JOHN RIEWE

Archive for the ‘Hillary Clinton’ Category

Hillary vs. Coffeemaker

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Politicians are oft accused of being “out of touch.” In order to combat this, often they seek opportunities to show that they are just one of the folks. Occasionally, hilarity ensues.

 

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Written by John Riewe

May 1, 2008 at 2:33 am

What if?

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Let’s face it, the vaunted Clinton machine has shown complete fecklessness in the face of Obamania. The ways in which she has failed to make headway against this force of nature–the rhetoric of Obama–are countless. Its actually staggering the missed opportunities and the inability of her campaign to find weak points to harp on, especially considering the willingness of the Clintons to play dirty.

 A new thought occurred to me this afternoon, though. Did Hillary just get unlucky? What if Obama had decided to wait until the next go ’round in ’12? How would the “inevitable candidate” fared in a race without the Illinois senator-cum-rock star/hope-monger/Presidential candidate?

For starters, she would have dispatched all the second-tier candidates with ease. John Edwards would have remained as her chief rival. I suspect that she would have become at some point the clear establishment candidate, meaning all the endorsements and money flowing to Obama would instead have been hers. She would in that case have been able to play by her own rules. She could have hit Edwards with more traditional attacks, since he would be a more symmetrical opponent. Without Obama, it is highly likely she would have all but wrapped up the nomination by now.

Then what? She would face McCain in the general election. Theoretically, she should win, because she would be the “change candidate.” In the general election, her more centrist foreign policy would dilute McCain’s biggest selling point, and she could probably demagogue her way to victory on domestic issues.

But this is 2008. Would the voters really go for the old Clinton tricks this time around? Cynicism directed toward Washington is high, as shown by not only President Bush’s perennially dreadful approval ratings but also the even worse approval rating for the Democratic Congress (which somehow has managed to do worse than the shamefully useless Repubican Congress before it). The Clintons of ’92 and ’96 got away with all manner of semantic gymnastics and fallacy, and developed evasion of tough questions into an art form. They played dirty but never got mud on their clothes. And somehow, they could connect with Americans, who were all too happy to overlook the closets in Arkansas bulging with skeletons.

Methinks today’s voter would be less apt to let them get away with it. The Clinton machine is a 20th century dinosaur that has proven itself inferior to better evolved species. Perhaps she was unlucky in that in her year to shine, Obama also rose. Perhaps, however, she was doomed anyway.

Your comments are appreciated.

The Economy, Stupid, v.2

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Difficult as it is to believe, it was 16 years ago that the phrase “the economy, stupid” defined Bill Clinton’s successful bid for the Presidency. James Carville’s powerfully simple mantra has been found under the letter “I” in America’s political dictionary ever since; and Democrats and Republicans alike have found it especially pertinent in various contexts. The reason is simple—while foreign wars and domestic legislative battles are fleeting, the average American citizen’s thirst for financial freedom to pursue his American Dream trumps all.

The economy in recent years has been sufficiently vibrant to render most Americans financially confident on their various levels, so with this first need cared for worry was available to be spent upon things like the War on Terror. Certainly, a year ago any analyst would have predicted that the War in Iraq would take center stage in the presidential campaign. Based on the media’s (and to a certain extent the citizenry’s) preoccupation with the goings-on in Iraq at the time, this was a fair assumption. However, two developments coincided to bring the economy back to the forefront of concern.

The first of these developments was the dramatic success of the troop surge in Iraq, President Bush’s last-gasp effort to demonstrate success in Iraq. In a series of deft political moves that ought to at some point be studied more in depth, Bush quieted a fresh Democrat-controlled Congress who demanded a withdrawal from Iraq by convincing them to give him one final shot, as it were. Much to the Congress’ dismay, Bush’s plan actually worked for the most part. With a dramatic drop in violent incidents in Iraq, the bloodthirsty domestic media in turn seemed to lose interest in focusing the spotlight in the “disaster” in Iraq.

As Iraq faded from the limelight, the first noises of a looming crisis in the financial sector began to be heard. Over the course of the last half of 2007, the chorus of bad financial news grew exponentially louder. We are now all too familiar with the refrain that points to troubled lending institutions and weakness of the US dollar as evidence of what may already be a recession.

Flash back to 1992, when Carville posted “The economy, stupid” on the wall of Bill Clinton’s campaign office. Incumbent president George H.W. Bush had just presided over a mild recession while the thrill of victory in the Gulf War was in the process of slipping from memory. Bush suddenly seemed irrelevant.

