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Friday, February 29, 2008

The Troubled Times of Hillary Clinton

Recently Hillary Clinton’s campaign has brought up the idea of challenging the voting process in Texas, which involves both primary voting and caucuses. And while she has since been warned off of this by Democrat party officials, I think it’s an interesting sign that the idea was even brought up at all, especially mere days before the week long voting process was to begin. It smells vaguely of desperation.

What’s sad is it didn’t need to be like this. Few can be said to understand politics as well as Hillary Clinton, and she’s spent years putting this presidential run together. Oddly enough, however, is it’s those years of preparation that may well be doing her in right now.

The median voter model demonstrates the best way to win an election, in a two party system, is to position yourself as close to the middle as possible, if, perhaps not leaning slightly to opposite side. One does this because in any given election it is assumed that each side has a particular base they’ve already captured. Thus it is the goal of the political aspirant, not to rally their own side, but to galvanize the undecided in the middle ground, and perhaps capture a few of the shaky supporters from across the aisle.

One can clearly see this strategy coming to light in Hillary’s senatorial voting record over the years. Compared to other liberals it has a distinct streak of red running through the, primarily, democrat blue dating all the way back to her initial supporting vote for the Iraq war.

But in doing this Hillary ignored the primary. And why not, there certainly didn’t seem to be any major threats looming on that horizon. Previous winners of the Democratic Derby, Al Gore and John Kerry, seemed unlikely to try their luck again, and could be written off as once and future losers should they muster the courage venture forth. The remaining opposition, such as John Edwards, looked even weaker having already lost to failed candidates. The primary process appeared to be little more then a tiptoe through the tulips before it was on to the main event.

Enter Obama. And, perhaps, exit Hillary.

Because while Hillary’s voting strategy may be pulling her towards the middle on a national level, amongst Democrats it only means she’s drifting to the right. And just maybe to the status of also-ran.

Jaeson Madison

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