Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Just how effective is Hillary as a politician?

Hillary is the big hobgoblin for conservatives when they contemplate 2008. Right now, there don't seem to be any viable Republican candidates at all, and Hillary, since 2000, has been positioning herself as the Demos last, best hope. Over at, however, Jay Cost compelling argues that the mere fact that we know exactly what Hillary's personal goal is -- world domination -- means that she is a bad politician, not a good one:

Flexibility is a necessary part of a politician’s life. Politicians must adapt to correspond to the mood of their electorate. All politicians must do this. What matters -- what separates the good ones from the bad ones -- is the way they adapt. This is their style. Those with good style are those whose political maneuvers you would never really notice . Those with poor style stick out like a sore thumb. This is a sign of a bad politician. And Hillary Clinton is a bad politician. Ironically her awfulness as a politician is why people think she is so great. Her political moves are so obvious that everybody discusses how “political” she is. “Oooooh...she is so Machiavellian!” Pundits are in awe of how overtly political she is -- and they assume that her overtness is a sign of her excellence. Far from it. As anybody who has read The Prince knows, the true Machiavellian is one that everybody thinks is a saint. Or, to quote Kaiser Soze, "The greatest trick the devil pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." Hillary is no political devil precisely because everybody is convinced that she is!
Considering, however, that voters now trust nothing and nobody, they may still go for the most opportunistic candidate just because they think she's a winner. Cost does acknowledge early on in his article that "Of course, being a good politician is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for political victory, at any level. Decidedly poor politicians have won every political office this nation has to offer, and decidedly bad ones have lost every office." Nevertheless, he optimistically states that "if I were a betting man, I would bet on the good politician, all things being equal. Hillary had enough going for her in NY in 2000 to overcome her political ineptitude (good organization, good ideological fit, lousy opponent), but not for the presidency in 2008. She is too poor of a politician to win that office." Hat tip: Michelle Malkin