Never Count the Clintons Out
By: Robert E. Meyer
A recent addition of a conservative publication had a headline theme reminiscent of the late Edgar Allen Poe. The title was “The Fall of House of Clinton.”
Ostensibly this referred to the poor showing that Mrs. Clinton suffered in Iowa, and the assumption that the same was to follow in the New Hampshire primary. A few well timed crocodile tears were more than enough to sidestep a repeat of the Iowa debacle.
The Democratic primaries remind me a little of the professional football playoffs. When one of the higher seeded teams is upset, the arch rival is gleeful, thinking that the road to the Super Bowl will be a much easier journey with some of the major competition gone. Some of those showing so much interest in Barrack Obama’s surprising success have hopped aboard that sort of bandwagon.
It is easy to fall into a similar trap in the world of politics. All the signs are indicating that Hillary Clinton is in a free fall–an out of control tailspin–and that she will be overtaken by another candidate, such as, Barrack Obama, who many perceive will be easier to defeat. Then all of the sudden Mrs. Clinton confounds the pollsters, and we are slapped in the face by reality.
One lesson of history that we should never forget, is that the Clintons and their political machine seem to do surprisingly well when their backs are up against the wall. Look at how Bill Clinton was able to maneuver when it appeared that his presidency was in certain jeopardy due to his careless personal indiscretions. With Bill taking greater charge of promoting Hillary on the campaign trail, don’t be surprised if that mysterious Clinton magic resurrects a seemingly faltering campaign.
While Barrack Obama is the toast of the media at present, don’t count on him having the staying power. And even if Obama were somehow able to pull off the upset, and become the Democrats nominee, don’t assume he will be an easy mark just because of his extreme left-wing agenda.
The bottom line is that conservatives must win the presidential election on the virtues and merits of conservatism. It will do little good to show up dressed in populist armor, offering the most delightfully packaged version of “socialism light.” Conservatives should not attempt to beat the democrats at their own game. They should go to the dance with “the one they brung,” to put it in the vernacular of old wisdom.
The Democrats, including Clinton have a few built in advantages that can’t be ignored, and are difficult, but possible to overcome. First of all, the media is going to promote and favor the Democratic nominee.
Secondly, the Democrats can easily pander and receive votes by promising new entitlements to an American population, who is becoming increasingly convinced that the country is on the brink of recession. Americans feel the pinch of the housing debacle and high energy prices, just to name the obvious economic woes. The Democrats will be able to “solve” these problems if elected. They can also expertly play the class envy card to garner sympathy, and curry favor by attacking the economically “well-to-do.”
The president could help his party and conservative prospects for the fall elections, if he would offer a sensible stimulus package that would take the issue off the table for Mrs. Clinton and others to use. It appears as of this writing that he is taking steps to do that, though the details are currently sketchy. It would be difficult for Democrats in Congress to vote this down, as to avoid allowing President Bush to claim credit.
The fact the Hillary Clinton registers with high negatives on polls won’t be enough for Republicans to keep the presidency. They must be proactive in articulating a genuine conservation vision in order to win.