Saturday, August 25, 2007

Senator Clinton's terrorism statement

Here's what she said: "Speaking at a house party the night before, Clinton said, "It's a horrible prospect to ask yourself, 'What if? What if?...But if certain things happen between now and the election, particularly with respect to terrorism, that will automatically give the Republicans an advantage again, no matter how badly they have mishandled it, no matter how much more dangerous they have made the world," she said. "So I think I'm the best of the Democrats to deal with that, as well." Hmmm.

At NRO's The Corner, Kathryn Jean Lopez sees it this way: "...Senator Clinton appears to be acknowledging the fact that Republican frontrunners appear to more fully understand the jihadi threat America is facing than the Democrats and the American people know that full and well and that another attack on the United States will only make that clearer. And she seems not to have offered a persuasive reason why that's a wrong train of thought — unless she's straight-on going to blame Republicans (Bush/Cheney/"neocons") for the next attack."

Well, maybe. Or at least Clinton is acknowledging that many voters will interpret a terrorist attack that way, and give the GOP a boost in the polls. I see it a little differently: Senator Clinton probably was just thinking of the need to inoculate voters against this happening--to tell them, yes, a terrorist attack maybe will happen, don't let it change your thinking in any way. She wanted to plant that seed in voter's minds. "Ah, yes," she hopes they will say after the attack occurs, "Clinton warned us about this."

I too don't think she articulated it at all effectively, so I don't see how it will help her. Nor did she give people one single reason WHY she would be the best person to take on Republicans if this happened. And by the way, some in the blogosphere have been suggesting that the other Democratic candidates are almost conceding the nomination to Clinton and just playing for the veep slot. Their sharp reaction to Clinton's statement suggests that might not be the case. (Obama has remained silent--I think that's because Clinton did enough damage to herself, and anyway by not piling on he can appear to the figure of change, unwilling to engage in the usual political games).