Hillary Clinton was in Ohio this weekend, raising money for her Presidential campaign and the Ohio Democratic Party. In typical fashion Hillary proved that she can still raise money with the best of them and that she is willing to tell the liberal base what they want to hear on Iraq.
In a speech Saturday Clinton lashed out at President Bush claiming that Americans were “ready to end this government by the few, of the few and for the few” in order to “get back to a balance in our country.”
Yeah, that’s exactly what I think of when I think of Hillary and Bill: balance. Funny how Bush garnered more votes than any candidate in history in the last election and yet he somehow heads a administration “by the few, of the few and for the few.” I don’t recall husband Bill ever garnering more than a mere plurality but he nevertheless always seemed to claim a mandate from “the people.”
Hillary also threw out some red meat for the anti-war left: “Let me be clear,” she said. “If this president won’t end this war during his time in office, when I am president, I will.” She must be talking about the war she voted to authorize and the one her party is intent on undermining at every turn.
Perhaps, Hillary could explain exactly how she plans to “end the war” without plunging the country into even more violence and bloodshed and giving Iran a free hand in the region. But don’t look for strategic coherence from her campaign. Instead, expect her to continue to tell each side what they want to hear.
As Joe Hallet noted in the article, Clinton continues to try and paint herself as a moderate despite her rhetoric Saturday:
Despite the Democratic primary process’s natural tug to the left, Sen. Clinton generally has sought to avoid the red-meat partisan rhetoric and continued to burnish credentials as a moderate.
So Hillary claims to be a sensible centrist politician but blasts President Bush and calls for surrender in Iraq when she thinks it will help her campaign. Hillary knows that there is a strong anti-war sentiment in Ohio – Sherrod Brown’s anti-war rhetoric played a central role in his defeat of Mike DeWine – and that the liberal activist base is passionately anti-war. But because of her history as a hawkish Democrat, the base – particularly the online left – is suspicious and wary of Clinton. It will be interesting to see if she can convince the left that she will end the war, while at the same time retaining her image as a centrist, responsible leader in foreign affairs.
One thing that hasn’t changed is her ability to raise money. Clinton raised $550,000 for the Ohio Democratic party on Saturday and more than $200,000 for her own campaign. It is also clear that Hillary will be spending a lot of time in the crucial state of Ohio:
If Clinton wins the nomination, she no doubt will all but take up residency in Ohio for the campaign. The state decided the 2004 race and is expected to be the epicenter of the 2008 presidential campaign. Last night’s visit was her second in as many weekends to Ohio, and on June 10, her husband, former President Bill Clinton, will deliver the commencement address at Ohio State University.