After watching Hillary Clinton’s performance at her Iowa rally today, I anticipate a bunch of useless buzz about her horribly flat singing voice, as if how well one sings the national anthem is directly proportional to one’s performance as President. It’s about as relevant as her favorite color or movies, which are supposedly important to her fans, too.
Hillary’s people have been attacking Obama as lacking substance. I don’t think he does – it may just be that he hasn’t had the chance to communicate it. I’m also told by people in a position to know that they’re trying to strangle his money train by asking their big donors for commitments that they will not give money to him.
All I heard in Iowa from her were platitudes such as her wanting to “renew the promise of America.” I think it’s going to be extremely difficult for her to get past the #1 issue for the liberal base of the Democratic party: their conviction that the war in Iraq was wrong on many levels – and is getting worse.
Simply put, Hillary (like most other lawmakers) saluted the President and rolled over and let him wage this unjust war. Perhaps worse, they asked no questions as he and his team sold the war to the American people with a campaign of lies and deception. Over three thousand Americans are dead because of it, perhaps 100,000 Iraqis, and we have tens of thousands of permanently disabled Americans who’ve returned from Iraq.
HIllary could find herself making the same mistake past candidates have made – underestimating the importance with which their base views an issue. Senator: there is no issue more important to your base than this war. The stain of your war support may well keep your party’s nomination permanently out of reach. But even if you do win the nomination, here’s a scary thought: what if you face a centrist anti-war Republican? Or a Unity ’08-style split ticket?
Even with a Democratic majority, Congress seems afraid to ask the tough, scary questions – to really hold the White House accountable – and our country is worse off for it. To many, Hillary is emblematic of this weakness.