Clintonian lack of credibility

Matthew White

Hillary Clinton is a manipulative political android, and it’s blowing up in her face.

Sen. Clinton, who tries to be all things to all people, embodies the worst aspect of a modern politician: blatantly attempting to grab power by changing her stances on issues.

This is exactly the sort of political wrangling that sank the Kerry ship in the waters of the 2004 presidential election, and if Clinton isn’t careful, she’ll be next.

When she wants to gain support from moderates, Clinton takes a tough stance on immigration, talks about the need to finish the job in Iraq and tones down her abortion rhetoric. And, when she talks to Democratic loyalists, she changes faces and issues, reincarnating her failed socialist health care policies, railing about the environment and pressing her audience on the necessity of gun control.

Democrats, who form the base of Clinton’s support, are understandably skeptical of her stance on the war in Iraq. First, Clinton says that she doesn’t believe it’s smart to set a date for withdrawal, and that it’s bad idea because it will leave Iraq an unstable nation and turn it into a terrorist breeding ground. Later, however, Clinton says that the United States must establish a schedule for the full pullout of troops.

The conflict between these two statements should be obvious. Clinton says she’s against setting a date, but is in favor of a schedule. Furthermore, Clinton says that it would be wrong to telegraph our intentions to our enemies, but this is exactly what a scheduled pullout would do. Such an action would be like sending a letter to the terrorist groups, announcing the best possible time for them to take over Iraq.

Either Clinton is for a free Iraq or she isn’t, but it’s impossible to tell from her conflicting public statements.

On immigration, Clinton has flip-flopped whenever she thought that it would benefit her. The Washington Times has reported Clinton as saying, “I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants.”

More recently, however, Clinton was quoted by The Associated Press criticizing Republican lawmakers’ efforts to criminalize illegal immigration, and said that at least some illegals deserve to be given citizenship.

These are just two examples of how Hillary Clinton takes the jelly out of the Democrats’ doughnuts. Democrats are undeniably hungry for political victories, especially for a presidential victory, but just like the rest of the party’s all-star cast, Hillary Clinton can’t get her act together.

A July 2006 Gallup poll gave Hillary Clinton an overall disapproval rating of 44 percent, which shows that significant parts of the American electorate, not just Democrats, have doubts about the junior senator from New York. And, in a recent Washington Post survey, only 37 percent of Democrats said they would vote for her if she sought the presidency.

Clearly, even though Clinton is considered the front runner for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008, the general public sees through her obvious attempts at political maneuvering. And, this columnist assumes, voters won’t think very highly of a second Democratic presidential candidate known to be a flip-flopper.

Democrats hoping to win the 2008 presidential election ought to bail off the Hillary ship and turn to turn to a loyal Democrat with consistent positions, a Democrat who isn’t afraid to make it clear where he or she stands, if they can find one.

Matthew White is a senior magazine journalism major and point/counterpoint columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].