that should be a gimme for the Democratic Party.

Ever since the October debate where she flubbed the question on illegal immigrants and driver's licenses, the Clinton campaign has destroyed their argument that she's withstood blistering attacks from the GOP for years and would be best equipped to fight next year. The most important thing about that debate was that it would have been a mere blip in an otherwise smooth-running campaign, but that self-inflicted wound showed the world the Hillary and her campaign live in a bubble as impenetrable as the one in which Dubya resides.

First, the campaign leaks to Matt Drudge that it was all Tim Russert's fault, then they decided that all the other candidates from the "all boys club" were piling on her because she was a woman. When that spin backfired, they denied that they were saying she was being attacked for her gender, but because she was "winning," despite the fact that no vote had been cast.

Then, Bill Clinton comes riding to the rescue and perhaps the most talented politician of his generation shows he's a bit rusty, first by appearing to be trying to protect his woman (going so far as to equate criticism of her to the Swift Boating of John Kerry), then by undermining her spurious claims to be an integral part of everything that happened in his administration by trying to say Hillary's health care reform failures were all his fault.

Still, Hillary tries to take credit for the good stuff and her surrogates, such as former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, make crazy claims like saying she was "the face of foreign policy" during the Clinton administration. When she wanted credit for the Clinton economy, Barack Obama correctly pointed out that she wasn't the treasury secretary, that was Robert Rubin.

This week — and we're barely halfway through it — Bill and Hillary have each offered moments that must puzzle even those who support her candidacy.

While stumping in Iowa yesterday, Bill said that he'd opposed the Iraq war from the beginning, when there is ample video and other evidence to prove otherwise. Then, on later stops, he changed his wording to say he opposes it now.

For me though, this week's capper, the most damning evidence of the Hillary's delusions, that make comparisons between her and Dubya even more striking, came during a one-on-one interview Katie Couric.

When Couric asked if Hillary would be disappointed if she doesn't win the nomination, Hillary responded:

“Well, it will be me."


Couric reasonably said that she has to have considered the possibility that she won't win. Her reply: "No, I haven't."

There is a line between confidence and a sense of entitlement. Most candidates don't like to admit that they might not win, just like most who get asked questions about accepting a vice president slot, brush it off. That's perfectly understandable. This was different. Her entire demeanor in the interview made it seem as if she was living up to Amy Poehler's parody of her on Saturday Night Live where she gave an early acceptance speech for the presidency, assuming that it was a given that she would not only win the Democratic nomination but the presidency as well.

The 2008 presidential election truly is the most important in a long time and the Democratic Party and the country as a whole cannot afford to become a victim to one person's fantasies.

When and if Hillary starts losing contests, we may see a meltdown that will make Howard Dean's scream sound like a whisper.

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