Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Inevitable No More?

Rich Lowry has an interesting take on the Democrat campaigns so far.

Extraordinary. She's lost some altitude nationally, and a little ground in Iowa where it's always been a pretty close race, so nothing seems to suggest a need to break the glass—as in "break the glass in case of emergency." But there's broken glass scattered over the place and she's taking the fire ax to Obama's campaign. What does the Clinton campaign know about this race that we don't?

Like Jim, I tend to think that most of what the Clintons do is an act and part of a grand scheme. Maybe we give them a little too much credit. As she proved in Las Vegas, when Hillary is truly challenged, she falters. As Lowry observes:

It now looks like Clinton has never really found her footing in the new post-Philadelphia dynamic of the race. I thought she had in the subsequent Las Vegas debate, but it looks like that was a blip. The brilliance of Hillary's campaign most of the year was positional—i.e., she found an Iraq position that satisfied Democrats and then spent the rest of her time positioning for the general election. Meanwhile, she could bolster her positive, and diminish her negative, ratings with an above-the-fray attitude to the rest of the field.

She could do this because she wasn't being seriously challenged by Obama or Edwards, and now that she's getting challenged, she's been flailing.

I think Lowry may be long as she was sure of her eventual nomination, she didn't have to take any positions and could do her little Clinton dance uninterrupted. However, now that she has a potentially serious challenge, she's falling apart. Okay, maybe not falling apart, but certainly not the Rock of Gibralter everyone thought she was. To quote Lowry: "If you didn’t like Hillary when she was pretending to be pleasant, just wait until she takes the bark off the first African-American ever to have a plausible chance of becoming president."

It's gonna be interesting.

JASmius adds: Personally, I think Lowry is attempting to gin up some "horse race"-oriented suspense on the Democrat side of this race where none really yet exists in order to (1) create a story for him and his publication to cover and (2) to dredge up some hope to sustain the center-right over the ensuring thirteen months to the Empress's coronation.

Now I will acknowledge that the Rasmussen national tracking poll showed Hillary's twenty-two point lead over Barack Obama of November 28th shrinking to a nine-point spread only three days later - doubtless the dynamic to which Lowry is making reference. But her Nib's advantage has since found a new equilibrium in the ten-to-fifteen point range, she's tied for the lead in Iowa, leads by twelve in New Hampshire, thirteen in South Carolina, thirty-three in Florida....

Suffice it to say, I don't see the results that this "serious challenge" Senator Thunder-Thighs is getting from Obama, much less Edwards is supposedly producing. Still less do I buy the notion of the facile, gaffe-prone, not-ready-for-prime-time, Pakistan-invading, wouldn't-even-be-in-the-Senate-had-he-not-run-functionally-unopposed Chicago street hustler having "a plausible chance of becoming president." I mean, for Frigg's sake, a "Carteresque theme of national healing and a fresh start"? Carteresque??? Barack Obama is going to overcome Hillary on a mantle of abject failure and indiscrete arrogance? I don't think so.

There's no question that Mrs. Clinton's brittleness and clumsy slipperiness was garishly exposed in the Philadelphia debate. But hers is still THE winning "brand" in the Democrat Party, and her top competitors are an empty-suited neophyte and the roaringly phony, double-loser from 2004 who ducked a Senate re-election campaign he knew he couldn't win. All Lowry's ruminations mean is that her margin of victory will be smaller than it otherwise might have been - kind of like the New England Patriots have been playing closer games of late.

But they're still undefeated. And Hillary is going to be the Democrat presidential nominee.

It's only a matter of time.

Lowry would better occupy his allocation of that scarce and irreplaceable temporal commodity analyzing how Mike f'ing Huckabee can possibly have risen to a tie for the national lead on the GOP side of the race, and passed Mitt Romney in Iowa. God knows I haven't the opportunity.

And you thought Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney were hopelessly overmatched in a showdown with the Empress.