Today’s situation isn’t a perfect reprise of 1992 by any stretch, but as we have seen there are clearly some parallels that can inform analysis of the 2008 Presidential campaign. Foreign concerns remain, but are not at the forefront of debate. Healthcare is slightly higher in the hierarchy of issues. Tax reform garners a similar level of attention. It is change in Washington and a quick fix for the ailing economy that far and away dominate the messages of the campaigns of both the Democrat and Republican candidates.

Hillary Clinton, Barack  Obama, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and Rudy Giuliani all would do well to post Carville’s words in their offices, or at least have them tattooed inside their eyelids. Even if the freefalling economy begins to right itself in light of initiatives by the Fed and the White House, the after-effects will linger throughout the campaign. Of all candidates, Mitt Romney with his vast (and clearly successful) business background, has the best opportunity in this environment. It will be interesting to see if he can capitalize on this opportunity. The rest of the field will be relying less on their resumes and more in their various contrived “my plan”s.

Written by John Riewe

January 28, 2008 at 3:00 am

Partisan Rancor Spreads to Christmastide?

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Indeed, with the campaign season and the Christmas season coinciding this year, top greeting card producers have devised a way to make a buck off of rampant partisanship. The expanded greeting card racks at fine retailers everywhere have been spiced up with gems like the one with picture of Dubya on the cover exlaiming, “I’ve got three words for you!” The punch line inside? “Merry Christmas!”

Targeting the GOP demographic, on the other hand, is what you see above. Great, eh? Feel free to disseminate via email to your Republican friends. You can blame my Moto RazR for the poor picture quality.

Written by John Riewe

December 19, 2007 at 2:13 am

Rush Also Notices Cheap Shot!

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My daily scanning of the airwaves yielded no mention today of the unflattering photo of Hillary that headlined the Drudge Report yesterday, but obviously in failing to tune into the EIB network I missed Rush’s treatment of the subject. See Rush’s transcript here.

Written by John Riewe

December 18, 2007 at 2:41 am

Cheap Shot

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Drudge Report is hailed/reviled for its alternative approach to the news. I hit it probably a hundred times a day myself. Some have accused it of leaning slightly to the right. Some have dissed its brashly unhip graphics. At any rate, the Drudge Report has led with mild sensationalism on occasion, but never has sunken to checkout-line tabloid-esque levels of cheapness to the best of my memory. Until now. What renders this truly a below-the-belt hit in the mind of americanrevolution is that the unflattering photo and caption are not even linked to a story.

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Written by John Riewe

December 17, 2007 at 6:28 am

Thompson to Run on '08, Sources Say

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Today’s Brian and the Judge radio show, co-host Brian Kilmeade reported that Fred Thompson–the Great Hope for Republicans disenchanted with 2008 Presidential race frontrunners Giuliani, McCain, and Romney–will indeed throw his hat into the ring later this year. Kilmeade claimed to have spoken to someone as “close to Thompson as his wife,” who said that Thompson “definitely will run,” but not until September. No reason was stated for the late entry, which provides a great source of speculation.

 americanrevolution is most definitely in the business of speculation on such things, and sees things in the Thompson case thus: This is a risky move with potentially big payoffs. Why is it risky? Well, as the pundits quipped on Brian and the Judge, all the best campaign personnel will already have been snapped up by the frontrunners. Furthermore, to begin fundraising in the fall and well after many key contributors will already have made donations to the existing frontrunners will present a hurdle as Thompson begins filling the war chest. These are all valid concerns. However, a late entry in the race does offer several advantages. First, with the highly abbreviated attention span of the American public by way of the media, Thompson will present a somewhat fresh face at a point when the buzz surrounding the current crop of contenders will be fading somewhat. Furthermore, Thompson will have time to watch Giuliani, McCain, Romney, etc., and to craft his image to represent a strong alternative to those guys who disappoint so many conservatives. Furthermore, he will by entering the race immediataly gain the support of far-right conservatives who refuseto stomach the pro-abortion Giuliani, the Mormon Romney, and the confusing maverickishness of McCain.

 So if he can overcome the aforementioned hurdles, which are rather substantial, he may just have something. americanrevolution is interested first to see if the report of Thompson’s September Splash is true, and if so how things will play out.