Sunday, February 03, 2008

Running Scared

Back after a long break working on the book. I've cleared out from the thicket of past posts all but the most relevant, concise or amusing to me.

In any event:

Fear is playing a role in this year Democratic contest--but not the role that it has played in the recent past.

Clinton has constructed her career as an accommodation between her genuine reformist impulses, and a gradual wearing away of these that is comprised of both the wisdom of experience, and political calculation. Thus far, she has managed to do so while still presenting herself as a reformer, with the main concern being moderating the (largely inaccurate) perception of her as a "radical" by the swift-boating far right.

Given this, I think that Clinton never anticipated a candidate who would grasp the mantle of reform more surely than she would.

As a result, she has no real way to construct a solid position--embrace experience, and you lose the power than change holds this season. Embrace change, and you appear to be an imitator. Do both, and it appears to be a clever attempt to have both--too clearly tactical. This results in the screaming, bellowing attempts to create motivation in her current speeches. Screaming is not inspiration.

The "Dirty Little Secret" of this part of the campaign is fear--not the well known issue of motivating the electorate by fear, but of fear motivating the potentially elected.